When someone is in the market for a product or service, they will look it up online.
Whether they are looking to compare pricing options, find product specs, or simply explore their options, they want to know what they are going to spend their money on.
If you’re a small business owner, chances are you can relate to at least one of the following:
- You opened your business in the last 5 to 10 years
- You have a small marketing budget
- You haven’t seen a return on your marketing investment
- Your customers primarily come to you through word of mouth
If you nodded in agreement with any of those points, we are willing to bet that you have not invested much time or effort into search engine optimization. But our question is, can your customers find you on Google?
Small businesses that bank on getting business through word of mouth or paid advertising need to focus their attention on search engine optimization if they want to grow to the next level and be taken more seriously in their industry.
Here are seven reasons you should care about SEO:
1. The Greatest Return on Your Investment.
If you’re concerned about the money you put into your small business, then you should also be concerned about your return. If your marketing budget is small, you need to think hard about how you spend it.
What marketing strategy will get you the most bang for your buck? What will have the greatest return?
Many small businesses don’t fully understand SEO, and thus don’t bother with it. They assume that it’s not worth their efforts, that it’s too expensive, or that it will take too long to see any results.
While SEO does take time, it’s the most essential strategy in digital marketing and small business growth. And it will put out the greatest return in the long run.
Once you implement SEO strategies on your website, you won’t have to do it again. Yes, it will require some upkeep over time as trends change and your business grows, but the major work will be a thing of the past.
The purpose of SEO is to help your website flourish over time, so the elements you introduce now will put out results later, in the form of traffic, leads, and conversions – aka an awesome ROI.
Trust us, you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t work on it sooner!
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2. It Reaps Long-term Results.
You can spend a boatload of cash on a social media advertisement and get decent attention, but as soon as you turn that ad off, the traffic will stop. Sure, you may attract some returning visitors, but the buzz you generate will eventually fizzle out until you turn it back on and ramp up the traffic.
The problem is you’re a small business. Ok, that’s not a problem, ‘cause seriously, go you!
But your brand isn’t as established as your corporate competitors, so it’s that much harder to garner the attention you need to stand tall in the industry.
The beauty of SEO is that like your ROI, your results are long-term. Your content is optimized to increase your visibility over time. In fact, when you reach page one on Google, you will likely remain there for a long time.
It may take up to a year to really see those analytics soar, but the beauty is that you will see the results of the actions you took for years to come.
3. It Creates a Better Customer Experience.
You want happy customers, right? That starts with your website. SEO is not all about keywords and how you rank in the SERPs based on those keywords. It’s also about the UX.
Google looks for mobile-friendly websites that are easy to navigate, fast to load, and offer quality content. That’s what the average user would want, so that’s what the search engines look for.
Search engine optimization creates better websites. The happier your visitors are, the more likely they will be to convert.
If they are unhappy, whether due to inaccessibility, slow loading times or low-quality content, they are more likely to bounce and look for an alternative service or product.
4. You’ll Be Taken More Seriously
Credibility means everything for small businesses. When customers decide to spend their money with small businesses, they are deciding to trust in something potentially risky.
Why risky? Big companies have established a reputation, so they don’t need to do as much work to convince new and potential customers that they are credible.
Small businesses, on the other hand, must work much harder to build their credibility, and earn that trust so they can also earn a transaction. When you invest in SEO, you’re investing in your street cred. Like backlinks, your place in the search engine plays a role in how seriously you will be taken.
The deeper you are in the SERPs, the more you will have to work to convince your customers that you are the one for them. The higher you are, the less time they will spend considering you as an option.
5. It Allows You to Access Customers on a Local Level.
If you’ve asked yourself how you can reach local buyers, SEO is your answer. Local search is a central part of small business growth because it allows webmasters to optimize their website for a specific geographical area so customers can find them with a simple query on the search engines.
Rather than worrying about how to target a high-volume keyword like roofing contractor, you can geo-target long-tail keywords like roofing contractors Nashville, TN, or affordable roofers Nashville Tennessee.
This way, you aren’t wasting your time on a homeowner in San Jose, CA who wouldn’t even bother looking at your website because, well… geography.
Local SEO also helps establish your Google My Business profile. If your listing is managed well, and the local information on your website is well optimized for search engines, you’ll increase your chances of being the chosen one.
In turn, you will be one major step closer to making a sale because you’re able to focus on vicinity and establish the area listings that your target audience is looking for.
6. You Can Track Your Competitors
If you want to beat the competition, you need to know the competition. Search engine optimization allows small businesses to learn critical details, such as trends to capitalize on, keywords to optimize your website for, and important questions that your customers need to be answered.
With this information, you can not only keep up with your competition but get ahead of them!
7. You Won’t Get the Click on Page 2 & Beyond
Think about your own web browsing behaviors. Sure, there are some occasions that we may venture on to page two or three, but not often, especially if we are about to spend money.
No, most people only trust what is on page one and don’t bother with anything beyond.
If you want to make sales and gain clients, you need to be on page one. If you’re not on page one, you’re getting a minimal amount of organic traffic – if any at all.
If you don’t want to make sales and gain clients, sure… don’t bother with SEO.