SEO is one tool in your toolbox for earning top rankings in the search engines. But there are many other things that deserve your attention both to run a successful business and to rank better. It’s no coincidence that good business practices and good search rankings are linked very closely together.
But be careful not to get your cart out in front of that horse. These days, you don’t get good rankings and then start running a successful business with all the new leads/sales coming in. No, you first have to have a successful business in place in order to achieve good rankings.
Best Practices in Business and SEO
Offer a Quality Product/Service
Uh, duh, right? But do you really know what “quality” means in your business sector? Is your product or service really the best one out there? How do you know? Are you continually reviewing your competitors’ offerings? What are you doing to innovate your own product or service? “Quality” moves on a sliding scale and if you offered the top quality product or service even 6 months ago, a competitor may now be doing it better. In the web marketing context, if a competitor offers something better, Google is going to want to send searchers to that competitor, not you.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Just like “quality,” what is deemed to be “excellent” customer service is always evolving. Not that long ago, a customer may have been wowed if they got a response from your business over the weekend. Now, in many sectors, 24/7 customer service is an expectation. What are you doing to go above and beyond for your customers? As you all know, online reviews are invaluable to your web presence. It is very difficult to get customers to take the time to write reviews, but it’s a lot easier when they are floored by how good your service is.
It’s more important than ever to stay in the minds of your customers. You have umpteen hundred ways to reach customers, through email, social media, direct mail, etc. Keep the conversation going and, as it pertains to your SEO, keep people talking about you on the web. The search engines are sophisticated enough now to know which businesses are more popular than others, and it is in their interest to send searchers to more popular businesses where they are likely to have the best experience.
The Big Takeaway
In 2014, SEO doesn’t just involve some website optimization by throwing in a bunch of keywords on your site pages. Without more, that work alone will get you nowhere. If you are offering a ho-hum product, providing lousy service, and not making an effort to keep in touch with customers, a bit of SEO simply won’t do the trick to turn around your business.
On the other hand, if you’re nailing the fundamentals, a targeted SEO plan can really turbocharge your site visitation and grow your bottom line. If you’re not seeing the web marketing results you want, it may be time to look deeper and question the quality of your core business practices.