Small business owner Brett Dixon, founder of DP Online Marketing, is the only person I know who talks about SEO (search engine optimisation) and PPC (pay per click) without making me want to shut my eyes and hum.
Amongst many other things, he does rescue jobs for companies who have been blacklisted from Google search because they – or their silly SEO person – has tried to cheat the behemoth’s ever-changing algorithms.
He also gives straightforward advice based on tried and tested methods.
Here are Brett's tips for startups and small businesses who aren't sure where to begin with SEO and PPC:
To be perfectly honest good SEO is something startups can achieve very easily. There are a few technical things at the beginning, but with good website systems such as Wordpress or Wix, it's all done for you (pretty much).
Secondly, blog, blog and BLOG. Constantly. Google eats content for breakfast and the more you blog as a startup the more understanding Google will develop about what your website is/does and then rank you higher as a result.
Thirdly, get a free listing on Yell and the other regular directories you see around the web. If any of these directories mention SEO services then run a mile because spam directories exist and, if you use them, you can be kicked out of Google.
Really, it's that simple at the beginning. Sprinkle some social media into the mix (share the HECK out your blogs) and before you know it, you'll get traffic. Nothing much more than that and anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.
If you're a startup with some money, DO NOT PAY FOR SEO. Do the above yourself and pay for PPC instead (Google AdWords). AdWords gets an advert banged at the top of Google for people searching for what you sell. It's easy to waste money so pay an expert. Most PPC agencies have a £100pm start-up package. Pay them that and then put £100-£500 budget into your ads. You'll be selling within weeks, potentially, maybe days if you're lucky.
Never, ever, EVER pay Yell for anything. The phone book is trying to evolve and they're doing it horribly. They offer £50 packages for Google AdWords and they are worthless.