Now it’s time to think big picture – what’s the best way to promote your business?
Ranking well in Google is great, but in most niches it won’t come easily and requires an investment of time and effort. If you’re able to create great content and your competition is surmountable it can be a good long term strategy because traffic usually continues to grow as your site grows, and more traffic means more brand exposure and they’ll reinforce each other, which hopefully means things get easier down the track.
Whereas advertising works in the short term, but obviously has immediate and ongoing costs.
Researching your niche is often a good first step – you’ll learn about your competition as well as what keywords to target when creating new content or ads.
Minimum is about 4 hours at $48/hr, half a day’s work. That’s a pretty quick look. A more thorough job might be a day or two or more – it totally depends on the breadth of your business and your site and how much of it you want to focus on. A big site could keep a team of people busy full time.
Ideally you’ll have research done before adding any new content or starting new ad campaigns.
And the competitiveness of keywords can change so it can help to repeat the research periodically, perhaps every six months or year, to check on things and look for new opportunities.
The online tools are expensive but worth it. If you employ me for keyword research I’ll require an initial payment to cover the subscription of up to $100 depending on which tool I think will be the most cost effective for your needs.
It’s possible to pay people to create content for you, I’m sure the quality and cost varies a lot.
I can certainly help write the content of the main pages of your site – those most important words we hope will compel your visitors to choose you.
Though I don’t commonly provide a blog writing service. I’m willing to help but it may not be cost effective for you.
With online ads you pay for each person that clicks through to your site. The cost of each click depends on the competitiveness of the keywords targeted. You set daily and total limits though so it’s easy to stick to a budget. You can start low and see how it goes.
Offline advertising I’m sure you know ranges from printed flyers right through to TV ads. I’ve never done a TV ad* but I can help you with print designs and organise the printing for you. A nice flyer might take me a few hours, get 1000 printed for $100, walk them out on a sunny day, wait for the calls!
All the social platforms are free to use, and you can pay to have certain posts ‘boosted’ so more people see them.
I can set up your business pages in Google and Facebook etc, it takes an hour or two to add your details and graphics and photos to each one.
I can help with posting content too, I charge by the minute at $48/hr.
Choosing an SEO provider
It’s common to be offered SEO services these days, usually via unsolicited emails. Be wary though, while some companies are reputable others are very dodgy. I don’t mean to scare you off all of them, and I’m not just trying to promote myself, but be careful when paying for any SEO services – make sure what you’re paying for will actually help.
Most reputable companies won’t send you an unsolicited email, that should be your first red flag.
If they promise too much without getting to know your business or your goals, or doing some initial research into your niche, raise another flag.
Some well meaning companies are out of date
Effective SEO practices are always in flux. Some companies mean well but use outdated methods that are effectively a waste of money.
The dodgy companies don’t care
The dodgy companies will take your money no matter what. They don’t care if their actions help your site. They don’t even care if their actions hurt your site.
Questions to ask
- What exactly am I paying for?
- What are you going to change on my site?
- How do you select keywords?
- How do you get backlinks?
- What sort of results can I expect?
Let me know if you’d like help
If you have questions about any of this stuff or would like some keyword research or SEO work done please get in touch.
And if you have suggestions for improving this guide I’d love to hear them!