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Sustainable Growth Marketing with SEO

The trends and algorithms have changed many times since the invention of the internet, but what has always stayed the same is the phrase “Content is King” – Bill Gates 1996. What has changed is how we optimize our websites and web presence. SEO has always been about optimizing your website to serve up to search engines in the most organized way possible. In 2022 we started seeing a shift into a more important “web presence” instead of just an optimized website. In 2023, optimizing your brand across multiple platforms will become the new SEO.

To understand where we are going, let’s talk about where we have been for the last 10 years by highlighting one of our clients

Screen shot of the search term "big check" on google

Try doing a quick search for “big check” and you’ll see that Big Check Store is ranked #1 even over the giant, Amazon. This site was built in 2009 and has held the #1 position for top keyword searches for over 10 years.

We were able to rank the website by using the best SEO practices at the time. Domain authority was big during that time, meaning, having keywords in your domain name was a big SEO advantage. That isn’t as much the case today as short URLs are “in style” to Google, but back then it was huge.

Fast forward through the algorithm updates and we made sure that the website stayed optimized throughout all of them. It’s not a “set-it and forget-it” attitude toward websites. Adding and updating content, as well as following the most updated “best practices”, is incredibly important to stay competitive.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is all about optimizing your content to be served in the easiest way for search engines to read it. Ranking well depends on your competition. If you’re in a highly competitive market, then you would need to spend a lot of resources to gain any traction in search. When customers are searching for “_____ service near me” are you or your competitors showing up?

The Future of SEO

We’ve talked mostly about “on-page” SEO and traditional practices thus far. As we move into 2023 there’s going to be more weight on a term called “web presence”. Your web presence will be measured in mentions around the internet to determine popularity. It’s important to brand yourself to exist across multiple platforms to increase your web presence.

This started in the last couple of years with Google putting more weight into local searches by pushing up the Google Local Search and Google My Business. This actually gave local companies an even ground to compete in the SEO landscape. Many small businesses did not take advantage of this change and competitors quickly started showing up more than them when customers were looking for a company near them.

Do You Need SEO?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is; how much do you need to invest in SEO?

For all businesses, having an optimized website and now an optimized web presence is very important regardless of industry. Also, updating content and staying active online will continue to be important.

Optimization for Local Businesses

With the updates to local search, investing in SEO for a website becomes less important and updating your GMB listing becomes more important. Getting reviews, posting pictures, adding updates, and making sure your description and services are optimized will help you show up over your competitors when people are looking for you locally. The website at this point just becomes social proof and shows your level of professionalism. Most people looking for a local restaurant or plumber are barely going to make it past the Google listing and onto the website.

It will be important to understand local hashtagging in social media to show up more times to a client before they are ready to purchase.

Optimization for National Retailers

Since the local search updates aren’t going to benefit you as much (unless you have a local brick-and-mortar), website optimization for your e-commerce store will become a higher focus than local search. It will also be important to embrace social media, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

SEO for Generating Leads

First and foremost, we look for what questions to answer for clients. What are they looking on search engines to be answered? We use tools to determine popular topics that your clients are looking at and then providing them with their answers. By providing great answers and valuable content, search engines will provide them to new clients.

Here is a question from my friend Jeremy at Since he already dominates the search results for “Jeep tours in Gunnison”, he can focus on showing up for other searches that revolve around tourists visiting the area.

Screen Shot 2022 11 28 at 8.52.19 PM

Trip advisor holds the #1 position and some other heavy hitters that have focused on SEO to rank for their own websites. Trying to outrank already established companies would take a lot of time and dedication, but reaching out to the top position holders to be listed there would be a better short-term gain for visibility. By holding more backlinks from the already established companies, he can use their ranking for his gain.

Local SEO and Social Media

Social media is a topic all it’s own, but the combination between showing up for local search results and also showing up with local hashtags is a great combination. Since users are spending their time prior to direct search, they’re swiping through pictures and reels of their desired destination hashtag to generate ideas for their trip. If I’m planning on visiting Gunnison next summer, then I’ll subscribe to the Gunnison related hashtags to get a taste of what’s going on there. I’ll see fly fishing, hiking, beautiful scenery, and secret spots show up.

If we’re using the example of JJ’s Jeep’s tours, then we can post on social and hashtag in front of the people interested in visiting an area. We can post a video of a very remote location only accessible with a lifted Jeep. They’ll say “wow, I want to get away from the crowd in the mountains and don’t feel like hiking 8 hours”. This way, we organically generate interest so that when travellers are ready to visit the location, they will search directly for his company or the new interest of “jeep tours in Gunnison” which he already holds strong organic SEO positions for.

Is SEO right for my business?

One advantage of working with Clear Skies is that we have a broad range of services and are not bias to a particular lead generation method. If SEO isn’t going to work for your company, we’ll tell you straight out and suggest better ROI options. Let’s take 30 minutes to discuss your small business and find out if it’s right for you, it’s free, just click the link below and find a time that works for you.

Eric Hagelin
Eric Hagelin

Post Author: Eric Hagelin

Founder of Clear Skies Marketing Group

“I believe that small businesses are the backbone of America and I have made it my mission to deliver helpful tips and results to small business owners to increase their web presence.”