SEO is one of the most important investments when it comes to building an online presence, brand identity, and awareness. If you’re a small business owner who has been teetering on the “should I, or shouldn’t I?” horse, it’s time to saddle up and learn why SEO is the right decision.
No matter what type of business you are operating, you can access the growing pool of search engine users by implementing strategies that will help you rank. These seven reasons will offer clarity to anyone considering an investment in SEO.
1. Makes You More Credible
Ranking in the SERPs adds to your business’s credibility. An accessible online presence will make it easier for customers to see you and trust you. As the average thought process goes, “well if it’s on the first page, it must be trustworthy.”
SEO helps increase your authority to guide potential consumers to your products and services. The further you are from the most reliable sources on any given keyword, the harder it will be to gain your share of that coveted trust.
Your street cred as a small business owner also stems from how your users perceive and communicate their feelings about your business. Whether they share your website across social media platforms, reference it as a resource to try (or stay away from) or relay their experience to their influential peers… word travels fast.
Credibility is also largely based on your backlinks and external links. When high authority, well-known websites link to another site, both Google and consumers view the lesser-known sight more favorably.
When a lesser-known site links to high authority sites, it satisfies Google and shows consumers that they value reliable resources and are willing to direct their readers to them. Thus, making them more legitimate and trustworthy.
2. Creates Brand Visibility
The more visible you are, the greater your chances of being seen!
When you search for something online, which websites do you tend to click? The ones on page one, or the ones that are deep in the dark pages of the beyond? Chances are you click the links on the first page, assuming the title and meta description speak to what you are looking for.
Now, there is a decent chance that the links in the deep dark pages have very similar titles and descriptions to what you were first presented with, but because they’re not as accessible, you didn’t know about them.
If they were more accessible, you probably would click through as you did the others. Brand visibility means everything to a small business owner, and as you grow your online presence, awareness will also increase.
This is especially important if a customer tries to specifically find you online. If you aren’t on page one for your own brand, well, whatta ya doin’?
A digital marketer can help drive relevant, high-quality traffic with increased visibility.
3. Increased FREE Traffic
What’s better than more traffic? More traffic at NO cost.
OK sure, hiring an SEO specialist may not be free, but the long-term results do not require that you put any of your marketing budgets into ad dollars. So, any traffic that your website gains from search engine optimization is considered organic.
Not only that, but your traffic will be of high quality. To some, “low quality” traffic may not matter, thinking traffic is traffic – as long as people are coming in, who cares? Wrong mindset. If your goal is to scale your business, sell more products and services, and cater to a very specific clientele, the type of traffic you get matters immensely.
Lead generation starts with a targeted audience. The more specific you become, the more likely you will be to see those conversions you want to see. Consumers who couldn’t care less about what you have to sell will not be pulling out their credit cards, nor will they seek additional information.
A site optimized for keywords relating to a small business’s products or services will see an increase in its traffic, and will also likely see its Returning Visitors metric grow in conjunction with New Visitors.
4. SEO Is Not Dieing Anytime Soon
Optimizing your website for search engines is an investment in the long-term, whereas social media growth and traffic is often short-lived. While Google does undergo updates to its algorithm, it doesn’t negatively impact traffic in the same way that social media updates can.
There is no predicting what will happen with traffic sources like Pinterest and Facebook. One day you may be seeing thousands of visitors a day as a small business owner, the next you could see a small fraction of that. Whereas with SEO, you are better able to count on consistent traffic so long as your content remains up-to-snuff.
While SEO does take some time to catch-on (sometimes up to a year from implementation), the results can last a very long time… and it isn’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
5. Improved User Experience
SEO ensures that your consumers have a positive experience when they’re on your website, which is essential from both the user’s point of view and Google’s.
If your website visitors have a hard time finding what they’re looking for because of your site’s structure, or if it’s not easy to read or understand your content because of disorder, the end result isn’t going to be pretty.
Google can deduce exactly how a user’s experience was using various bits of data gathered from the keywords they entered into the search engine and their behavior during their time on your site.
For example, if their time on your site was very short, or if they bounced after one pageview, chances are they didn’t find what they needed or were turned off by your site’s organization. Strike one.
6. Competition is REAL
There are millions of websites looking to reach page one in the SERPs. There are millions of people raking the internet for the best keywords and data that will help them grow and outperform their competitors. So, if you want to stand a chance, it’s time to get with the program.
Good SEO will grant you, a small business owner, fly-on-the-wall insight into what the competition is doing. This allows you the opportunity to incorporate the right information, optimize your content, and ultimately make yours better than the rest.
To stay ahead of websites ranking ahead of you, you must do better. Your content needs to answer all the questions that your consumers are asking, your images, headings, and body needs to be optimized with variations of the best keywords, and you need to link and be linked.
Google must be able to crawl and index your website, your users need to have the best experience possible (whether on mobile or desktop), and your site must be fast.
If your website is viewed more favorably in the eyes of Google, there is a solid chance that your domain will be bumped up. But without an SEO strategy, you can watch the competition dance circles around you.
7. Better ROI
Finally, the most important reason companies should invest in SEO… ROI.
Marketing, in general, can be expensive. That’s why companies of all sizes have departments solely dedicated to brand development, advertising, and PR. However, as a small business owner, your marketing budget may not be as grand as your bigger competitors.
It’s hard to compete with deep pockets. Especially when those pockets are pouring a huge amount of dough into search engine presence.
You can spend money on native ads, PPC, social media promotions, and even influencer collaborations… but that budget will only get you so far. And it ain’t cheap. You will see results, but they will be temporary. We can’t afford temporary, can we?
Fortunately, of all traffic sources, SEO can reel in the greatest return on your investment due to its longevity. These strategies are proven to yield better conversion results and returns over any other digital marketing effort. Most SEO techniques are efficient and cost-effective, making it an ideal option for small businesses.
Business owners are the last people who should neglect SEO. It is an integral part of online success, from boosting traffic all the way to gaining an impressive ROI.
Take your online presence to the next level by making your website visible, building brand awareness, and creating the ultimate user experience with search engine optimization!