Why You Need SEO for Small Business?
It’s not easy running a small business, whether it a brick and mortar store or online only. You may think that you’re too small for digital marketing, but all businesses can benefit from it. SEO for small business is especially important.
You may think the big companies like Amazon take up all the search results, but a small business can drive traffic to their site and into their store through search engine optimization. There’s plenty of room on the search results page for your business, especially if you’re going after local customers.
We’ll show you the importance of SEO for small business and how it benefits you.
SEO For Small Business Doesn’t Need a Large Budget
One of the biggest issues small businesses have is they don’t believe they can afford SEO or other digital marketing services. The reality is you don’t need a large budget to have an effective SEO strategy and see results.
SEO is any effort you take to improve your website’s and business’s exposure on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Google has the largest market share by far and the most complex search algorithm. If you do well in Google, then you’ll likely do well on the others too.
How much money do you need for SEO? That’s up to you. If you’re willing to take the time to learn the ins and outs, then the only real investment you’ll need is time.
You can handle your own SEO, but it takes time and effort. You’ll need to develop keyword lists, keep track of your rankings and develop content that Google likes. You can spend money on third-party services to make it a little easier.
If you don’t have the time to learn SEO, then you can hire a digital marketing firm to handle it for you. You’ll save money because you don’t have to subscribe to third party analytics services, plus you get the expertise of SEO professionals.
Even with professional help, the budget for SEO isn’t as large as you might think.
Your Competitors Invest in SEO
Have you noticed your competitors suddenly succeeding in Internet sales or foot traffic while your numbers continue to drop? It’s probable, they’ve invested in SEO and they’re reaping the benefits, while your business is left behind.
When you do search engine optimization, you’re not just grabbing new clients, but competing against other businesses for the same traffic. When people want to know about a business, where do they go? Do they reach for the Yellow Pages or do they grab their cell phone and Google it?
Google handles billions of searches each day and a portion of that are people looking for products or services like yours. When the search page comes up, the searchers look at the first few results. The rest are forgotten.
If you’re on page two of the search results, then you might as well be on page 40. It’s only the top results that get the traffic, but your competitors want those positions too.
They’re investing in SEO and taking those positions from you for various search queries. If they’re not, then when you do SEO, you’ll see great results, but odds are they are doing SEO. You’re fighting for the same customers and only the best will get those results.
How Does SEO Work?
It’s hard to know why you need SEO if you don’t know how it works. When someone puts a search query in a search engine, a special algorithm searches the Internet for the pages that best fit that search query.
In Google’s case, it wants websites that have authority, expertise, and trustworthiness for the subject of the search query. For example, if a person wants to know about a common problem with a furnace, then they’ll use a search query like “Why is my furnace making strange sounds?”
Notice, the query isn’t necessarily about buying a specific product or service. If your website has a blog that talks about strange sounds furnaces make and why then Google sees that content and that your site has a high authority and places it at the top of the search results page.
The searcher may discover they need a furnace repair and contact your business to fix it because it supplied them with the information.
SEO is about optimizing your content for various search queries, so Google sees your expertise and authority chooses you for high rankings. It starts by developing a keyword list that imitates the search queries.
If you’re in a highly competitive market, then instead of optimizing for highly competitive keywords, the SEO expert might choose lesser competitive long-tail keywords to optimize for. Optimization utilizes authoritative web content, blog posts, etc., to show Google you have expertise in that subject.
Backlinks are another indicator Google uses to determine if your website is an authority. A backlink is a link on another website that links back to information on your page. The more backlinks you have from other authoritative sites, the more expertise Google believes you have on that subject.
Local SEO Vs. National SEO
If you’re a small business that’s going after business from anywhere, then you need national SEO. This uses general keywords and content that isn’t specific to a geographic area.
If you’re an online company that ships across the U.S., it doesn’t matter where the traffic comes from as long as its qualified traffic. If you’re a small shop in Florida that services a certain city, then getting traffic from Kansas doesn’t help your business.
A business serving a specific geographic area needs local SEO. The biggest difference is the use of localized keywords in your copy. For example, instead of the general phrase furnace repair, you might use furnace repair in Tallahassee.
This would help a business rank for keywords that contain the word Tallahassee. Local SEO also helps Google know where you’re located using the Google Maps app and Google My Business listing.
It goes beyond the content on your website as well. There are business listing sites that rank well on Google, but many times the information on them is wrong. If you’re changed locations, phone numbers or business hours, then it might not be updated.
Part of Local SEO is making sure all these listing as review sites such as Yelp contain the correct information about your business. A business listing doesn’t help you if it has the wrong address and people can’t find your shop.
Grow Your Website Traffic
If you’re like many businesses, then you’ve spent a lot of money on your website. If you’re an e-commerce site, then you likely spent more than your average information website.
It doesn’t how amazing your website is or how impressive the user experience is if no one goes to your site. The primary goal of SEO is to increase qualified traffic to your website and thus increase sales. The important word in that sentence is qualified traffic.
All the traffic in the world doesn’t matter if they’re not interested in buying or learning about your product or service. SEO optimization helps target traffic specifically interested in your product or service.
SEO experts not only want to see your organic traffic increase but your sales and conversions as well. They want your sales leads to increase and for your business to grow and succeed.
It’s important to know that SEO isn’t a quick fix that will cause a dramatic shift overnight. SEO takes time to create a plan, make changes, have Google notice those changes and then change rankings.
It’s a gradual improvement, but once you’ve made it to the top search page you’ll stay there.
Organic Traffic Hits People in All Areas of the Sales Funnel
When people search on Google, they’re usually in the discovery phase of their buyer’s journey. They have a problem or need and look for ways to meet that need or fix that problem.
By having SEO content on your site that fits people in this stage, you’re cementing your company in their mind. They may not be ready to buy yet, but they’re learning and moving along that sales funnel.
Once they’re past the discovery phase, they’ll remember your site and come back to it. You’ll want an area of more in-depth information that gives them more information and shows your expertise.
This is also the perfect time to bring in other digital marketing tactics such as email marketing, or content marketing to help urge them into that final funnel.
SEO can help take them along the funnel from top to bottom and seamlessly integrate with other digital marketing techniques to maximize your business growth.
SEO Builds Your Brand
Everyone knows the big brands like Coca Cola, Samsung, etc. They spend millions of dollars each year to grow their brand and create a brand reputation that creates customers for life. Small businesses can do the same thing at a fraction of the budget through SEO.
When your website is featured on the top search page, Q & A, Knowledge Panels and more you’re building brand recognition. People remember your website, your product or your service because they’re seeing it all the time.
If they visit your website thanks to SEO, then they see how much information you have and your authority. They remember your logo and when it comes time to pull the trigger on buying a product or service, they choose yours.
Brand identity and recognition only work if people see it on a regular basis. It works the same for a small business serving a small area as well. You don’t have to be a megacorporation for people to remember your logo and your brand. You just need to be seen.
Traditional Marketing Lost Effectiveness
While there is still a need for traditional marketing tactics such as print, radio, and television, is effectiveness has diminished significantly. People don’t read physical newspapers and the few seconds of radio ads go in one ear and out the other. People routinely fast-forward through television ads to get back to their program.
When people want information, they don’t check out the newspaper. They grab their phone and head to Google. That isn’t to say that traditional marketing is dead, but digital should be rolled into your marketing budget as well.
Use SEO and traditional marketing together to build your business. If traditional marketing isn’t working, then shift your budget into digital ventures. The most important aspect of marketing is it grows your business and improves your sales.
Rick Snippets Create Eye-Catching Search Results
Have you ever seen search results that contain pictures, review stars or categories? They’re impressive and people notice them even when they’re not at the top of the search page.
Google also has knowledge panels and Q & A sections that showcase information from websites. You want to be in those, and SEO is how it’s done.
You’ll want to use a computer language called schema that provides context for Google bots that crawl your site. It helps them understand what they’re “seeing” on your site. The second aspect is having lots of quality content that Google can use.
Snippet optimization is vital for making your search results stand out. If you’re a customer and you saw a plain listing above one that featured pictures and categories, which would you want to click on?
It’s all part of a proper SEO program and it will blow your competition out of the water.
In addition to content, there are aspects of improving your site that help your search rankings. Your site should be mobile-friendly, pages should load quickly, and your site needs to be easily navigable.
There are many factors Google uses to determine search results and you need to optimize for as many as possible. These are often covered under technical SEO.
Small Business Need SEO
SEO for small business is something your business needs. It’s vital to growing and building your business in today’s digital marketplace. It grows your brand, improves traffic and increases your sales.
If you want to learn more about SEO or digital marketing, then please explore our site.