9 Benefits of SEO for Small Business
Small businesses need all the help they can get to develop and grow in an environment that becomes more competitive by the day. If you’re a small business owner, you’re already familiar with the challenges involved in the entrepreneurial process. Chances are you’re also familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) or at least you’ve heard about it, if not you can learn more about what is SEO here. A strong SEO strategy can provide that much-needed support a small business requires to boost its online presence and ensure its success.
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners are unaware of the many advantages SEO can bring to their venture and think that building a professional website and sharing it with the world is enough to put them on the map and make them stand out from the crowd. But in a day and age when almost all businesses have websites and offer very similar products and services, being online is simply not enough. If you’re not busy working on your SEO strategy, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to help your small business thrive. In case you’re still on the fence about implementing a SEO strategy, here are 9 benefits of SEO for small businesses you might want to consider.
#1. Improved user experience
While the primary purpose of SEO is to improve a website’s position in the search engine results page (SERP), its practices go beyond boosting rankings. By applying SEO techniques, your business website will offer users an enhanced experience, so SEO is just as much about users as it is about search engines. These elements are strongly linked together. You can’t have one without the other. If the user is satisfied with your website, that will put you on Google’s nice list and it will be reflected in your site’s rankings.
These days users’ demands are higher than ever. They expect a website to be fast, well-organized, clean, easy to navigate, with relevant and high-quality content that provides the answers to all their questions. SEO techniques strive to offer visitors all that and more in order to make the time spent on your website as pleasant and productive as possible.
#2. Attract more local customers
All businesses, no matter the size, have a common objective: attracting customers to increase their profits. This is especially important for smaller businesses that more often than not walk a fine line between surviving and going forward. Expanding your customer base is not easy, especially when you’re just starting out. A good website can only do so much to draw in new customers and boost sales, but it can’t work wonders for your small business.
That’s where SEO comes into play to put your website into the spotlight and attract customers who are interested in what you have to offer. If you’re not in the right spot at the right time, customers won’t come looking for you. It’s you who has to come in front of them through your SEO efforts. Businesses that invest in SEO can reach new markets, boost their sales and grow much faster than businesses who rely only on traditional marketing techniques.
#3. Increase local website traffic
Ranking higher in search engine results can mean only one thing: increased website traffic. You don’t want to drive traffic to your website just for the sake of having more people click on your pages and then leave without taking any action. But the more visitors you have, the greater the chances to increase your sales opportunities.
Besides, if you play your SEO cards right, you’ll get more relevant traffic to your website. By ranking higher for core keywords that are relevant for your activity and have the right search intent, you’ll be able to lure customers who are looking for the type of products and services you provide and are more likely to make a purchase. It’s a matter of attracting the right people who will ultimately help increase your small business revenue.
#4. Better conversion rates
One thing leads to another, just like in a game of dominoes. More traffic, and especially more relevant traffic, leads to higher conversion rates. Things are simple: if you apply the right SEO techniques, your site will be visited by people who are truly interested in what your business has to offer and that will translate into more conversions. Attracting a general audience won’t yield the same results.
Apart from that, SEO practices can help improve a site’s speed and make it easier to navigate on all devices. These aspects don’t go unnoticed as users tend to respond positively to them. If you can convince a user to spend more time on your website and click through your pages, half the work is already done.
#5. Keep up with the competition
Small businesses can be easily swallowed by the rough competition on the market. There are bigger players that overshadow them and smaller ones who represent their direct competition and can make their life just as hard. There are countless businesses that offer exactly the same products, so entrepreneurs’ never-ending dilemma is how to stand out from the crowd and avoid being left behind.
If you’re similar to other businesses in all aspects, SEO can make the difference. Investing in a SEO strategy can get you out of a tight spot and put you back on the map when you are struggling to survive. If done right, SEO can do more than help your business stay afloat. It can actually help you get one step ahead of others and gain an important advantage by attracting customers from your competitors.
#6. More social media exposure
If it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen. Remember that every time you take one step forward or you do anything noteworthy. And even if your business is in a period of stagnation, you should still maintain a constant presence on social media. Social media marketing is a powerful tool to let the world know you exist and promote your business. If your small business is not active on major social media channels, you’re not doing everything you can to make it thrive.
SEO practices can help you in this respect since higher rankings can increase your social media exposure. Even better, SEO and social media marketing work both ways, meaning a strong social media presence supports SEO purposes and SEO boosts social media visibility. It’s an optimal combination from which your business has everything to gain.
#7. Build brand awareness
Ranking high on SERPs comes with the obvious advantage of being found easier by users and attracting more potential customers. But the benefits don’t stop here. When users constantly come across your website in the first results after conducting a search, it will create the image of a trustworthy and reputable brand. Building brand awareness is essential in order to convince customers to choose your products and services over your competitors’ and come back to you again and again.
That’s exactly what happens when you apply SEO techniques. Your small business will seem anything but small if it manages to rank in the top positions on Google. You are exactly how your customers perceive you. SEO works as a magnifying glass, boosting your image and establishing your business as a memorable and recognizable brand.
#8. Long-lasting results
If you’re looking for a quick fix for your small business issues, SEO is not it. SEO is much more than a band-aid that you use to overcome a temporary rough patch, although it can help you with that as well. Ads and promotional campaigns can only do so much to grow your business and results will only last as long as you pay for them.
When you focus on SEO, you’re in for the long-haul and you know that you’re investing in the future of your company. You might not obtain overnight results, but it will make a noticeable difference in the long run. SEO campaigns are not built and run in a blink of an eye. They require time, effort, careful planning and continuous optimization if you want to achieve optimal outcomes, but slow and steady will win you the race.
#9. High ROI
Since we’re talking long-term investments, it’s time to analyse financial aspects as well. It’s obvious that small businesses don’t have limitless budgets to spend on marketing strategies and can’t afford to make costly mistakes. A few bad financial moves won’t stop a large company in its tracks, but can spell disaster for your venture. As a small business owner, you have to manage your budget wisely and know where to invest your money.
Luckily, SEO is pretty much a foolproof investment that can help you obtain similar results to those achieved by bigger businesses with a larger marketing budget. The ROI for SEO is quite high, so you won’t have to spend a fortune to achieve your goals. Once you start to gain traction, your investments for maintenance purposes will be minimal and your business will start growing exponentially. At the end of the day, SEO is worth your time and your money.