Small business means big business. According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA) the country’s 30 million small businesses provide jobs for 48 percent of the American workforce.
Drawing customers to your business takes more than simple word of mouth or advertising. It requires a website using search engine optimization (SEO) and a campaign of search engine marketing (SEM).
Why SEO Matters
Your potential customers conduct web searches to find businesses to patronize. Nearly three-quarters of the US alone searches online to find local businesses and check them out before conducting an in person visit.
SEO provides you a competitive advantage. About 70 percent of business owners aren’t concerned about staying current with technology. Chances are good that your competitors do not use SEO.
Organic and Paid Search Results
Users like organic results, but also often click on the paid search placements, called the sponsored results. In fact, when searching for “high commercial intent keyword searches,” a term that means a search leading to a purchase, almost two-thirds of users clicked the sponsored result. Investing in a mix of the two produces the best results.
Implementing SEO properly improves your website traffic. Used in conjunction with your social media, it also increases traffic to it.
While some advertising or marketing methods remain expensive, SEO provides a cost-effective means of digital marketing. Most of its implementation is free after the initial campaign design and set up.
The search engines regularly update their algorithms to reflect important user changes and needs. In the past few years, the importance of local search has risen. Local SEO techniques combine a business’s name, address, keywords and business description to leverage localized results. Search engines now place local results in the top organic spots.
SEO keeps you competitive. When you keep adding optimized content, you continue building your competitive advantage. An optimized blog helps you continually reach customers that your competitors don’t.
Getting started with SEO requires knowledge. Rather than devote your business time to learning the ropes, hire a consultant to help. Companies offering small business SEO services already know how to design campaigns, optimize online content of all types, set up blogs, register your business with business and mapping services and more.
A consultancy with SEO experience can conduct an analysis of your existing web properties to determine your strengths and weaknesses. It can then plan and implement a strategy to address the weaknesses while leveraging and building upon the strengths. Through careful monitoring of campaigns, it creates reports based on your analytics that help you make better decisions about marketing.
Don’t underestimate the importance of SEO for building your business. While getting started may take help, optimizing your digital marketing brings new customers, sales leads and sales closures.