In a nutshell, the reason your small business should make use of search engine optimization (SEO), is to stay competitive with your rivals. If your small business does not make use of sound SEO principles, you will probably not be on the first page of search engine results returned to users.
If you aren’t on that first page, and you’re not in the top eight listed results, chances are users conducting searches are not going to find your business or information about your products or services.
If they can’t find a link to your website, they will go to your competitor’s website, and do business with them. A secondary task of SEO is to provide the user with an enjoyable experience while on your website so that they’ll be motivated to return to your site frequently. There are some other reasons why small business SEO is essential, and why you should be using it.
1. Maximum Brand Awareness
Generally speaking, users trust the search results provided to them by Google and other search engines. So if your website is listed on the first page of search queries, most users will consider that it’s one of the best in the area they’re searching for. However, they may not run right out and make a purchase at your store or buy something from you online.
Instead, they’ll usually take note of it, and continue searching to see what else is available. If your company is making good use of SEO, your website should pop up in several more searches conducted by the user. After a while, when the user continues to see your website in the top five search results, it begins to sink in. Your brand must be one of the best because it keeps coming up when different search terms are used.
2. Increased Conversion Opportunities
Good internet marketing, along with a sound SEO strategy and high-quality content, helps attract people to your website, because they’re already looking for your product. By the time they visit your site, they’re already convinced that you have what they are looking for.
All that remains is for you to convince them that your product is better than any of your competitors and that they need to purchase from you. If you have invested in trying to create an enjoyable user experience while on your website, the chances your website visitors will become a lead that then converts to sale increase. For example, if your pages load quickly and don’t force the user to wait, they will probably hang around to reach your checkout page.
3. Expanded Reach
When your business name appears in the first search results page, it creates an idea in a potential customer’s mind that your company is among the best. Assuming that the user experience you provide is a good one, the user is likely to tell friends about his/her experience. Once you get word-of-mouth working for you, your potential audience increases tremendously.
Friends will tell friends about a good experience they had on your site, and after having purchased from you, they may also tell them about how good your products are. By incorporating good SEO principles on all the web pages on your site, you can provide a great user experience and trigger this word-of-mouth mechanism.
4. Optimal user experience
Ultimately, SEO is all about giving the user great service in the fastest, friendliest possible way. It is the task of a search engine to return results to the user which are most relevant to what he/she is looking for. When it can accomplish that, everyone wins, including the search engine, the user, and your business. Any user who has an enjoyable experience on your website, will probably return in the future. If you’ve made a sale to that user, you can reasonably expect additional sales going forward.
5. Customer insights
Once the level of traffic begins increasing to your website, you can use tools SEO and website analytics tools to gain insight into how your website performs. You can learn a great deal of information about your customers through Analytics, including the keywords they use, the computer they use, their geographical location, which days they are most active, which web pages they visit, and how much time they spend on a website.
All this data will provide insight into your target audience, which will, in turn, allow you to improve your marketing strategies, as well as your local online marketing. The better you know your customers, the more sales you make.
SEO strategies help drive conversions and increase revenue.
Ultimately, as a small business owner, if you haven’t invested in SEO, now is the time to start. By using SEO strategies like topic clusters, high-quality content that addresses customer questions, and other common tactics, you’ll gain things like maximum brand awareness, increased opportunities to convert leads into customers, an expanded reach, optimal user experience, and valuable customer insights.
Search engine optimization will help bring more users to your website, which will ultimately increase revenue, and make your small business more successful.
Annette is a film school dropout and former child therapist. As a child, she was in the Oakland Ballet’s Nutcracker two years in a row and wanted to be a professional chorus girl. Annette is the resident copywriter at BizIQ. She likes sci-fi and horror movies, her dog, and is obsessed with the tv show, “Supernatural.”