Friends, family, colleagues and co-workers ask me that question (or some variation of it) at least once a week. Unfortunately there is no magic trick, or simple formula to follow. Increasing your organic search engine rankings is not something you can do overnight and in today’s instant gratification world, this can be hard for people to comprehend. Compounding their frustration are the hundreds (if not thousands) of companies out there trying to “mask” their practices of plug-and-play AdWords and other PPC campaigns as organic search engine optimization.
Increasing your rankings on the organic side of the search engine results requires planning, creativity and above all patience. Three to six months may seem like an eternity to the MTV generation, but in search engine terms, it’s a blink of an eye. I do not know how many times I have been approached by someone who makes a change to their website and than is frustrated when they don’t jump up in the rankings the next day. Changes, especially subtle ones on in-frequently crawled sites can take many weeks to start showing up in the search engines.
So what can you do to help increase you organic search engine rankings? There are quite a few things that impact your organic search rankings, including, but not limited to; content, navigation, back links, organization and quality. Let’s look at some of these things in a little more detail.
Okay so maybe this one is for all my real estate friends out there... But wait! don't just tune out because you're not a Realtor. Any small business can benefit from these awesome grassroots marketing tips. Let's face it. Low cost marketing is essential right now.
Find your nitch and hang on to it: Successful Realtors are the ones who are the 1,000 pound gorilla in the room. You don't have to have a giant budget to make a big impact and concentrating your efforts in one area is almost always more effective. Pick a neighborhood, not to small one of course. And become the expert.
A bi-monthly or quarterly newsletter mailed sent out to some targeted addresses in the area can be most effective. Include a nice article about the local high school team and maybe a community calender and most of all some great reasons why you're the answer to their questions. This is not as expensive as your think, most of the time it can be cheaper than advertising in that real estate magazine. And best of all it's all about you.
Get out from behind the desk: Shaking a few hands never killed anyone. Most people are visual learners. They will remember your face long before they remember what you are saying. Get out there! Take in a local little league game, maybe offer to sponsor the after game snacks (a great way to meet some parents and pass out a few cards). Volunteer at a local shelter or food pantry or sponsor a thanksgiving meal for some families in need. Creating goodwill and positive PR about your business. And don't forget the press release. The newspaper can't tell the whole town about the business who cares if they don't know you're doing it.
Doing business in this economy is all about relationships. Relationships, positive ones, create happy customers. Happy customers create referrals. And that creates happy business owners. So who's with me, low cost, high impact. Let get out there!
About the Author: Jason Whitman is a marketing specialist with Ignite Media Marketing a firm in Greater Cincinnati specializing in low cost, high impact marketing solutions for small business.