The Globe and Mail recently published a compelling case study highlighting how two sophisticated Toronto entrepreneurs – both with MBAs and Bay Street experience – leveraged the online footprint of their existing small business website by bringing in outside help to optimize the site and kickstart their own search engine optimization efforts.
The two business partners – Amy Ballon and Danielle Botterell, co-founders of Admiral Road, a manufacturer of custom fleece blankets, Tee-shirts and other designer items – had gone down the road traveled by many small business owners, utilizing Google AdWords, the pay-per-click program of the market-leading search engine giant. Like many other small entrepreneurs they found their pay-per-click results “expensive in terms of bringing actual customers to [their website].”
Ms. Ballon and Ms. Botterell had already developed key components of an organic search strategy – regularly updating the content on their website, blogging and getting involved in social media sites Facebook and Twitter – however, they found they had hit a wall as neither they, nor their website designer, had the specialized expertise and “technological know-how to optimize [their] site for search engines.”
After surveying local search engine optimization firms which they found to costly for their small business budget, the two entrpeneurs found an SEO consultant online through e-lance.com – an online site matching up clients with technology contractors. The consultant they hired optimized the back end code of their website, tagged their webpages with relevant keywords and provided the know-how they lacked in terms of keyword research and search engine analytics. With the SEO consultant’s help their existing site was updated using basic – but specialized – SEO techniques and knowledge that the two entrepreneurs otherwise did not have.
The result? For the same amount and effort they had spent on their AdWords each month, they were able to boost Admiral Road’s rankings on pertinent keywords to top spots on Google’s search results page. Like many small business owners frustrated with their pay-per-click results, they found that an investment in time and money to optimize their website for organic search resulted in an increase in the online sales at the heart of their business.