Small business SEO is the cornerstone of every small business marketing campaign. Organic traffic from Google can mean bank for your business. It can be a game changer.
Search engine optimization pays for itself. Think about traditional advertising — you pay for ad placement and hope to get results. If no new business rolls in, you’re back at square one.
The difference when it comes to small business SEO is that the investment you make continues to keep paying you back long afterwards. That’s the reality of ranking for a profitable keyword. When someone types in what they are looking for and finds you, what else can be better?
Used in tandem with on-page SEO, it’s a powerful strategy to add to your marketing arsenal.
Google My Business: Is It Good For SEO?
Google My Business is a free tool by Google aimed at helping small business owners manage their online presence easier. It combines Google Places and Google+ pages with Search and Maps to make updating your business information with Google a breeze.
Does it help your small business SEO campaign?
While it is important to optimize for your local market, Google My Business will not build links to your website or help you with on-page optimization. And those are the two areas to be concerned with the most.
What You Need To Know About SEO Services Pricing
Affordable SEO can fall into four different categories:
- By the hour
- By the project
- By retainer
- Pay for performance
SEO Services Pricing (Hourly):
Hourly SEO pricing is typically the most expensive. This is usually reserved for SEO experts who work with an agency or are training a team or business owner over a set amount of hours. This is almost never a good option for small business owners because SEO takes time. A well optimized SEO campaign can still take around 3 – 6 months.
SEO Services Pricing (Project-based):
Project-based SEO pricing can be a good option for specific tasks. Say you need to train your in-house team or you want a consultant to lay out a strategy for you to tackle on your own. Projects typically fall into SEO audits, link building campaigns, or creating the actual strategy.
SEO Services Pricing (Monthly Retainer):
Monthly SEO packages are the norm. With this level of service clients are outsourcing strategy and execution. It’s very normal for monthly small business SEO services to require a contract of up to 6 months to a year.
SEO Services Pricing (Pay for Performance):
Pay for performance SEO focuses on bringing results first.
No money upfront. Here an SEO service provider will work to promote higher rankings for their client, and once that customer starts ranking for their keywords, they then would begin paying for the service.
Not too many companies offer this level of small business SEO service. Most SEO companies stay away from this pricing model because it makes them really live up to what they say. If a customer does not rank, they don’t pay. It’s for this reason that companies that offer pay for performance SEO truly must understand Google and how to rank websites because if they don’t, they don’t earn any money.
Which means they wouldn’t be in business for long.
HARO, How You’ve Changed!
A Lesson in How to Handle Your Tribe
Help a reporter out was a 3 times a day newsletter where media could put out what they were looking for. People who read the free newsletter would respond to the reporter to pitch themselves or their clients. It came out 3 times a day and he sold single ads in each one. At one point there was around a 2-3 month waiting list to get an ad in HARO. It was very popular and best of all it was FREE to use for the reader. Peter Shankman used social media well and told little stories about his travel and life and what he was doing. Then a huge PR company bought HARO. I have been watching to see how the newsletter would change with someone else at the helm.
Here is what has happened.
Peter Shankman is well loved and respected in the social media space, so they kept him on. At first you could hardly tell that the new company owned it. The big give away was that the new company to sell their services used every ad space. It made it look like they had bought a lot of ad space. So instead of learning about an innovative new business that had a cool service to sell in each newsletter, you saw the same lame ad from the big company. Everything looked pretty much the same. I didn’t think they would keep Peter on forever and I was correct. After a while the newsletter ‘introduced” the new editors.
There seemed to be a team of editors for the newsletter. They “introduced” themselves, talked about what they did and tried to write some cute banter about what was going on in the office or in their lives. The problem was, nobody cared. Peter’s shared bits of his life and it was interesting. His travels, his meetings, his cat dying, all that make for a tight connection to his tribe. The new editors tried to converse with the tribe as if they were their tribe. Like a new stepfather in the home trying to connect with the kids, the tribe basically ignored them. They didn’t know these new people and didn’t care about the office stories. Frankly, they worked in an office like everyone else. They didn’t travel and have an interesting life.
Somehow big company figured that out and thankfully stopped adding that crap to the newsletter. Then began the big chop. The newsletter came out three times a day with over 100 opportunities. As of today, less than 55 were on the list. Something has changed in their policy. I know a couple of reporters who have been cut off from being able to post requests. Once your email is blacklisted you can no longer post any requests. Perhaps that practice is wide spread. Or perhaps they only allow people who pay for big company services to post. I am not sure what the criterion is.
HARO has certainly seen better days. Her second husband (big company) does not treat her as well as Peter Shankman did. She has had to downgrade her lifestyle and runs on her old reputation. She seems to be on the decline. While people still use it, I don’t hear people sharing the “secret” anymore and I can’t remember the last time anyone said they got a really big media opening from it.
Many reporters have learned they don’t need a central place to send out their media needs. They can create their own following on social media and get pitches everyday. I know I do. If you are with a major outlet, you don’t need a HARO to help you get the word out. People who want to be in the outlet or publication are constantly looking on line for any opportunity. Many people have just focused on where they want to be seen and waiting for the right opportunity and no longer look to HARO to bring them information. Google alerts and just following a reporter on twitter can serve to get you a nice write up.
The lesson here is about the tribe. The tribe is not transferable. You can tell when Peter left, when the information was being phoned in. I think some of the last few posts were ghost written for him by the company. It just didn’t have his voice anymore.
Only you can feed your tribe. People want more contact and interaction with you. They don’t want to be sent to another company to get what they want. People are not excited about JV product launches. Why? Because while you can partner and sell with people, your tribe is looking for more of you! Not more of someone else.
I think JV connections are great but tribes cannot be passed around for everyone to pitch anymore. They are on the list for the person they got on the list for. No one else really matters.
Something else that is better that HARO will come along soon. There are always people to innovate. But like the hot chick from High School who got FAT AND UGLY, HARO has lost its main appeal.