James Wilson, marketing director at XLN Telecom, urges SMEs to wake up and smell the online sales.
A survey of 300 small businesses we recently carried out revealed small business owners could be missing out on millions of pounds of sales every year. The first shocking find was that a third of the small businesses we surveyed do not have websites. The second was that of those that do, only half have optimised them for search engine traffic.
If our survey’s figures hold up even remotely against the national picture then there’s a startling amount of business going uncontested online. Ninety-three per cent of all internet traffic is generated from search engines, so the half that have optimised their sites are making hay while the rest sit around and wait for the phone to ring.
The facts are simple: Ninety-two per cent of 25 to 35 year olds use the internet to shop online, as do 36 per cent of adults over 65 years old. In June this year it was estimated that we spent an average of £586.9 million online each week. The top spot on a Google Search will get 32.5 per cent of all clicks. The second result from the top will get 17.6 per cent, and the third will get 11.4 per cent. This should be your goal. So, if you had given up on your website as a sales driver, it’s time to dust off your laptop and try again.
“Optimising for search engines” sounds complicated, but it’s not as difficult it is made out to be, and most businesses can achieve noticeable results in eight weeks if the work is put in. It does require an ongoing time investment, but it doesn’t cost a penny. The internet is brimming with SEO experts and enthusiasts who think they have Google cracked, and document their every discovery in regular blogs.
So here’s how to get started. Google the following:
You’ll see that the number one results come from a company called Moz – they practice what they preach, which is why their website ranks so highly for each of those searches.
Read through the Moz website and once you have basic knowledge of the above, use the guides and advice to make the necessary changes to your website and monitor change using Google Analytics. If it doesn’t work, or if it does and you want to know what else you can do to keep the visitors coming, just keep reading. The rules of Google’s search algorithm change all the time. Keep on top of expert blogs and relevant Twitter accounts (the head of Google’s Webspam team, Matt Cutts, blogs here and Tweets from here) and spend a few minutes a day looking at your traffic and making those small changes.
The best sales decision a small business owner can make is to create a website for their business. The second best decision they can make is to invest time in turning their website into a sales engine using SEO.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog was founded by B2B PR specialist Heather Baker, who runs video production and corporate animation agency TopLine Film and digital PR and SEO agency TopLine Comms. The B2B PR Blog takes contributions from sensible industry folk with something interesting to say.
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