Small Business SEO: A Solopreneur’s Guide

There’s something extraordinarily motivating about being a solopreneur — that is, someone single-handedly making money, with no boss, no schedule, and no obligations other than the ones you make for yourself. It’s also not all that difficult of a dream to achieve given the state of modern Internet commerce.

I’m not talking about the stupid get-rich-quick schemes, I’m talking about the ability that everyone who can type has to do simple things that other people need done. Like they say, if you want to take advantage of a gold rush, you sell shovels. But no matter what your Internet-business-related service or product might be, if you aren’t getting eyes on your offer, you aren’t going anywhere.

Enter the world of small business SEO. Optimizing your website so that it’s picked up by the search engines and put in front of the people most likely to want to purchase your goods or services is no small feat. But even a solopreneur can pull it off.

There are basically three options: you can spend time on SEO; you can spend money on SEO; or you can skip SEO and go straight for pay-per-click marketing.

Spending time on SEO is basically the ‘shoestrings and the seat of my pants’ way of doing things. It’s extraordinarily slow to take effect, it takes a lot out of the solopreneurs that try it, and in the end you really only do it long enough to be able to make a little money and put one of the other options into effect.

Spending money on SEO is exactly what mid-sized businesses do. (Large corporations just buy SEO companies and keep them on staff.) You basically purchase the services of an SEO company and trust them to get you ranked. It’s never a question of if they can, it’s always a question of how much time it’ll take for them to get it done.

Pay-per-click marketing means you don’t bother ranking organically on the search engines because your site appears inside that “Ads” block on Google. It takes a bit more money than getting ranked for SEO, but you get that first-page ranking instantly and for as long as you want to pay for it. Pay-per-click marketing is a dangerous game, however, and hiring a PPC management group to run your campaigns for you is a very, very good idea.

There’s no one who can tell you which route is right or wrong for you, and no one route is right for everybody — test a little bit of each and run with the one the seems the most effective for you.