In part three of her round-up of current issues in SEO, Danielle Haley, Co-Director at FSE Online Ltd, discusses retaining a competitive edge in the fierce search market
The challenge: Finding an identity and standing head and shoulders above the rest
It’s particularly important for smaller search agencies and self-employed SEOs to have a strategy, and stick to it. That said, larger companies with more reach can also fall into the trap of becoming complacent with their own marketing campaigns and will start to see their search engine presence tail-off as a result.
SEOs need to find their niche, their ‘angle’, the thing that really makes them stand out, whether it’s in terms of the services they choose to offer or the kinds of people they want to work for.
The tricky part is deciding which route to take.
How to build a sustainable business model
The easiest way to determine your direction is to work out what you’re good at. If your strengths lie in local search, work with local businesses. If you come from a background in professional services and consultancy is your thing, make this the main focus of your service offering. There will of course be times where you’re asked to step right outside of your comfort zone, but as long as you’ve made a conscious effort to stay one step ahead by following the advice in this mini-series, you’ll be in a position to deal with any challenges that may come your way. Remaining flexible and versatile in the SEO market will ensure you stay ahead of the rest.
No matter how happy you are with your progress, never rest on your laurels. Never take your own marketing for granted. Client work often takes over – we get that – but as the owner or the key decision maker, you’re the one responsible for your own success.
If you’re struggling to grow but still need to add more strings to your bow, why not team up with other professionals? This way, you’ll be able to offer your clients a wider range of services without employing full-time staff and managing the overheads. If you can’t yet afford to employ in-house specialists (I’m talking dedicated SEO consultants, Pay Per Click managers, PHP developers, PR wizards…), finding partners who are willing to collaborate with you under an agreement that benefits the both of you will help you expand at a sustainable rate.
I hope you feel that our last three articles have offered a valuable insight into just some of the many challenges that face today’s search marketing professionals!