Small Business SEO: Pick the Game You Can Win
Individuals and small businesses doing their own SEO typically find themselves wearing too many hats, having too much to do, and not enough time or expertise to do it all. On one hand, you absolutely, desperately, 100% must leverage the power of the web for your business through some dynamic SEO strategy. On the other hand, you can’t possibly master all of the tactical nuances of things like content optimization, link building, Facebook marketing, Twitter, website analytics, PPC advertising, and the like.
If you have tons of cash on hand, no problem. Hire a big SEO firm. Your team can hire twitterers and bloggers for you, build your website, and setup your e-Commerce store.
BUT — what if you have no capital and a dearth of experience? Should you give up on the SEO game? Absolutely not. But you need to husband your resources and use them sparingly.
Pick the game you can win.
Can you become the number one twitterer in your niche? If you write about diets, chances are that you can’t. If you write about ichthyology, perhaps you can. Can you win a keyword war for a term like “New York City Travel?” Maybe – but it will likely take you years. You probably would be better off shooting for something more on the long-tail side of keywords. Setting the terms for victory is critical for achieving it.
Start with small wins.
Practically speaking, consider the old adage “measure twice, cut once.” Really think out what you want to achieve from SEO. Get your thoughts down on paper. Pass them by people whom you trust who have industry experience. And give yourself the opportunity for small wins as well as big wins. For instance, instead of looking to make $3,000 a month within three months, look to get 50 visitors a day to your site, and then work up from there. Relish each increment of success – this will motivate you to work harder and grow bigger.
Not to confuse things… but don’t get so caught up in the “measure twice, cut once” mindset that you don’t get out there and DO something. Your needs and knowledge will evolve as you move forward. So strike a balance between strategizing and doing, between taking projects on yourself and outsourcing them to people.
There is no magic formula. So prepare to experiment and give yourself breathing room to fail… a lot of room!