The Real Future of SEO for Small Businesses

Let’s face it, let’s be real. There are 10 organic slots for Google keyword searches. Roughly 8 ads. Maybe a spot for maps or a Wikipedia entry, whatever is Google’s whim of the day. But remember this:

There only about 20 positions.
And nobody clicks through to page 2.

So can small businesses really compete with Chili’s, Office Max, or whatever your big-name competition is? They have 1 billion references and links on the web. Their marketing budgets are in the millions. You have none of that.

I am truly amazed that in today’s Google results, jSinger can get local businesses onto Page 1, within the 20 positions. And, sometimes in multiple positions.

Hopefully, this day lasts for a while. But it may be dying fast. In five years, I think something has got to give. Either Google search results change as we know it, or small businesses will drown in the ocean of big corporations in Google rankings.

So live it up while you can, small businesses. And hire an SEO company fast. You may have a few years of good ROI from SEO. But start thinking about Plan B. Crank out the email newsletters, consider sales-focused CRM marketing again. Treat your customers well, you will need their word-of-mouth.

I read articles each week talking about “the future at SEO.” Interestingly, few of these authors actually tell readers anything concrete. Just things NOT to do, things that are outdated, and other safe things that make the author look visionary.

This pattern also pops up in conversations I’ve had with  national SEO experts. They will have a checklist of  things not to do, and basic “to do’s” that have been known in the SEO community for some time. But they won’t take chances, and they won’t share secrets. Perhaps they fear being wrong and harming a business. Perhaps they don’t know any more than the rest of us.

Overall at jSinger, we do a pretty good job with SEO for clients in many industries, getting Page 1 rankings for good keywords is the norm. Things are getting harder, and here’s what I think of the real future of SEO:

Rankings will be dominated by people with the most money.

Yeah, you know the old phrase, “it takes money to make money” quote? It’s the same thing online.

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