Small Business Minute

Why do I need SEO?

Recently an artist asked me “Why do I need SEO?  Heck, why do I even need a website?”  The conversation that followed got me thinking about it.  The reality is that there are two issues at hand.  

First Google’s algorithm doesn’t reward the best it rewards the most talked about.  Second people are lazy.



Feb 24, 2022
SEO for small business


Web Design
Mobile Design

Let’s start with Google.  At the core of Google algorithm are two main areas of activity.  Content and backlinks.  There is more to the science of it, and occasionally they really screw up and the whole search thing goes upside down.

Once upon a time Google used government records to see if you had a “legitimate” business.  It quickly became apparent that the “unregistered” businesses were spending more money on ads so that part of the algorithm went way to the bottom.  If you sell popcorn machines from a small store you might be in big trouble because Amazon and every amazon store seller will out spend you for ads and use bots to churn out miles of useless content.


Bad Bots

Bots have become a big issue when it comes to getting it right.  To be honest we use a bot to start some articles for clients.  The big issue is that bots combine parts of similar articles and in one paragraph you might have “the greatest popcorn machine” that “starts house fires”.

A good SEO agency will review and fact check every article, even articles generated by bots.  Bots do lower the cost of creating content, but by themselves they are a dangerous tool.

Good Content

Good Content is critical for good rankings on Google and lowering your cost of customer acquisition. One of the great secrets of lowering your ad costs is to have great content. Quantity matters but quality matters more.

Some SEO’s and online sellers take the shotgun approach. They create as much content as possible and post it everywhere. Those are the folks that last two or three years and move on to do something else.

A minimum of one large blog post of about 1500 words every month or a small post of 300-500 every week is what I recommend to most of my clients. Saying that your popcorn machines are on sale is not a blog post. Talking about amish popping corn is.

Social Media

Once you have a large following, others will repost and post for you on social media. When I say large following I mean a video with at least 100,000 views or at least 1000 YouTube subscribers (not bots or bought on fiver) or 10,000 instagram followers.

These numbers aren’t easy to achieve if you are a small popcorn store in Manteca California. The truth is that you can do it, if you put out enough quality content and spend a little money marketing. Otherwise people are lazy and you will get no reposts.

Lazy People

The reality of todays world is that people are lazy. Just getting them to hit the “like”, “subscribe” or “follow” button is tough. You need to give them a reason that works for them.

What cool thing could our fictitious popcorn shop in the middle of no where Nevada come up with that everyone will like and repost? How about amish jalepeño popcorn? Black, Purple and Orange Halloween Popcorn? Maybe even Bar-B-Que Popcorn.

Credit: The Messy Cook

The secret is to find something that is just cool enough, different enough and fun enough that your soon to be fans and subscribers think it will give them cool points from their friends for reposting. No body is going to repost microwave popcorn for cool points.  Unless they get a free bag then maybe the microwave popcorn post has a shot.

The toughest part of SEO is that the longer you go with out new content, the faster the search engines lose track of you. There are 1 million new websites started every day around the globe, and 100 Million new blog posts. If you don’t want to become “yesterday” give us a call.

Next time – The Secret to Backlinks

Scott Bourquin

Scott Bourquin is the founder of the Bourquin Group, and has been helping businesses design a better user experience since 1990 when he finished his degree in Business IRM at San Jose State.

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