Your web designer just finished the brand new website for your business.
You are feeling on top of the world, thinking about the flood of new customers that are sure to be visiting your domain soon. After “going live”, you patiently wait for the phone to ring and the emails to start pouring in.
But by close of business, you find that your website hasn’t been visited by anyone even remotely interested in the products you offer. What gives?
Before you go thinking that your web designer gave you the shaft or your products are no good, let me remind you that your website JUST launched. Ask yourself this question: How many times has a new business launched in your city without you ever knowing about it? Chances are, probably many.
The minute you find the new shop, you wonder how you went so long without knowing it was right there, a few minutes from your home. Now imagine that there was a new business for every square inch of your city. How would you be able to tell the difference between the good ones and the bad? You notice some of these businesses have taller buildings and larger signs than others do.
Some have those sign spinners in front of them, letting you know exactly what they offer. Instinctively, your focus is drawn to those businesses, as they have taken away the detective work that the others require. This my friend, is the landscape of the Internet, and why SEO is important to the success of your business.
First, let’s start by defining what SEO is actually.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and encompasses a number of different tasks that can be performed on and off your website in order to drive targeted traffic (a.k.a potential customers) back to your website. You might have heard of certain ways to“trick” search engines into thinking your website deserves to be at the top of search results.
Do yourself a favor and forget about ALL of those tactics. The web has grown since the 90’s and search engine algorithms are better than ever. So trying to “get over” on the system won’t work, and it will likely hurt your chances of ranking (appearing high in search results).
This brings us back to your shiny new website.
It might look great, but how does it appear to the search engine? A web designer’s job is to create the website, not necessarily do any SEO related tasks on it. Those tasks will generally fall on your back or on the back of a company you hire. What’s that? What do I mean hire a company? Well, in addition to a web designer, generally a marketing company will be next in
line to help you with the promotion of your website/business. This includes items like SEO, Pay-per-click ad campaigns and Social media management.
As you can see, the initial website launch quickly becomes the low man on the totem pole. The good news is that these additional services can be found at an affordable rate, if you know where to look. There are many companies out there that charge extremely high fees to provide these services
On the other hand, there are many unscrupulous companies out there using poor SEO tactics and charging low rates knowing they will land customers. Sadly, by the time many of these customers find out their “SEO professional” is using bad tactics (often known as Black hat SEO), their websites have already been penalized by Google and Bing. You want to avoid these kinds of companies, as well as the ones that promise “Immediate” results. Good SEO just doesn’t work that way. It’s a process.
If you have some patience, the right team in place, and a solid understanding of your target customer, you will begin seeing more and more potential customers visit your website. And you know what that means:
All jokes aside, make sure you have the proper expectations when you first launch your website. Don’t expect an immediate flood of traffic, unless you’ve done some sort of promoting prior to launching. Even if that is the case with your business, you need to understand that consistent SEO best practices are required to continue growing your website. In a later article, I’ll go over a few of the key things you can do on your website yourself (or through your web developer, etc.) to help drive targeted traffic (customers).
Owner and Lead Web Developer at Webmaster On Site.