Everybody knows how hard it is to succeed in business.
Indeed, just 50% of start-ups survive past the 5-year mark. According to the same source, only one in three make it past 10 years in operation. To put it another way, a significant majority of businesses fail within a decade of starting out.
Those kinds of statistics are hardly encouraging! They show that success is never guaranteed. It demands commitment, hard work, a powerful USP, and, perhaps, a stroke of good fortune.
You must use every tool at your disposal to beat the competition. SEO for small businesses is one of the most effective tools available in that pursuit.
In our digital era, search engine optimization is essential. Done right, it moves your bid for success out of the realm of luck and into your control. It can drive growth and prosperity, helping your business find long-term success where most others fail.
Need some more convincing? Keep reading to discover eight primary reasons that small businesses need SEO.
1. It Drives Traffic to Your Site
Finding success online is impossible without web traffic.
It’s the lifeblood of all your marketing endeavors! People who visit your site have the potential to turn into leads. They enter your funnels and move through them until they’re ready to convert.
As you can see, traffic translates into revenue! The more traffic you can generate, the more money your business stands to earn.
And SEO helps you do it.
Indeed, organic search is a leading source of traffic for most business websites. SEO lifts websites up the rankings, which boosts their exposure and sends more people through to them. The result?
A larger slice of the traffic on offer, higher numbers of leads, and an ensuing rise in revenue.
2. You Beat the Competition
As we’ve seen, mastering SEO gives your website a boost in search results. But the benefits involved extend beyond the resulting increase in traffic.
Coming in the top spot(s) on SERPs also positions you above your competition. It goes without saying how that’s good for business! Traffic is siphoned away from their websites and into yours.
Your win is their loss. In effect, you pilfer their supply of leads.
Not only that, but would-be customers see your website above the rest. Humans are hardwired to give preferential treatment to anything in leading positions. They’ll judge your business more favorably, assume it’s a leader in the field, and be more likely to buy from you.
3. You Cultivate Brand Awareness
Businesses always face a constant battle for exposure in saturated markets.
But new businesses, in particular, face an uphill struggle to stand out from the crowd.
Think about their plight! Somehow, they have to convince their target customer to buy from them instead of pre-established companies. That’s no mean feat when you consider the importance of trust and credibility in driving sales (more on this next).
Success is made possible by generating brand awareness. After all, people must know of your brand if they’re ever going to become loyal customers.
SEO is a prime way to build the awareness you need. Remember, well-optimized content ranks higher in SERPs; you beat the competition and get more eyes on your site.
That right there is the exposure you need. It puts your brand front and center of peoples’ attention! They discover who you are, appreciate the value you provide, and stow the name away for future reference.
4. You Cultivate Trust
You can’t overstate the importance of trust in today’s world.
Generating sales is easy when you’ve won it from a would-be customer. Think about brands like Nike and Apple (which is now a $1 trillion company). They’ve been around forever, are renowned globally for their quality products, and have a clear, established ‘why’.
People know their name, appreciate what they stand for, and happily hand over their money to them as a result. There’s no need for dirty tactics or sleazy sales pitches. The trust between customers and corporations means their products fly off the shelves anyway.
You can do the same by showing up in all the right places, providing endless value, and becoming an authority in your niche. And, guess what, SEO helps you do all three.
It’s hard not to trust a company that ranks in the pole position on Google! Back that up with awesome content and irresistible offers, and it’s natural for leads to follow. You can then cultivate the relationship via email marketing to foster a loyal customer base.
5. It’s Free!
Let’s not forget that search engine optimization doesn’t have to cost a dime either.
All of the aforementioned benefits are available at zero expense. You can find the keywords, create (and optimize) the content, generate the backlinks, watch the results roll in, and spend nothing throughout the process.
That’s an almighty boon for bootstrapping businesses. After all, every cent counts when you’re working with a minimal marketing budget. Efficiency is key, operations must be lean, and paid strategies must be effective in order to justify the investment.
SEO reduces the financial pressure and offers an unparalleled return on investment.
Of course, it also takes time and effort to master! Many businesses do invest in professional SEO services in order to speed the process along. All the same, relative to other marketing processes, it remains a cost-effective endeavor.
6. You Improve the User Experience
The user experience (UX) plays a primary role in a website’s success in SERPs.
Websites that are slow, ugly, clunky, and difficult to navigate are never fun to spend time on. People will naturally click away and look elsewhere for answers.
In effect, they end up disappointed by the result Google showed them, which is bad for Google’s business! Your site gets pushed down the rankings as a result so it doesn’t happen again.
To focus on SEO, then, is to create a desirable website on which people enjoy spending time. It means your site is faster, sleeker, more visually appealing, and makes the right information easily accessible.
An upward spiral develops in the process.
Your website offers a faultless UX, which makes it more likely to rank well. Not only that, but users enjoy spending time on it, which lends itself to lead and sales generation. That, in turn, tells Google your site is worth ranking and perpetuates the cycle.
7. The Effects Are Long-Lasting
Search engine optimization is a bit like a freight train.
It takes time to get up to speed. However, it’s incredibly hard to stop when it gets there! In the same way, SEO can work favorably for your business for months and even years to come.
One piece of high ranking content can send a steady stream of leads your way long into the future.
Moreover, as your website gets older and you attract increasing numbers of links, its authority will grow. It’ll become easier to rank, your presence will expand, and brand awareness improves ever further.
When SEO is used in conjunction with paid ads, you’ll see the benefits of both short-term and long-term approaches. However impressive the ROI might be, the results of ads are short-lived. You’ll keep paying for more ads in order to reap continual rewards.
That’s less of an issue when you leverage the power of SEO.
8. Local Rankings Drive Sales
SEO isn’t just about getting traffic to your website.
It can be just as valuable for getting people onto the shop floor.
Indeed, small businesses often rely on being found online by people in the local area. Someone hunting for a particular service will turn to Google (usually on their mobile) and see a set of results based on their location.
They might be looking for a barbershop, a hardware store, a greengrocer, or anything! Whatever business you run, local SEO ensures it’ll show up in relevant searches.
It goes without saying how important that is for driving in-store sales. Fail to rank in local searches and you may as well not exist as far as prospective customers are concerned. They’ll turn to your local competitors instead.
Time to Leverage SEO for Small Businesses
It’s hard to overstate the importance of SEO for small businesses.
In a digital world with immense levels of competition, it’s an effective way to stand out from the crowd, build a brand, and drive sales. Ultimately, your position in search is a determining factor in your ability to drive traffic and leads.
It’s no exaggeration to say that SEO facilitates business growth and maximizes your chances of success against the odds. Hopefully, the reasons that we’ve highlighted in this post have demonstrated the value that’s on offer!
Are you interested in investing in your search engine optimization this year? We can help with that as well as your other branding, marketing, and web design efforts. Contact us today to find out more.