Why Every Business Should Have an SEO Plan in Place
The importance of optimizing your website for search engines & how SEO can increase sales and acquire new customers for small business owners.
Many small business owners have a website, but simply having one these days is not enough.
Your website will need to get traffic before it can get you new customers. Although there are numerous channels available for growing your online presence and getting discovered on the web, SEO (search engine optimization) is one of them that every small business owner should incorporate.
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, & DuckDuckGo are an excellent means for clients to search and find your website on.
SEO does just this: it’s the practice of optimizing a website through enhancing its relevance and prominence to increase the traffic the website gets from search engines. It’s a beneficial marketing strategy for getting clients to visit your website and gain exposure.
Why Small Businesses Need SEO
You may have heard of SEO, but not really understood why it’s worth your time as a small business owner who does most of their business locally.
SEO is beneficial for businesses of any size and is just as important for small businesses that provide a local product or service. Even if you’re getting most of your clients locally, SEO is still important. So many consumers search for a product or service on the web.
1. Search is the #1 Driver of Traffic
Search engines (like Google and Bing) typicall drive 500% more traffic than social media pages – a difficult stat to ignore. What’s more, Smart Insights found that 34% of traffic came from search for eCommerce websites.
For new businesses and small brands that don’t have much of a social following, this is invaluable, because it means they have a chance to compete for traffic with brands that are well established in the social media sphere.
2. Users Don’t Scroll
How many times have you clicked through to the second page of search results?
It’s probably not many. That’s because 75% of internet users will never scroll past the first page of search results.
Instead, they settle on what they find in the top results. So, if your site is showing up after page one on the search results for your designated keyword, you’re going to miss out on a ton of traffic.
It’s not enough to put out mediocre content and hope for the best, though. If you want to stand out amongst the other thousands of Google results and make it to the front page, you have to be producing quality content over and over again.
Google will start to take a note of this (that you’re providing excellent content) and will continue to serve it up to people who are searching for your topic or keywords.
How can you do that? You can start by:
- Researching low-competition keywords so you don’t have to work as hard to stand out.
- Stop using bad SEO techniques – Google has wised up to many blackhat techniques and it won’t fly anymore. Avoid using these tactics.
- Write good content! Think about what your audience want and need to read and serve them that.
3. SEO Helps Close Sales
Traditional advertising methods are no longer flying with consumers. Outbound leads like direct mail and print advertising have an average close rate of 1.7%, whereas leads that come from SEO convert at a whopping 14.6%.
4. Local SEO is More Important than Ever
In Google's latest “Possum” update, they put a heavy precedence on local SEO. That means that when a user searches for something, Google will try and deliver them results that are within close proximity.
So if someone searches for shoes, Google will show them the closest shoe shops to them on a map.
This means that not only does SEO get you seen by a wider audience all over the world, but it also increases your chances of getting local custom.
5. More Consumers Than Ever Use Search
According to Google, 4 out of 5 consumers use Google to search for businesses. They use search engines to find addresses, opening hours, and reviews.
If your business isn’t ranking well, you’ll miss out on this huge number of people who are actively looking for businesses like yours.
But the question it all boils down to is this:
Can SEO Increase Sales for My Small Business?
Individual small business success stories do vary, but almost all show that implementing an SEO strategy does effectively increase sales and customers.
Don Sadler, a freelance writer who did his own SEO implementation for his website, has seen a steady growth in his small business.
Now he gets about 90 percent of his business from people finding his website via search engines using key phrases.
Michael Holsinger, an owner of a small auto repair shop, reported that his monthly sales increased from $18,000 to $28,000 per month after working with an agency to improve their SEO, and conversions from web traffic are up more than 30 percent.
Whether you go the DIY route or approach it with the help of a professional, SEO can have a significant impact on sales and customer growth.
SEO TIP: SEO is an investment and the more you put into it, the greater your returns will be – in the form of higher search engine rankings, increased business, and customer loyalty.
SEO is a Powerful Tool…
Search Engine Optimization is a powerful marketing channel and any small business with a website should have an SEO strategy in place.
How you decide to approach the task of SEO is up to you, but having at least some SEO tactics in practice will start you on the path to the first page of search results. Because the web is such a popular place that clients look for products and services, SEO is a powerful tool that small local businesses can’t afford to ignore.