That’s right: If you act, you’ll rank. We’re talking about ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), of course. As a business owner, this is important to you, because you want your business to be found online. And, while it goes without saying that you must have a website, profiles and pages on social media platforms also matter. And it doesn’t stop there: You have to act to rank.
Your Mere Existence Matters
Your prospective client is likely to look up your name or business before they decide to contact you. Guess what?! When they type your name or the name of your business, SERPs will serve them your website, LinkedIn profile, social media pages, Google-related properties, membership directory listings and more. These are all assets by which you can be found online. Their mere existence is a good thing. Even if you do nothing more than implement them, populate them with relevant content and optimize for search engines, you can be found – after a while.
But, what if your clients used keywords – not your name or your company’s name – instead? Would you rank for those?
Time = Money
It’s like this: You can either pay to rank (think pay-per-click or other advertising) or you can spend time and rank. The big difference is organically ranking in SERPs is priceless. Ask yourself, when was the last time you ever clicked on an online advertisement? We’ve found advertising doesn’t work for businesses that are built on relationships.
Quick story: One of our clients had previously paid a good chunk of money for a “click-to-call” campaign to a large online advertising agency. During the obligatory one-year contract time, this got him absolutely NO business – for a variety of reasons. Since hiring us to do social media postings, he has experienced a significant increase in business over the previous year; so much so, that he picked up the phone and called to tell us!
All Your Online Activities Matter Forever
The good news is that all online activities count. You may have noticed that SERPs place results pages from high-volume, high-activity platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook) closer to the top. So, if you are active on any of your networks and platforms, you also earn search engine attention. Whenever you like, share, comment, tweet, re-tweet (you get the idea), it gets noticed.
While basic SEO (on-site search engine optimization) matters, the quality of your comments and content you share also counts. For the above client we mentioned, our efforts have paid off. Today, if you were to plug in his business type, he shows up as the first organic listing in the SERPs.
The bad news is that all online activities matter. Irrelevant, un-optimized, or inappropriate content will either not be found by search engines, or it will.
Quick story: Another client had posted something to an online discussion forum that reflected her strong feelings about a certain issue. This happened twenty years ago!!! (Yes, 20!) A few months ago, if you typed her name into a search engine field, that particular posting showed up on the first page of the SERP. Yes, in the meantime, this particular result no longer ranks on the first page, but that is because other, better content on behalf of her business ranks higher. Nonetheless, let’s use this as a cautionary tale: We are not totally in control (algorithm change, anyone?), and what we do online is most likely find-able FOREVER.
More Engagement, More Juice
All the platforms have an interest in having people engaged and keeping them there. So creating the opportunity for dialog and then actively engaging in it, will earn attention for your business. Note that the more effort you put forth, the more your activities are weighted; for example “creating and posting” is more impressive than “curating and posting.” While we should all be so lucky to post anything that goes “viral,” even lower levels of back-and-forth engagement or increasing audience attention is rewarded with search engine juice.
Content + Consistency = Confidence
The quality of your content will impress the reader with your relevancy and expertise. When you offer (quality) content reliably, your clients will have more confidence in doing business with you and you will stay top-of-mind with your referral base.
When you post content consistently, you will be rewarded with search engine juice. The more effort you put forth, the greater the reward. And, the higher you rank on SERPs, the less money you’ll have to spend on other marketing efforts.
In essence, you are leveraging your time. And that is priceless.