Google has been making lots of noise of late, penalizing guest blogging network MyBlogGuest, link sellers and buyers, and even marketing firms. As usual, such news was met with much debate, fear, and uncertainty.
Small Businesses are Scared
Small businesses are still struggling to find their place in online marketing. While SEO firms struggle to explain complex topics such as nofollowing links, editorial appropriateness, disavowing links, and reinclusion requests, small business owners already worried about making payroll are losing focus and time.
The answer to Main Street's burgeoning fear of SEO comes from, ironically, Wall Street. For years financial advisors have advocated diversity as the answer to risk. And the analogy extends readily to SEO tactics.
If a small business is afraid of being penalized by Google, they have probably taken on too much SEO risk. The only cure for risk is diversity.
The first cure for excessive SEO risk comes from a Google product called PPC Remarketing. But this is a hard-sell.
Only 3 percent of SMBs say PPC is effective, and many don't understand the difference between traditional search ads and remarketing ads. Additionally, approximately 25 percent of the typical PPC budget is lost to poor campaign management.
Small businesses don't understand the importance of conversion, and believe the tactics are limited to onsite development changes. Strategies such as email nurture and PPC remarketing can improve conversion by 65 percent by bringing leads back. Contrary to popular belief, consumers enjoy getting targeted emails and ads.
A focus on conversion, via both onsite and offsite methods, enhances the user experience of a website. This undoubtedly helps SEO in the long-run.
PR is largely excluded from the small business SEO conversation, which is no longer acceptable. Press Releases are critical for generating buzz and awareness for a small business. And while press releases as a link building strategy is hotly debated, there is no doubt they bring real traffic when well-written.
Syndicate press releases to websites with strong readership such as Yahoo Finance and MarketWatch. Share them on social media and promote them to reporters and customers.
Google has take many actions over the last week to cause fear and uncertainty for small businesses. This creates a great opportunity for integration and reinvention of outdated SEO strategies.
Specifically, small businesses should reconsider PPC (especially remarketing), put a new push on user experience and conversion, and re-engage with their PR teams. Several months of these activities will demonstrate that rankings are improving without a single disavow file or reinclusion request.