Owning a small business can be a tedious task. Not only are you liable for overseeing your finances, managing your staff but also marketing your company to grow your business. When it comes to building a website, it would look too technical. If you do have a website, it’s another quest to know how to attract the right customers. This can be overwhelming and SEO (search engine optimisation) may not be your top priority. I believe SEO plays a huge part in a digital marketing strategy. Small business owners would get a variety of benefits from SEO by reading this further.
Top benefits of SEO for small businesses:
- Find new customers
- Explore potential markets
- Improves website traffic
- Search engine friendly
- User experience
- Builds brand awareness
- Improves conversion rates
- Edge over competitors
Find new customers
For local businesses to survive, it’s important for them to find new customers and they could if they knew how SEO works. SEO is primarily all about improving your website rankings within the search results. In other words- better the rankings, the more visits to your site that could lead into new customers.
Explore potential markets
The internet is fast growing, with many new businesses applying digital marketing tactics to win over competition. People who are searching on Google or other search engines are trying to find out more about what they plan to purchase. This gives them an opportunity to look at other sellers and pick the one that best suits their needs. With a successful SEO strategy, you could find new markets and grab these opportunities. This is the importance of SEO for small business if you would want to rank for specific keywords and search terms. However, you need to follow all SEO best practices for your business to rank for the relevant keywords.
Improves website traffic
Getting traffic to your website is an important aspect of digital marketing. If there’s no traffic coming to your website, it would not lead to conversions and sales. If you use an optimal SEO strategy, you would attract the right audience and doubling your changes to convert customers. This means you’ll be targeting keywords with the correct search intent i.e. people searching with these terms will have the intent of trying to find a service or buy your product.
Search engine friendly websites
By having a website that is search engine friendly and have an optimal site structure, it would make life a hell lot easier the bots. Use proper XML sitemaps for search engines to better understand the website architecture. Search engines prefer the site be mobile responsive as it is also a major Google ranking factor. Being mobile responsive, it should also make the website load faster. You wouldn’t want users to wait for your website to load. Make sure the webpage is structured optimally with proper header tags and schema for crawlers to better understand the page. Use internal linking to connect pages and help the crawlers index your pages. Create and optimise your meta tags to boost CTR. These are just some of the few ways for a website to be search engine friendly.
Creating an excellent user experience is vital to drive conversions. Search engines are getting better at analysing user experience factors. Which means that when a user or customer is finding what they need on a website, it makes Google happy. Essentially, most SEO practices boil right down to improve the experience a customer has on your site. Small business owners should provide a positive user experience through their websites. Google recognizes user experience in qualities like website page load speed and mobile compatibility. If websites take time to load, it increases the bounce rate of your website and could hurt your website rankings. Avoid having too many ads on your site or having an excessive number of pop-ups. With SEO, you’ll even be improving the usability of your site not only for the search engines but also for the users.
Builds brand awareness
The traffic that flows to your site from search engines is called organic traffic. By attracting organic traffic to your site, your business’s brand recognition is elevated. This gets your business within the top positions of the SERPs. Users are more likely to trust a brand when it appears within the first 4-5 results when searching for a service or product instead of brands appearing in the 2nd or 3rd pages in Google. Small businesses that require to create brand awareness (either for local purposes or for expanding to bigger markets) got to invest in SEO and gain top positions for the keywords associated with their business.
Improves conversion rates
One of the biggest advantages of SEO is ROI (return on investment). Investing on SEO and regularly maintaining your website through algorithm updates can be exhausting. However, with increased traffic to specific landing pages, comes more conversions. This would lead to a better conversion rate for your website thus improving the number of enquiries and/or sales. If people are coming to your website, it would mean they are genuinely curious about what you have offer and more likely to convert.
Edge over competitors
Imagine two businesses within the same niche, selling similar products at similar prices. But one of the businesses has an SEO optimised website leading to a better search presence and online visibility. Which company would you think be more successful? Which company will gain more customers from local SEO and which company is probably going to grow faster? If you haven’t invested in SEO, how would you be on top of your competitors? By beating your competitors and increasing your organic rankings, your small business would gain more traffic and drive more sales.
Looking from an ROI perspective, I always prefer telling my clients that SEO is not a cost but rather a simple long-term investment for growing your business. If you invest in SEO now, then you could make an impression that would last several years.
Large businesses with big budgets can spend more on pay-per-click advertising, print advertising or other sorts of ads. Moreover, 98% of searches do not result in a click on an online ad. Furthermore, online advertising is more of a push marketing strategy that may not reach the right customers. This is where SEO comes into the picture since it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services online. SEO helps in analysing data about your potential customers and create better services, products and websites.
With a well-planned SEO strategy, you could level the playground and go toe-to-toe with the large players within the search results. SEO is one of the most cost-effective because, with careful analysis and research, you’re able to connect with the right customers who are looking for your service or product. This often brings in a very high ROI as the returns are continuous if you get the right traffic and once your website is ranking well.
So, what are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and we can discuss this further!