More than 70% of all US consumers use the Internet on a daily basis, and those consumers are relying more and more upon the Internet instead of the Yellow Pages when making buying decisions.

That’s why Google is so important – people use it to find products or services. For your small business website this means business.

Small business websites need to focus on attracting qualified traffic to their websites with search engine optimization (SEO) and local targeted online marketing (Google AdWords pay per click), then converting that traffic in calls to action. Those leads will definitely result in new customers. Traffic quality will always be more important than traffic quantity.

What is traffic quality? For example, if you are a law firm in Raleigh-Durham and someone gets to your website searching “lawyer Raleigh”, this is qualified traffic as that visitor is a potential client.

How do you measure traffic quality? Some will say it is impossible to measure, but the answer is simpler. The number of new customers coming from your website is a direct result of your traffic quality.

Deceptive marketing professionals promise they will increase traffic to your website but fail to mention traffic quality. They are happy to cash in the money for a job that won’t bring you much business.

Because they are afraid that you will not use their services, they are touching their clients’ soft spots with promises of huge amounts of traffic. That’s why some SEOs make promises they can’t keep. Once you realize it, it might be too late, as they have full control of your website.

You should always bind your SEO contract by the number of new clients you’ve got, not just traffic.

Before search engines start to give your site a good ranking, they need to achieve a certain level of trust with you and this will grow in time as you establish your website. Once deceptive techniques are detected it will be really hard to rank well again.

Your website is an investment in the future. Don’t let anyone do things that you don’t fully understand, as it may cost you a lot in the long run. Sooner or later deceptive marketing techniques will fail.

Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation.

Before deciding on a professional, read what Google says about SEO.