SEO – Before You Spend A Dime On It, Read This!
First off, does everyone know what Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) is?
Most people would say it’s “It’s getting my business being found on the first page of Google”.
At the simplest core, that is absolutely correct.
But as a Kansas City business owner, do you have any idea how high level of a statement that is, and how much more your business will have to do in all of it’s marketing efforts to insure you are successful in your Kansas City SEO efforts?
SEO is a corporate “marketing” decision. SEO is the development of a business strategy based on the concept of “I want to be found for this specific thing in Google”. SEO has to be owned by the business, and the business owner has to change all of their “marketing” to be in line with their SEO goals. SEO also requires business owners to have realistic expectations, and understand how to truly measure the success of a company’s SEO efforts.
So let’s take for example a law firm in downtown Kansas City that has a few partners. They specialize in business and estate law. They’re located in downtown Kansas City, but have smaller part-time offices in Lee’s Summit and Overland Park.
Sitting around the board room table one day they decide they really want to ramp up their Overland Park office’s business. They start interviewing SEO companies cause they want to show up in Google for people who are looking for a business lawyer in Overland Park. In their mind they’re thinking they’re willing to spend about $750 a month on this effort. That seems reasonable, and some SEO companies in the past have tried to pitch them contracts for roughly that amount.
The SEO companies start swarming, competing and trying to price themselves into this law firm. The SEO companies makes promises. The law firm compares prices and picks the SEO company that seems the most reasonably priced. Money is exchanged, the law firm says we’re looking forward to your progress, let’s meet regularly and in those meetings you can show us great progress on how you’ve gotten us to the first page of Google.
6 months later the SEO company gets fired by the law firm, and the law firm is left with a fundamental distrust of all SEO service providers.
So where was the failure? In this particular scenario it was actually the law firms failure to own their SEO efforts. They hired an SEO consulting company and expected that company, on it’s own to show them progress. The law firm was not really involved in the process, they just figured the SEO company was getting their $750 a month and would get them where they needed to be.
What the law firm failed to realize is that from a “marketing” perspective, they are holistically a downtown “Kansas City” law firm. Everything about their marketing, Website, social efforts, says “We’re in Kansas City, with sub-offices in Overland Park and Lee’s Summit.” What the law firm failed to consider is that there are huge business and estate law firms centered/headquartered in Overland Park. What the law firm failed to do was shift significantly more of their marketing budget into efforts to convince Google that they are the “Authority” law firm in Overland Park Kansas for business and estate law. What the law firm did was put the entire burden on the SEO company’s shoulders and say, show us great progress, we’re paying you $750 a month.
As a business owner, the first and most important step in any Kansas City Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) effort is the development of a keyword string list. These are the defined things you want to show up for in Google. Not some vague set of instruction to an SEO company. The business owner must own this list. The SEO company should help them develop the list, but the list is 100 percent the final decision of the business because they have to shift everything about themselves to support this list.
Secondly, SEO is a team effort. You hire the experts to guide you and do “some” of the work, but as the business owner you have to work it as well. You take your defined list of keyword strings and you make everything your company says, markets, prints, socializes, to be about those things. For the next 6 months to 6 years everything about your company focus is on those keyword strings. An SEO company cannot do it by themselves.
Lastly, set realistic expectations. There are people already on the first page of Google for the things you want to be there for. They have worked their bottoms off to get there. Google feels they are the authorities on the things being searched in Google. If you want your Overland Park Website design to be there instead of them, you have to convince Google you deserve to be there. $750 for a law firm wanting to be on the first page of Google for estate lawyer in Overland Park is an unrealistically low SEO monthly budget.