There is a certain magic to how fast things can change and lead to great leaps forward in the Internet world. For example, less than a decade ago, outsourcing a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) agency was prohibitive to small businesses because you had to spend at least $10,000 – $15,000 per month, typically with a 12-month contract.
Other options were to do SEM in-house (who has the time or the expertise?) or to hire a freelancer (time spent on manual work instead of strategy; and sometimes only SEO or PPC offered, not both.) Plus, no reporting technologies existed that could track numerous engines all in one place and in real time. These were the “not-so-good” old days.
Let’s fast forward. For a few years now, small businesses are able to outsource teams of SEM experts to bring more visitors to their websites quickly and affordably. Finally, we’re able to offer custom solutions, results tracking platform, and short-term contracts at “you-can-afford-this” prices.
In addition, the way to get to top rankings has changed. The biggest change by far is what search engines consider important. Fact: 7 of the top 10 factors that influence the engines have to do with links.* But not all links are created equal – quantity and quality count.
Another exciting development that is a must for local businesses is Maps Optimization. It is a place on a search engine’s page where your business can display its name and phone number next to a map. These results typically show up above SEO results, so it is often crucial for a local business to be listed along its competitors.
I must admit that I get very excited when a service matures to be accessible to the masses because our economy runs on small business. As a company, we’ve been dedicated to staying on top of marketing and technology trends, especially as they relate to small business. That’s why I couldn’t be happier that the Search Engine Marketing playing field has been leveled.