In the world of small business, quantity and quality are often positioned in a tug-of-war. That’s because the cold, hard fact of having limited resources tricks us into thinking that we can’t have it all. In the physical realm, of course, this is true: You can’t give 7 people each a whole potato if you only have 6; you can’t catch all the fish in the sea and expect the sharks not to go after humans when they have nothing left to eat.

But the digital realm is magical.
Content Marketing
Okay, that’s debatable. But it does offer a solution to this crazy conundrum: how to put out quantity and in return receive quality. Let’s look at SEO services.

SEO Services work with a small business like this:

  1. They assess your business’s needs and those of your customers.
  2. They do nitty-gritty research to find the keywords that potential customers will use in trying to find goods and services like the one’s you’re offering.
  3. They might take a look at your site to see how “optimised” it is – in other words, whether or not you’re properly placing those keywords into your own content (so that your content appears in Google searches… See where this is going?)
  4. You work out all the details about the extent of content and optimisation work from the SEO services company and voila – your business is optimised. For now.

Maybe you stop here, inserting those keywords into your content. Google (and other search engines) change search algorithms all the time, so SEO services exist to do the strategy-adapting for you. Maybe you’re busy and want nothing to do with blogs and press releases and articles and links, so,

  1. you hire an SEO company to publish content on sites that aren’t yours, which will link back to your site, driving traffic (aka customers) to the fabulous things that you do.

Either way, the gist is this: more content going out = more customers coming in.

But what about quality?

Maybe, just maybe, your aim is not to bombard people with advertisements about how great you are, hoping to schmooze them into buying your product. Maybe you believe in what you do, and you want to attract people who believe in it too.

That’s what’s so great about SEO: It’s inbound marketing, meaning it works only because people have already expressed some interest. SEO services are inextricably tied to figuring out what people want and more importantly, who those people are.

Let’s compare:

Blogging's compounding returns

A billboard to optimised content.

You advertise your business on a billboard. You pay monthly to do so. Lots of people drive by your billboard every day. Some notice and are even interested. Some are busy watching the road. Some see that same billboard – internalise that same message – every single day. Great: You’re reaching lots of people. Like a commercial fishing boat catches a thousand tuna fish with one giant net (meanwhile catching every unwanted rock, fish and precious piece of coral in its path). Great.

You decide to put an end to this insanity, realising there are less repetitive alternatives to cluttering up roadside scenery: Leave the passersby alone and bring the dedicated customers to you.

Optimised content – that is, content that contains the keywords your potential customers are using in their own searches – encourages engagement. It relies on the active participation of people (readers, re-tweeters, video-watchers), rather than on their passive absorption of your advertisement. In turn, your business can attract quality customers who are actually interested in what you’re doing, instead of passersby who happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Your content also keeps working for you, well after you’ve invested in it. Take a look at this graph, for instance:

So when you crank out content that is optimised with the keywords people are using, your message reaches people who are already looking for it. They then realise it’s you they’ve been looking for. And when people are looking for you, your eventual encounter is enriched by a sense of purpose. You both feel it: Your customer arrives ready to believe in you; and your business awaits, ready to be believed in.
Doesn’t that sound like magic?

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