In today’s online marketplace, it is crucial for small businesses to take advantage of every opportunity to get a competitive edge. Applying SEO to their website is the most important thing they can do to compete online.
Here are six reasons – there are many more – why small businesses need to engage in search engine optimization.
Get Found In Search
There are people searching for what you do everyday. In fact, 95 percent of all Americans shop online for the products and services they need. If your company is a B2B, businesses use search engines, too. If they can’t find your business website, they will buy from your competitor.
Search optimizing your website does require an investment. You should also budget for on-going SEO practices in order to rank high. But these costs don’t compare to what businesses spend in paid advertising. Often those costs range between $3,000 and $20,000 per month!
Organic SEO is more attractive when you consider that the benefits are with that website forever. When you stop paying for advertising, the paid traffic disappears.
Organic SEO is More Efficient Than Paid
Another benefit is efficiency. When you invest in organic SEO for your website and as an on-going marketing practice, it will likely pull in more traffic than those companies that advertise for the same keyword terms. Organic SEO listings receive more than 90% of all the clicks on a search results page! Paid ads receive just 3 percent.
That’s because most searchers move past the paid advertisements. They understand that the high position of the ad is due to that company paying for it. Thus, in the eyes of these searchers, that site is less credible than one with a high organic ranking.
The benefits of SEO don’t go away, either. They are there 24/7/365.
Builds Trust and Awareness For Your Brand
As the #1 search engine in the world, it’s pretty clear that people trust the search results that Google gives them. In fact, 91 percent of online users never leave the first page of the search results! That’s how much they trust Google.
Therefore, if your website appears on the first page, people will trust that your company is credible and there is a high probability that they will click through to learn more.
Appearing on the first page also provides brand awareness, helping searchers become familiar with your company. Building this awareness is key because not everyone will choose to buy today. But when they are ready to make a purchase, the awareness your SEO program has built puts you in a better position to be the company they choose.
Traffic = Sales
As we shared above, search optimizing your site so it appears on the first page of the search results will provide more clicks to your site. Because of the trust built by ranking high, traffic that comes to your site via search is more likely to convert into sales. In fact, it has the best conversion rates than any other traffic source.
The internet offers an opportunity for smaller brands to compete with larger companies. This is known as Challenger Marketing. Small businesses can make their case and explain why their products and services are better on the even playing field of the web.
Of course, Challenger Marketing requires the smaller company’s website to be found in search so it has the opportunity to make its case. If it doesn’t appear on the first page, there’s no opportunity.
Many small businesses still discount the importance of SEO. Perhaps they just don’t understand its role in online marketing today. Or maybe they paid for search engine optimization services in the past, but they haven’t kept up with the Google updates and find it is no longer working for them.
Whatever the reason, SEO remains one of the most important online practices a small business can do. If you have questions about SEO, call me today at 513-237-5530.
Bob Turner is a Digital Marketing Consultant with RevLocal in Cincinnati, Ohio.