SEO is a long-term process, not an overnight success

The evolution of search engine optimization has been swift and impressive. In the past five years, businesses have made more room in their marketing and advertising budgets for online customer outreach programs. With more consumers accessing information on the web, brands have discovered the many benefits in making sure the right content is available through organic searches. However, even today, too many businesses believe search engine optimization is a one-time act – they make a few changes and expect immediate growth. Unfortunately, success doesn't always come so quickly, so it's important to understand the long term capabilities of search engine optimization and how to optimize a web presence for future gains in the marketplace.

Here are three search engine optimization tips for small businesses just starting their inbound marketing campaigns.

1.) Don't try and fix what you can't change – Today's popular search engines like Google and Bing dictate the rules of SEO. Therefore, you shouldn't try and get around these rules and guidelines, but adhere to the policies instead. While you can't convince Google to remove an aspect of its algorithm, you can make changes to the user experience on your site and build an extensive library of content for your site. You can improve your online rankings when you carefully select the right keywords to target, build a quality web page and make sure you don't feature any broken links, develop a sitemap, maintain clean code and promote a diverse array of content types.

2.) Have actual goals – It isn't worth setting a goal to rank high for a specific word. Of course, if you are the number one result, you may drive more traffic to your site, but that type of goal comes with an ending point. The better way to look at SEO is as an ongoing process with evolving goals. Instead of capping your success at achieving the top rank for a keyword, make more lucrative benchmarks like growing your sales by a certain amount within a certain timeframe. This type of self-motivation will help you continue to work your hardest to achieve the results you deserve.

3.) Balance your efforts – A proper inbound marketing campaign includes more than SEO. In fact, inbound marketing works best when a marketing team uses SEO in combination with paid advertising methods, public relations and other search engine marketing techniques. It's all about synergy on the web today.

Set long-term goals for your SEO efforts. Inbound marketing works best when you are in it for the long haul. 

Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.