Why Your Business Needs SEO?If your business needs a steady-flow of inbound Prospects, then you need SEO. Yeah, it’s that simple.
Wouldn’t it be great if…
…a prospective customer searched on a keyphrase, and your website was on Google’s 1st page? …Instead of being stuck out on page 83 (like you might be right now).
It would be like hiring Google to do your lead-generation…
…without charging you for it? That’s the beauty of SEO. Doing it correctly = free traffic. It comes to you without paying for it.
Because the cold, hard reality is that, at the click of a mouse button, Google is taking your customers and prospects to a website. The question to need to ask yourself is this: “How can I get Google to send them to my website?”
What’s the Value of a Qualified Sales Opportunity?
For most businesses, it’s $5,000 or more…
When your Prospects search online, do they get to your website? If not, you’ve already lost the sale. And your website failed—once again—to be anything more than pretty pictures and words.
Why is SEO/Google Optimization so critical, especially for small business websites?
Because Google has changed the way Customers buy (forever). Even if your sales team are the best closers in the world, if Google can’t find your website, you’ll never get the opportunity to sell.
More than likely, your existing website was built by a designer who didn’t know about Google. Dollars to doughnuts they built a “nice” website that brings you very little traffic.
When you combine the SEO Scorecard with all the available membership resources you will be more than capable of optimizing your site so you will get your fair share of sales leads from your own website.
In this economy, a Google-Optimized website is the smartest (and least expensive) move you can make.
If your business depends on lead generation and putting new opportunities into the top of the funnel, Google Optimized-SEO is something you don’t want to put off. Sales Lead Generation is the lifeblood of small business, and I want to make sure you know how to get your fair share.
And yes, you can do this yourself.
“We have better content on our website than any competitor, but when it came to our Google rankings, we didn’t know what we were shooting for. After following all the instructions in the SEO Scorecard and the SEO Resource Kit, we now know what Google wants to see and how to organize our web pages to jump ahead of the pack. The good news—It’s a whole lot easier than I thought it would be.
Thanks, John, for boiling it down into bite-sized pieces.”
Integrated Building Systems
Columbus, Ohio USA
Google can really do my sales-lead generation?
The short answer: YES! Google does lead-gen.
The same Google that consumer shoppers use to find the best deal in electronics, books, jewelry, real estate and automobiles has found its way into the highly competitive world of selling B2B products and services. Product managers, engineers, specifiers, purchasing agents, shipping clerks—and even CEO’s—are using Google to find solutions and new vendors.
It really doesn’t matter what corporate buyers are looking for—sales training, industrial cleaning supplies, promotional products, small business consulting, offset printing, commercial real estate, internet web hosting, space-age plastics, fluorescent lighting ballasts, tradeshow displays, business intelligence software, flux capacitors, and every other kind of B2B product and service.
The question is NOT about Google’s ability to do sales-lead generation. Clearly, they’re doing a terrific job of directing traffic from their search engine to small business websites all over the world. In fact, B2B Customers and Prospects use Google in every stage of the Buying Cycle—from awareness to research to negotiation to purchase. (ref: Enquiro Business to Business Survey, 2007)
No, the question is NOT about Google’s ability to do lead-gen.
The question is whether or not any of those billions of Google-searches lead to your website!
Need more convincing of Google’s B2B impact? Here are five numbers that say it all.
3.0 million — 58% — 87.8 billion — 58% — Zero
3.0 million is the number of searches Internet users conduct every minute (worldwide).
58% of these searches go through Google.
(as of December 2009, comScore’s qSearch study of Internet statistics show Google’s share growing 62.4 percent! In the USA, in December 2011, Google’ share is 66.1% of the search traffic. USA search traffic during this month was 20.5 billion.)
87.8 billion searches were handled by Google just in the month of December 2009 (imagine what they are today…hint: they didn’t go down). That’s more than 4 BILLION web searches every day.
65% of B2B Buyers make an Internet search their first step in the process of finding new suppliers and vendors (and the B2B search engine of choice? 3/4 use Google).
(Enquiro Business to Business Survey, 2007)
Zero is the number of Prospects who got to your website through Google because your website wasn’t optimized for Google. Plain and simple, Google doesn’t know you exist. And for you, Google is NOT generating leads.
Bottom Line: Google is now the main artery between a qualified Prospect and your small business. But, unless you’ve “trained Google” on what you sell, what makes your products and services different than other suppliers and provided responses to common sales objections (all the stuff you probably already use to train your Sales Reps, by the way), Google can’t divert any of its search traffic to your website.
You mean I don’t need outside sales reps anymore?
No. You still need Sales Reps. After you accomplish just the SEO Basics (i.e., making your site “Google-Optimized”) and you begin to move more of your lead generation to the Internet and implement other worthwhile marketing strategies, your Sales Reps will be talking with Prospects who’ve sought you out, not the other way around.
But maybe this is a good time to stop and answer this question:
“Are you still selling like the Internet doesn’t exist
or that it’s just a passing fad?”
You might still be hanging onto the same formula for generating new business I learned when I started my career at Intel in 1979. It went like this:
100 dials on the phone = 20 meetings = 10 proposals = 1 or 2 deals
It was Predictable. Measurable. Cost-Effective. It was “Old Math.”
In pre-Google Old Math days, when the need arose Buyers called their favorite Sales Reps and set up a series of fact-finding meetings and presentations. For the times when Buyers had to find a new supplier, they’d turn to the Thomas Register—a multi-volume directory of big green books (each the size of the New York Yellow Pages) which covered 67,000 industrial categories.
“Marketing” meant something different back then, too. In those pre-Internet days, Marketing was what Sales Reps, like me, did to drum up business between client meetings.
Yes, those were the good ol’ days. Vendors closely guarded and controlled product information and specifications. And if a Buyer wanted the data, they had to get it from a Sales Rep. That gave Sales Reps incredible leverage.
Today, Selling and Buying are very different!
No longer a news flash, it’s nearly impossible for a Sales Rep to cold-call their way to a meeting. Stopping by a Buyer’s office without an appointment is a surefire way to make a potential customer angry. And e-mail? Forget about it. Unsolicited e-mail marks you as a spammer.
Buyers simply don’t want to see you.
Why? Because the Internet has created such a freeflow of information, Buyers no longer need to talk with a Sales Rep to get what they need to do their job. Today, Buyers have all the leverage. For the early steps in the buying cycle where needs are uncovered and opportunities are explored, a Sales Rep has been replaced by an anonymous Google search.
But many B2B marketing and sales people continue to sell and market like it still was 1979. Trying to survive only on the power of personal referrals and how much territory their Sales Reps can drive (or fly). If this sounds like you and your small business, my friend, you’re living in a state of deep-seated denial.
But you are not alone.
Just recently I conducted a workshop for small business owners and sales executives on the topic of B2B sales & marketing in the post-Internet world.
Prior to the workshop, I randomly selected 5 of the attendee websites and ran each of the sites through the Free SEO Scorecard. Not one business had even the most basic of basics on their sites.
As much as Google might want to index the content on these 5 company’s websites, because their websites lacked basic/fundamental instructions that search engines require, Google ignored them.
When I brought this to the attention of the workshop attendees, I got a unanimous shrug. As I later discovered, these small business owners were so invested in Old Math selling, they refused to realize that Google had caused their entire sales process to change. Unfortunately for them, it is not business as usual. And it never will be again.
It’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way, too!
Is your website ready for Google? Mine wasn’t.
A few years ago, I reached my decision-point. I couldn’t afford to ignore Google’s impact on my market (and my small business). For every hard-fought personal referral earned through face-to-face selling, I was missing 20 other qualified prospects that would have come to my site if Google’s search engine had been able to find me.
But to Google, my website was invisible. I simply didn’t exist. I had to do something to get visitors to my website. And as you may know, that meant optimizing my website for Google SEO—or—making it “Google-Optimized.”
What better way to learn about the basics of Google Optimized-SEO/Optimization than online? I found several forums and websites that seemed to offer good information and I took it to heart.
Based on what I read, I made a number of changes:
- I built a new website (clearly, the old one wasn’t working).
- I hired bright, talented web designers who made the pages look pretty. Not that search engines, like Google, care about design, but the old site wasn’t good for humans, either.
- We created a lot of cool images, just for the website.
- We made sure people could easily navigate the site.
- I learned about the the importance of relevant, topical content (Google loves this stuff).
- I started writing a blog.
- We loaded the site with pictures and testimonials from my customers.
All well and good, but it was taking forever for me to evaluate how I was doing. We’d post content and then wait…and wait…and wait…for Google to re-index our pages. We make changes then go through the wait-cycle all over again.
That was when I decided to catalogue everything I had experienced—into and eBook and e-course. I knew others were having the same struggles I was.
Then, I started working on a web-application (what you now see as the Free SEO Scorecard). After a couple years of effort and testing, we brought it to the market at an affordable price—so NO ONE would have an excuse for not writing and publishing SEO-optimized content.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) SEO procedures
The SEO Scorecard (combined with the resources in the SEO Resource Kit) record the steps I followed, organized into 4 sections (what I call the 4 Key Google optimization Factors). It’s how I attacked my own Google problems and what allowed me to get the Google Optimized-SEO rankings I was looking for. It’s short-and-sweet, concise and to-the-point.
Your 30-day, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) plan for accomplishing all the SEO basics for your small business B2B website.
I spare you all the fluff (less is more).
As an example of its concise, to-the-point format, on page 7, I tell you to avoid building your site with Flash technology. It takes me about ten words to tell not to do this. But that one direct command—if you follow it—will spare you from the feeling of complete stupidity. Like how stupid I felt when I had a Flash-based website built for my own small business several years ago. It took me six months to figure out what a mistake I had made. I wish someone would have just told me not to do it. That piece of advice—on its own—would have saved me at least $10,000 for the cost of the site design, not to mention the loss of prospective customers who couldn’t find me on Google!
“As an entrepreneur and someone who has studied search engine optimization and website development for years, I found John’s book not only highly informative—but essential to my website success and organic rankings!
He brings to light areas I had never considered which will put me far ahead of those competitors in my field. It’s like having a secret weapon few people know about—just hope your competition doesn't find out about him! I plan on using his concepts and ideas not only on my website, but in my marketing campaign overall as well.
A++ John and thanks!”
Greg Phelps, President
Independent Fee-Only Financial Advisor
The 4 Key Google Optimization Factors of Do It Yourself (DIY) SEO Basics
You may be familiar with how Google indexes websites and know the important role topical content plays in my Google ranking, but have you mastered all four of the optimization key factors?
The 4 Key Google Optimization Factors
- Formatting your content to make your website easy for search engines to index.
- Site architecture: linking your site together so that Google knows which pages are most important.
- Placing your keywords in the proper locations on your page for optimal ranking effect.
- Staying on Google’s RADAR by monitoring the latest search engine strategy and tactics.
While some sites get one or two of these correct, I found out that it’s rare to see a site which has mastered all four. And that’s good news for people like you and me, because once we understand the art of creating a Google SEO-friendly site, we’ve got a huge advantage over our less agile competitors.
For each of these 4 key factors, the SEO Scorecard provides a checklist of do’s and don’ts. Sound simple? Yes—that’s the whole point.
“The SEO Scorecard is excellent…Really valuable to someone who is not deeply entrenched. If I shore up my business in the areas indicated, it is not too likely I have missed a major area. Once I have it ‘shored up,’ I can drill down—with confidence.”
Will Baccich, CEO
Global Data Vault
Who needs it?
I’d like to say that SEO and the Scorecard is for everyone, but in reality it’s most effective when it’s in the hands of people who want to build their own automated uptake mechanism for lead generation. Like me, they want a system that gets integrated into their business. An asset that generates activity 24x7 and won’t leave for the competition and take their book-of-business with them!
The SEO Scorecard is especially intended for smart people who have wised-up over the years and recognize that there is no fairy dust to sprinkle on a website. No, the truth of the matter is that it takes a great deal of work to make it into the big leagues, which for the most part requires—and here’s the big surprise—topical content that humans (not computers) actually want to read!
That said, these resources spell out a procedure to follow to give yourself a fighting chance. You can use the tools for optimizing your website or if you have employees or contractors doing your website work, you can use the SEO Scorecard as a checklist to make sure the work’s been done correctly.
“We’re in the measurement and metrics business, but when it came to developing our company website I had no way to audit our web designers until I got Google Optimized.
Do yourself a big favor and get it before anyone works on your website. Then make sure your designers follow John’s instructions.”
John Oskin, Founder
Northbrook, Illinois USA
What you need (3 basic requirements)
Like all things related to websites, you (or someone on your team) has to be able to make edits to your web pages (practical skills), be able to login and upload updated pages (site access) and be able to write about your products and services (topical content).
1. Practical Skills
If you have a website and you know a little HTML, you probably have everything you need. You might be using Dreamweaver, FrontPage or a plain-old garden-variety text editor—any of these is fine as long as you (or your web-savvy 16 year-old kid who’s going to do the heavy-lifting for you) are capable of following directions and are able to look things up online if you don’t understand a particular term.
For example, if I tell you to create an account on Google to track your website statistics (I do tell you to do this—and I even give you a Google Analytics Setup Guide as a Free bonus), you should be capable of going online, registering for an account, and cutting and pasting a few lines of HTML code on your website.
If you or someone on your staff can’t do this, you have 3 options:
- Hire someone who can do this for you.
- Postpone membership and take a class on HTML at your local junior college.
Recognize this is going to be too big of a challenge and give up.Sorry, that’s NOT an option!
2. Site Access
There is one important technical requirement (I learned these the hard way. Believe me). You must be able to modify the HTML code on each page of your site. If you are using a Content Management System (like I was years ago), you may think you can edit the HTML code, and the CMS vendor may have even told you it was possible (they lied), the truth is that many content management systems don’t give you the level of control you need in order to get the page ranking you desire.
Make sure to check this out before you start. If you are using a CMS and are not certain about this, just ask your web host or the people who installed your Content Management System or blogging software. They may not want to tell you, but they will if you ask them.
3. Topical Content
For Google to find your website, you have to have topical content. Here are two examples:
- If you’re in the plumbing supply business, your website should have pages of material about plumbing supplies. You might have pages devoted to the brands you sell or plumbers you recommend. There may be content devoted to product specifications and installation requirements.
- If you’re in the rental equipment business, your site could have information about the brands you carry, as well as instructions for using each piece of equipment.
While you don’t have to be a professional copywriter to do any of this (in fact, the more you write from the heart, the better you’ll do), the bottom line is that your site has to have relevant, topical content. And since it’s your website, who better to write that content than you? Plus, you probably already have a lot of what Google’s looking for right in the existing materials you use to train your Sales Reps!