It's the hottest thing since Management Training and Google... and it's called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Basically, how to manipulate the Google search engine to get your name up to the top of the list, and not just once, but to saturate the whole visible portion of the page. Sounds kind of selfish to me!
What about the business owner who doesn't have time to tackle a SEO project? Well, you can always pay Google per click, and they'll be happy to put you up to the very top, but at $0.05 to $25 per click with no guarantee of making any sale, it can get to be a pretty hefty price to pay.
Now if the clicks got you the sale, it would be worth it, especially if you got the return business and created a return business stream where you could just do the pay per click for a month and consider it part of your marketing budget for the year. Well, times are pretty tough, and most people don't have the 6-10 thousand dollars laying to around to make Google Ads an affordable solution for the small and mid size business owner.
So what is involved with SEO? The good news is it's really not that complicated. SEO just takes a little technical savvy and lots of time. Basically, you want people to come to your website, and you want a compelling website that will attract people when they get there. There are tools that can help, but I have seen these tools quickly put the domain being promoted to the very bottom of Google's search list.
Yes, Google will hold a grudge for about 6 months if you try to take shortcuts. Bottom line, spend the time to show people you are an expert in your field, write some articles, use original content, post your articles, get people to take merit of your articles (and this is where the time consuming part really comes in!), and in time, you will rise to the top!
I'm sure you will meet the SEO gurus that tell you, "I can get you to the top overnight?", and I encourage you to ask them, "But can you keep me there?". Remember folks, nothing good comes easy. Most of the information on how to do SEO and do it well can be found (ironically) on Google. My advice to you... If you need some help, hire a technology consultant or project manager to come show you how to do SEO, not to do SEO for you! If you can afford a few hours of time from a skilled consultant, you can take the ball and run with it.
Does SEO work? Well, I started doing SEO for SCHomeSellers.com and noticed a 400% increase in traffic after the first week. After it got to a point where the marketing budget ran out, we worked out a deal where we could split the rewards, but most consultants won't go for that. This was a case where I knew the owners and believed in their business philosophy to help people, there are too many reports today of short sale con artists, and I can vouch for these guys, they are the real deal.
Another benefactor of SEO is West Chester Dentist David E. Stall, DMD. His is still a work in progress but already we are seeing the number of hits increase, and increase fast. I sit with David several nights a week and teach him and his assistant what to do, and when they have some down time at the office, they do it themselves. The phones are ringing more as people make inquiries about the both old services, and new ones like the Botox treatments now being offered at his practice.
SEO is relatively new to the masses but it's not difficult. It is undoubtedly a required skill for business owners that market themselves in any fashion on the internet. I have no doubt that it will soon be a required course at any accredited business school. SEO classes are offered online for a monthly fee or formal classes can be taken.
The simplest way to price a project is to charge by the hour. Rates in SEO vary with the lowest, entry level folks around $40-50, mid-tier consultants around $100-$300 and high-demand firms & people from $300-500. Other high demand firms are obviously actively trying to limit their clients by going way outside the norm and charging $1000 / hour.
The SEO technology changes rapidly, literally week to week. I recommend, to get the best value and information you need, contact a reliable expert.