You’ve probably heard there are many SEO benefits for small business owners, but where to begin if you are one of those SBOs with no online marketing experience? It’s a good question and one that has kept the vast majority of businesses out of the SEO pool, even as recently as 2021.
In fact, 30 percent of small businesses actually confess that they don’t have an SEO strategy. In the following article, we’re going to do our best to make sure you’re not one of them by extolling 15 undeniable benefits.
SEO helps improve your website in many ways, but chief among them is load time. This aids Google (and other search engines) in finding the best results for their users.
Make sure your website loads as fast as possible. If you want to get more traffic to your site, then it’s important to keep your pages fast. If you have a slow site, visitors (and potential customers) will flee without ever finding out what you have to offer.
The ideal loading speed for a website is 2 seconds. Google has a tool called PageSpeed Insights that helps you diagnose where you’re going wrong and how to fix it.
Another on our list of the important SEO benefits your small or medium-sized business will enjoy is brand awareness. SEO helps people find your content when they’re searching for specific terms on search engines.
By writing great content about specific topics, you’re teaching people valuable information about your product or service. You’re also showing them you know what you’re talking about.
Brand awareness tells your story to the world and builds a relationship with your current fans and customers, as well as your future fans and customers. It’s about creating a voice around your brand people can recognize and trust.
The next on our benefits list for small business SEO is customer acquisition. Customer acquisition has two important metrics on which to focus: the number of customers you’re creating and how much it costs you to do so.
If done well, SEO is a win in both categories! In fact, it’s critical for growing your audience. What ultimately matters is how many customers you can get to your site to purchase your product or service.
If you’re like many small businesses, your website is the hub from which you conduct your entire business. You must have a strong online presence to reach customers. SEO can do this at a cost that is often just your time and a commitment to details.
That means ranking for the right keywords, acquiring links from reputable websites, and structuring your web pages in such a way that answers the key questions or addresses the pain points that sent people to Google in the first place.
Another of the core benefits of SEO is its ability to convert prospects. The user experience starts with running a search to find a solution to a problem or need.
Then, they find your site. Your site is structured with web pages, writing, and a flow that makes sense. It’s a funnel of sorts that addresses every major need that your prospect will have.
Riddled throughout your site are calls to action that make it easy for your prospect to take that next step in the customer journey. Without quality SEO, you would never be able to get them in the door and traveling the correct pathway to finding their solution.
Another of the many benefits of SEO for small businesses is that it helps set you apart from your competition. Many small business owners are so consumed by running the daily operations that they never stop to think SEO should be a central part of those operations.
In fact, as mentioned before, 30 percent of small businesses actually confess that they don’t have an SEO strategy. Thirty percent!
If you do, you’re setting yourself apart from the numerous competitors who are competing for the same customers as you. Those are pretty good odds!
Another of the major advantages of SEO is that you know the kind of traffic you’re getting with the appropriate strategy. You don’t run the risk of landing the wrong kind, which can actually work against you even if your numbers are high.
That’s because you’re ranking for the wrong keywords. Mis-ranking, if you will, will result in low conversions and a high bounce rate. The bounce is the point when the customer leaves your site. The faster this occurs, the more it hurts your SEO.
Taking time to invest in your SEO will ensure that even if you get lower numbers than some sites, those visitors will be engaged. Engaged visitors ask questions, make purchases, and recommend your business to others.
One full-page ad in the New York Times can cost you anywhere from $214,000 to $245,000. The price difference depends on if you’re going with the Sunday or weekday edition.
That’s a lot of capital outlay without any assurances that the majority of the people seeing it will be interested in your product, service, or message. Why do that to yourself when SEO is so much more affordable?
If you’re an expert, you can get good results going with the DIY approach. Most people aren’t, hence that 30 percent figure we threw at you in No. 5. Even so, you can work with SEO professionals at rates that are often fractions of fractions of that one NYT ad with better outcomes.
Taking the time to lay the groundwork on your SEO brings you greater longevity. That goes for Google and your customers.
When you put time and effort into learning SEO or paying someone who does, you establish footholds on the right search inquiries. You develop content that converts. You nurture your leads into prospects, your prospects into customers, and your customers into true brand evangelists.
That system of attraction and conversion isn’t something that goes away at the drop of a hat. It’s something you can build on, and it gets easier to build on it as time goes on.
Yet another advantage of SEO for small and medium-sized businesses is in the creation of websites that are easy to use. Your goal isn’t flash. You want a site that gives visitors the answers to all their most likely questions right away.
It should have easy-to-follow headings and subheadings. It should have relevant, informative, and, if possible, entertaining articles.
Yes, it should also seek to incorporate other forms of media. Audio and video consumption are higher than they’ve ever been. That’s not likely to change, as high-speed connections find their way across countries and into rural communities all over the globe. Study websites that are helpful to you, that you really enjoy visiting. Then, seek to emulate what they do.
Drilling into the keyword searches that people run in your niche can be eye-opening. You might find yourself stumbling across words and phrases that serve as the catalyst to a new revenue stream you hadn’t previously considered.
SEO opens up new markets by increasing your visibility and your credibility. When you rank higher in search engines for keywords related to your business, people start looking to you as an authority.
This is one you might not have thought about because it isn’t directly related to SEO. After all, search engines aren’t out there crawling private emails for factors in how to rank websites. Nevertheless, your SEO is greatly helpful in this area. In fact, you couldn’t do effective email marketing without it. Here’s why: Your customers have to make an initial connection with you somehow.
For many businesses, that comes through strategic messaging, such as creating multiple landing pages that track where your customer is in the search process. Are they ready to buy or seeking more information?
They’ll find your page based on the searches they run with the keywords you’re ranking for. That first click takes them to your page, where they can signup to your email list. At this point, you know whether to send them a “buy now” type of email or an informational message that will push them further toward converting.
A search engine’s web crawlers might never read a single email you send, but you wouldn’t be sending that email without first laying the groundwork. You lay that groundwork through SEO.
There are many ways you can get penalized by Google. It’s critical that you know how to avoid them. One of the most common is bad or spammy SEO.
Some examples of spammy SEO would be things like keyword stuffing (i.e., repeating your keywords over and over again). Another would be buying links, or paying a volume of sites to link to you to game the numbers without offering any real quality to searchers.
Even if you don’t get penalized in some way, God forbid blacklisted, poor SEO will prevent your website from ranking highly on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. These search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to stop and penalize people who use spammy SEO techniques like the ones we’ve just mentioned.
One big reason you want SEO to be as strong as possible for your website is that it makes you immune to the limitations of store hours. Your site, particularly your eCommerce website, can be generating money for you while you sleep.
Furthermore, it can create sales in multiple time zones at the same time. You build the site and the content that gets them there, and the SEO and site architecture does the rest.
Google and other search engines use social media posts to determine what’s important to their users. If your business is constantly tweeting and posting about a certain topic, that activity can help your organic search results.
Social media is a great tool for small businesses because it allows them to interact with their customers in a way that wasn’t possible before the internet. They can communicate directly with people who have questions or want to give feedback about products and services.
There really is very little difference between SEO for social networks and SEO for search engines. You’re ultimately using it to raise your profile. Social SEO just aids the direct contact between a business and its customers.
While Google and other search engines value this metric, it’s not the only one they use. Nevertheless, having good SEO on a social network will lead to better interactions with your customers, which will then be used to improve your Google ranking factors. They all feed into one another.
If you’re running a business, it’s important to know where your customers are coming from. You also want to know what they’re looking for when they get to you.
There are three main metrics you need to pay attention to when it comes to your content: traffic, social shares, and conversions. Traffic is the most obvious metric because it’s quantifiable.
You can see how many people visit your blog and how many people subscribe to your newsletter. If you’re consistently putting content out there and following a focused strategy, you’ll be able to keep track of how much traffic you’re getting from search engines.
The most important metrics are the ones that indicate whether you’re growing your audience. Are you getting more followers, page views, shares, or comments? If so, you’re on the right track.
One thing: it can be confusing or overwhelming at first. Consider taking the Analytics Academy through Google to get an understanding.
As you can see, there are many SEO benefits for small business owners. So many, in fact, that it can be a little hard keeping track of when you’re handling day-to-day operations. Don’t worry. They all come back to traffic, engagement, and conversions. If you’re steering your SEO ship in that direction, you’ll stay on course.
Convinced of the importance of SEO for small business but unsure of where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Contact David Taylor Digital today to see how we can help you rise up the ranks!