Search engine optimization (SEO) increases both the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through unpaid search engine results. A variety of factors contribute to this as search engines evaluate the health and helpfulness of your website to serve up results. The stronger your website content and design, the higher you will rank on search engine results over time. Catering to Google, as the most popular search engine, dominates most SEO practices.
SEO remains one of the most cost-effective ways to engage customers or clients. The only cost is to generate content, whether you do the work in-house or outsource, the dollar value far exceeds traditional marketing methods. You have the chance to meet users at the ideal time in their decision-making process. You can provide helpful information that answers their key questions and pain points. Then, they are more likely to choose your business as the brand they trust
If you are not yet convinced that SEO is important for small businesses we will outline some further points which should clearly highlight the need for small businesses to be utilising SEO in their internet marketing strategy.
1. Access: Get in Front of Your Customers!
SEO is about providing the accurate information as quickly as possible to a user, we know the function of a search engine is to provide the user what they are searching for. SEO for small businesses makes it easier for the business in question to become front of page for any business-related queries. This results in the user and the search engine having a positive experience. And, as small businesses know, a happy customer is a returning customer. SEO for small businesses is very important because not only are you getting out there to the customer but to a targeted customer, more on that later!
2. Get in Front of Your Customers: Instantly!
What is the quickest way to get information these days? It’s a google search, who hasn’t used this function daily? I know that I do, we search for something and then trust that the top results will be the most accurate and relevant for what we need. If you own a small business today, you need a web profile and need to have SEO as part of your website strategy. Take for example The Delicious Donut shop that sets up an SEO website in a medium sized city. User Johnny is hungry for donuts and types in bakery near me, first search result is The Delicious Donut shop. Johnny goes and purchases these donuts, a purchase he would not have made had the donut shop not utilized the SEO tools as part of their web marketing strategy. (Are you hungry for donuts yet? Don’t worry we will come back to Delicious Donut shop in a moment).
3. Optimal Conversion: Targeted Marketing
As a small business it is very hard to gain market traction, enter SEO for small businesses! Sick of constantly struggling against large corporations who saturate the market with their enormous advertising budgets. Internet marketing, including SEO, attracts people who are already looking for your product or service. An important statistic to note here is that 150% growth has been recorded for “near me” searches (Think with Google, 2017), bearing that in mind, let’s revisit the Delicious Donut shop. The use of SEO for small businesses ensured that Johnny who was hungry for donuts was paired with their shop. No need to convince Johnny of the need to eat a donut, he was already convinced! No selling to those who will haggle and debate the price or product quality, just straight up selling to customers who just want to buy your service or product! I don’t think it can be any clearer than that why SEO is important for small businesses. You just have to present yourself in one of those top 5 results and boom, the potential for conversion is markedly increased! They were looking for you and you showed up right on time! Admittedly you will need a website optimized for the user experience, depending on the product demographic this can be varied, however it is quite obvious that the hardest part of the marketing battle is over.
4. Maximized Brand Exposure:
As stated in point #2, people unconsciously trust search engine results. If the Delicious Donut shop is ranked as number 1, then Delicious Donut’s serves the best donuts. Now this is not to say that users will then just go ahead and purchase from you, they will however book mark or tag your sight and then search around for the competition. If you have a great SEO and optimized your website for your user experience then your business should come up in most of the searches that they do for the competition. This then results in more web traffic for you, but web traffic from customers who want what you are selling, hence the importance of SEO for small businesses!
5. Know Your Customer: Sell more, simply!
By optimizing your website professionally, it will increase visibility, usability and credibility, all of which increase the traffic on your site. For example, 50% of first page Google results were secure (https) websites. (Moz, 2017), it therefore pays to optimize appropriately.
More traffic to your site will equate to more customers and you will need to track their preferences, buying times, most active browsing locations, devices used etc. in order that you can then further optimize your website to be as responsive to their needs as possible. Enter Google Analytics (if you don’t have it set up, you should),
Basically, no more guessing on how to approach the target customer, who they are or who to sell your product to. The better you know your customers, the better product or service you can provide, the higher the ROI. And, as small businesses, we all love higher ROI’s! SEO for small businesses creates better ROI’s through all of the benefits outlined above and as internet usage grows, so to will the importance of SEO for small businesses.
But all of these wonderful benefits would not have happened if it was not for accurate and adequate use of SEO, SEO is so important for small businesses and if you are a small business you need to start using SEO today! A certified business coach would recomend you to invest in SEO. No excuses, your competition is and you are losing customers without SEO as a part of your internet marketing strategy.