by Frank Reed
If you read my post on small business search marketing, you recall that I talked about how difficult it can be for small businesses to make search marketing work for them. Many simply don’t understand the opportunity that exists. Some don’t think that they have the technical know-how. Even more believe that they simply don’t have the time. Well, if I might be so bold, I can give you the most important key to success in search marketing.
The real key to search marketing success has nothing to do with technical know-how. For those of you looking for a magical search technique that will garner rankings and conversions for your business, I am sorry to disappoint you.
Let’s be honest here. There is no one sure-fire way to write copy that will be effective with the engines. There is no one sure-fire way to write a title tag or meta description tag that will ensure strong rankings for your most important keywords. There is no one sure-fire way to build one-way inbound links to your Web site that will make it a license to print money. Now, of course, these are all important techniques required to get you in the game, but by themselves produce limited success, making you wonder why you even bothered.
The real key to search marketing success is contained in one word: commitment. That is one power-packed word that means different things to different people on different days. For the small or medium business (SMB) marketer, however, it can be defined more narrowly. I am contending that in the vast majority of the cases in search marketing, the players that are the most committed to success will reap the most rewards.
Go ahead and say it out loud for me: “That’s it? That’s the big secret you have? I don’t need you to give me that kind of wisdom, Frank.” So give me a chance to explain further.
Commitment in search marketing is quite different than in other areas of business. The biggest reason is since it is a virtual unknown to most SMB owners there has to be a commitment to learning. More importantly, you must commit to saying, “I don’t know anything about this, so I will have to make an extraordinary effort to either hand it off to someone I trust or to learn it on my own.” If you can’t check your ego at the door, then don’t bother knocking, Mr. Entrepreneur. Search marketing is a humbling experience for even the most seasoned veterans.
A commitment to learning demands a commitment of time, which is the most valuable and scarcest resource of any business owner, especially in the current economic climate. Many rail against the need to spend time on something that is not tried and true. Many even view search marketing as more speculative, because of the time it takes to get traction in the engines. It takes time to learn search. It takes time to implement techniques. It takes time for results. If you can’t commit to the time it takes, then you will not have the success you desire.
For those of you who have decided that this commitment already seems like too much but you still want to get in the game, you need to commit to a partner. You need to find a consultant or an agency that desires to be your partner, and then commit to doing what they say.
If a consultant gives you a task that needs to be done by your team (like uploading new title tags, for instance), you need to commit to doing it immediately. Don’t sit on the item then be disappointed when you don’t get the results you wanted. If you do not put something into effect when your partner has handed it to you, it is no longer the partner’s problem. It’s yours. Commit the resources to get the work done, because delaying only puts off your success.
So take a stand. Commit to success with search marketing. If you decide to not get involved because it is too much for you, then consider what you are really committing to. Your commitment to being “safe” or “prudent” could come at the greatest cost imaginable: opportunity.