When it comes to Internet Marketing, there’s simply no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” solution. The Web is a living laboratory — a constantly evolving, ever-changing landscape that requires significant trial and error to figure out what works for any given moment or market.
In fact, some tactics that promise big returns for little commitment and a short turnaround can actually damage your efforts in the long run. In the home services and HVAC marketing industries, there are a lot of companies promising “silver bullet” solutions, but these are nothing more than empty promises.
As you will see, there are no silver bullets on the Internet. Understanding this alone will give you a competitive advantage over other home services companies who insist on using such quick-fix, convenient, and ultimately short-sighted tactics.
Your Search Engine Optimization Goals May Not Be What You Think
A few years ago, getting top rankings in the search engines was a primary goal of search engine optimization (SEO). While it’s still nice to rank in the number-one spot for one of your top keywords, it’s not as important as many marketers believe.
What matters more than your search engine rankings are the actual results you get from your SEO efforts. Your search engine optimization efforts should result in:
Conversions or sales
Instead of focusing on where you’re ranked, focus on the actual results you’re getting from your Internet Marketing campaigns. Results such as traffic, qualified leads, and sales are the results that will produce revenue.
Think about it: What good is a first-page, number-one ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) if it’s not generating revenue for your company? After all, page rankings and keyword densities alone don’t sell units and service plans.
A lot of agencies will target low-traffic, low-value terms because they look good on an SEO report and create the appearance of good ROI. However, you’ll only get real, revenue-generating results by targeting the right terms and using the right tactics. And these terms and tactics are never the easy quick and easy solutions that these SEO companies represent them to be. They take time and require an evidence-based approach.
Search Engine Optimization is an Ongoing Effort
What many businesses, particularly those who aren’t highly experienced in Internet Marketing, don’t realize is that search engine optimization is not a one-and-done, set-it-and-forget-it effort. It’s an ongoing process that takes months or even years to perfect, with continuous monitoring of data and analytics to optimize your campaigns and adapt your techniques to market shifts and changing consumer demands.
The length of time it takes to see results from search engine optimization efforts depends on the specific tactics you’re employing and the problems you’re solving. For instance, Michael Martinez of SEO Theory points out that you can see increased traffic from SEO in as little as 24 to 48 hours by publishing new URLs with substantial, rich, indexable content.
That said, the traffic generated per new piece of content published is often disappointing, so even this strategy must be thought of as an ongoing, long-term effort. If every new piece of content published generates one new visitor, publishing one new page or article every day of the year generates only 365 new visitors.
But if this content is monitored for performance, the resulting data can be used to optimize each piece of content so that it generates 10 or 100 times more visitors. This speaks to the value of leveraging SEO as an ongoing effort — it can mean all the difference between getting 365 visits and 3,650 or even 36,500 website visits in a year.
It doesn’t end there, either. That raw traffic has to convert, and for that to happen, visitor behavior has to be monitored. The content and on-page conversion elements (buttons, form-fills, page layout, etc.) must then be tweaked and adjusted according to that behavior to achieve optimal leads and sales.
Avoid Tactics That Promise Substantial Results in Little Time
Given the long-term, consistent efforts required to see a substantial return on your search engine optimization investment, it’s no surprise that many businesses look to strategies that promise significant traffic or other results in a very short amount of time. But be wary of seeking out the “magic potion” for Internet Marketing. It doesn’t exist, and if someone tells you it does, then you should immediately be wary of what they have to say.
These tactics are known as “grey hat” or even “black hat” SEO, and they often promise substantial results in a very short time with minimal effort. While tempting, grey- and black-hat strategies can actually do your business more harm than good.
These search engine optimization tactics may have worked at one time, but Google aggressively rolls out updates and filters like Panda and Penguin to its search algorithm. These updates and filters identify and penalize sites attempting to use tricks and short-term strategies to, essentially, game the system.
A tactic that once produced overnight, first-page rankings for preferred keywords can now earn you substantial penalties that are difficult to overcome. Instead, you should approach SEO and Internet Marketing campaigns as long-term initiatives that you can refine and optimize over time with data and analytics, and you’re on your way to long-term success.
LeadBuilder’s mission is to empower business owners in the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and pool and spa industries with the right tools and the approach to online marketing. We care about helping to grow your local home services business. With our help, you can generate qualified leads for your business for years to come with consistent and sustainable Web marketing campaigns, starting today.