Updated: Jun 20, 2019
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great marketing tool, but it can often be overlooked by many business owners. In this guide, we’ll examine the importance of SEO for small businesses, and also provide some resources to help you improve the SEO of your website for better leads and traffic.
What is SEO?
The term “SEO” is an acronym for “search engine optimization.” This term might seem self-explanatory, but it gets a little more complicated when you look into it. It is essentially the act of tailoring your website to become more visible for users online.
Let’s say that you’re online one morning, looking for an interesting coffee cup to buy your significant other. You don’t really have anything specific in mind other than the words “interesting coffee cup,” so that’s what you search. You pick your favourite search engine, type the words, and look at the results.
It’s probable that you’re going to click on one of the top five results because one of them is likely to strike you as the right one. The thing is, if you were to scroll through the endless result pages on your search, you would likely find that many of them, all the way through, would have the thing you were looking for.
How do those chosen few find their ways to the top of the front page? The answer is search engine optimization.
It All Starts With the Search Engine Algorithm
All of the information that we have about optimizing websites comes from what we know about how search engines work. Search engines have to have a way of taking a few key phrases and coming up with results that reflect what the user is looking for.
Just like everything else in business, search engines have a competitive incentive to perform. They need to have an algorithm that takes the user’s search, runs it through the billions of websites on the internet, and comes up with the site that most closely matches what the user wants. That’s a pretty difficult thing to do.
Most estimates state that search engines use roughly 200 factors in determining which sites come up in their searches. There are, however, a few factors that are consistently the most important. These factors are keywords, links, site architecture, and content.
These are the factors that we, as website owners, have to utilize in order to maximize our results. We’ll cover each one of those terms in this article, but first, we should cover another thing that search engines look our for– pandering.
Why search engine optimization is important to a business
As the owner of a business website, what the one thing you always want more of? While there are several potential answers to this question, at the top of the pile is always “website visitors who want to buy my products/services”.
So if you could secure a regular stream of website visitors who are actively search for a product/service like the one you’re offering, you’d undoubtedly want a piece of the action.
Well, that’s exactly what SEO offers to all businesses of all sizes.
Of course, you need to put in the groundwork first to reap the rewards. But if you do, you could end up with a regular flow of visitors who are very interested in what you do.
Remember: 3.5 billion searches are made on Google per day, so if you’re not doing SEO that’s a lot of potential visits you’re missing out on.
This alone should be enough to convince you of the importance of SEO, but there are still some other objections that small business owners can have.
Do big companies reduce the importance of SEO for small businesses?
This is a common complaint: How can my small business succeed in SEO when there are so many larger rivals around?
And it’s true: A small company is never going to be able to outrank Amazon for ecommerce terms. The secret is, you don’t have to.
With so many searches made each day, there are plenty of keywords that Amazon isn’t ranking for, but that would still be relevant for your business.
This is one of the key lessons when doing small business SEO: You need to identify keywords that people are using, which are relevant to your business and which aren’t already dominated by your larger rivals. Then you need to rank for them.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But if you understand this principle you won’t spend your time chasing keywords that aren’t relevant to your business, or that you have no hope of ranking for.
The importance of on page SEO for small businesses
Keywords are the initial building block of an area of SEO known as on page SEO. As the name suggests, this field is all about things you can do on an individual web page to improve its SEO.
The first step is to identify which keyword you want a page to rank for and then make sure you use those keyword(s) on the page in question.
Quite often, these keywords are obvious. For example, on a product page your main keywords will be based around the name of your product. For a page selling a service your main keywords will be based around the name of the service, and probably the area you offer that service in to.
When it comes to things like blog content, it can get a little bit more complicated and you may even want to use keyword research to come up with topic ideas, rather than thinking of topics first and then trying to find keywords that fit.
It’s important to include your keyword(s) on the page that you want to rank in search engines when people search for those keywords.
So try to make sure you include them in important places like page titles, as well as the content of a page.
However, all these keyword usages should occur naturally, don’t try to stuff keywords on to your pages as many times as possible. It looks bad and it won’t help you rank well in search engines.
The benefit of technical SEO for small businesses
Technical SEO can sound off putting, but really it’s just about making sure that search engines can easily crawl your site in order to understand what content you have and what search engine queries it’s relevant to.
The good news is that if you’re using a platform such as WordPress or GoDaddy’s Website Builder for your website, then technical SEO becomes a little bit more straightforward as you don’t have to worry as much about how your URLs are structured.
The bad news is that if you’re not using one of those platforms and have a custom-built site, then your SEO may be lacking and you might need a full technical SEO audit to help you get up to speed.
Technical SEO is a huge topic and one that people spend years becoming specialists in, but here are a couple of quick tips to help you out.
First, site structure matters for both website visitors and search engines. Make sure you have logical, easy to understand menus and navigation bars. And remember, if a page doesn’t have a link to it from another page site visitors can’t find it and neither can search engines. (Don’t go crazy with your internal linking though, there’s no need to link to every page on your site from your homepage, for example.)
Secondly, site speed also matters for website visitors and search engines.
The importance of off-page SEO for small businesses
The other piece of the SEO jigsaw is getting your site and it content noticed, and hopefully attracting links.
Links have always been an important part of SEO as they act as signals to search engines that your pages are trusted, interesting and relevant to certain topics.
Attracting links to your site is a tricky business, a good place to start is by using content marketing.
Also, if you’re running a business that focuses on a specific area such as a coffee shop, or a plumber, then you also need to think about local SEO. A good place to start is adding your business to relevant business directories.
Reasons Why SEO is Important for Business
SEO for Business Visibility
Now, this is one thing that if your business gets, you’ll have so many leads that no other kind of advertising can make happen. The idea is to be visible to the world and trust me nobody will be able to see you if you are just blatantly writing the content. it is going to be of no use, you are just wasting your time, money and resources.
Whenever people search your products or services you would always want to reach as high as possible which means you need a higher ranking to get the kind of visibility that could generate leads. What do you expect in personal salesmanship? You try to infer from the customer as to what he or she wants from the retailer. Similarly, here also you are trying to regulate the searches made on Google in relation to the keywords to reach the customers.
Over here you are directly going to the people who need your product through SEO. A consumer does not buy something just like that, he is going to research on the basis of that he is going to buy it. SO the more you appear to him the more he is going to think that you provide the best. So, here we go, the more we optimize our product the more there are chances of the consumer finds it. Now you know why SEO is important for business.
Visibility is directly related to the branding of any product or service. Branding helps in recognition of the product. So, basically, you need to brand your product to get into the subconscious minds of the consumers as this is going to help in people knowing the brand and the more the people know the brand there are more chances of creating leads.
All this can’t be done without optimizing the whole thing, it is impossible to not optimize and then seek results for the best. SEO helps you in making the people aware about your brand and this is going to make the customer depend on you easily. Your customer Google’s everything and the first page is the only options for him or her, so you need to decide what you want to do about it. This is a trust-building relationship that would make them believe that your service is not going to harm them.
This is not going to cost you much and whatever it costs you, the rebate is going to be far more than that. So, do not waste your time as only after investing your money in Search Engine Optimization will you know why SEO is important for business.
Searchers give psychological rankings to brands on the basis of search results. Therefore, your business is going to generate leads on if it has a certain kind of credibility and that does not happen in a day or something. It takes time to optimize the whole thing and then Google also takes time to crawl your site and you are able to seek results a little later.
By appearing on top rankings, you create credibility in the minds of the users. You can’t really ask a consumer to buy something without trusting the brand. So, it is a must to do SEO, if you wants your customers to find you credible. There is a great chance of incorporating credibility towards your consumers through your brand if you know why SEO is important for business.
4) Generates Traffic
Generating website traffic is also one of the most difficult things, but is the most integral part of running the business. Herein you’ll understand as to why SEO is important for business. Though traffic is not going to make any money, I agree. but then you need to regulate the traffic in the right direction and make it work for your business. Like you want people to buy your product and service but then to do that you will have to optimize your content, images and videos and work it in a way that Google would deviate the traffic to your website and eventually people will buy those products and services.
When you build a virtual image and now with SEO you also have traffic running your way then your product will be able to generate leads. People coming to your site are qualified leads and will definitely want to buy a product that you are trying to sell so if you reach them well he or she will buy the product for sure. As the traffic coming to your site is in search of the same product that you are selling, so these leads are qualified leads that you will generate with the help of Search Engine Optimization.
SEO gives us a chance of exposing your brand in the market that too without investing a lot of money. If there wouldn’t have been Searching engine optimization then this would have been so expensive. In today’s time, it is not an easy task to create a mark in the world.
Therefore, Search engine Optimizing helps you in getting what you have always wanted. this is the kind of exposure that you were expecting and you will definitely get it over here. You can now reach far away grounds with the help of SEO, you can mark your territories and create a proper virtual image with the help of SEO to reach the global market through the world wide web. This makes us well versed with as to why SEO is important for business, especially small businesses.
This also helps us in widening the horizon of work spectrum then again exposes our brand to the outside world. Rather than spending a lot of money, you can boost the presence of the business with optimization efforts. You can cater any market or decide to target any audience and all this has gone easy due to SEO.
6) Cost-effective way of marketing
SEO is the most cost-effective way of marketing as we get the return on whatever we invest and the money invested is lesser than the ROI. The cost-effectiveness makes a vital clog in your marketing procedures. This is the most money and time-saving way to take your business further on the web.
This would also signify rapid growth through organic traffic that is going to be beneficial for your company and you’ll be able to accomplish your goals in the desired form and manner. This is how SEO helps business in the right way.
7) Return on Investment
With SEO you get a higher Rate on Investment other than advertising and marketing. Advertising costs really high and may also give a reasonable return on investment but the SEO ROI is much higher than the existing ones. You just need to know your target and you will achieve it in a while.
You don’t have to waste a lot of money to reach the target audience, so this would result in elimination in wastage of time and much more. Also, your work doesn’t reach the audience that isn’t interested in your product. Thus, it becomes imperative to understand why SEO is important for business.
8) Demographics-based targeting
You are just going to reach the people who on the basis of the demographics of those people. Which means you won’t focus on the people who would not be interested in buying your product or service, you just infuse your interest wherever it is required. hence, optimization will make your work easier altogether and you need not buy or spend money or time on the set of people that would not buy your product.
So, be it age, sex, territory, preference, geography etc. you may choose the metrics and automate it according to what or how you want it to be. This kind of targeting will definitely boost your sales and you will meet your targets within time. There are bigger chances of endearing success if you focus on this it may lead you to the bigger reveries that you have always seen.
9) Insight into the customers
SEO is the best way to get an insight into the kind of customers you have and the related marketing efforts. You can now understand the kind of audience coming to your website and then analyze the whole thing and go about it. Get yourself in place according to the consumers and use the information to accommodate data regarding the buying behaviour of the consumers.
The traffic website gains are going to add in for the better sales and this is how you boost your sales. Now you’ll understand that the Search Engine Optimization helps you in gaining website traffic which in return increases your sales and then gains profit. This means your efforts are going to give you a big fillip that’ll be useful for your business.
11) Staying Ahead of Competitors
SEO gives us the time and space to be ahead of our competitors and this means that you can either change your track or make a new track. Do something that your competitor isn’t already doing through competitor's gap and you’ll find results very soon. Also, there is a possibility that your competitors are not already doing the optimization. Therefore, you can pull your socks up and start working on it.
Interested in Learning More?
Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to the importance of SEO. Now that you’re in the loop, there is a lot more you can look into. There are hundreds of ways to get faster, better results, and they’re only a quick away.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimize your website for search engines, we have all of the information you need. Contact us at tagetmedia