Understanding SEO For Small Businesses

by | Feb 4, 2020 | SEO

Joe

Joe

I’m the director of Amplified Marketing and have been working in digital marketing for over 8 years. I love helping small businesses grow online with smart and effective digital marketing.

Running a small business presents many challenges in an ever changing world. There are so many things you need to check off your list just to get up and running. Let alone all of the tasks required daily to keep it going. The struggle is real. Many small businesses fail in their first year and even more have closed by the 5 year mark. And the reality is that even long established businesses can face difficulties when they fail to adapt their marketing to changing times. Is your calendar consistently booked as full as you’d like it to be? Do you have customers reaching out to you asking you to do business with them?

The Internet Is Where Your Customers Are

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is more necessary today in 2019 than it ever has been. Believe it or not, many small business owners don’t see a need to invest in SEO. Some even fall victim to the ongoing claims that “SEO is dead”. The opposite is true. The fact is that SEO presents and enormous opportunity. When your prospects are looking for products, advice, videos or even your locations and times they turn to the Internet. They’re just pulling their phone from their pocket, asking their voice controlled virtual assistant, or even looking at their watch! It’s never been easier to get immediate answers. If you don’t have your online presence in order, you leave the door open for your competition to take your place. What you’re doing is essentially handing them those customers without putting up a fight.

SEO Traffic Converts

The way that SEO works is different than other types of online advertising. Social media is great for distributing your content and building brand awareness. Advertising on social media definitely works, but is a more difficult road to converting than using SEO. You have to remember that social media is what its name says it is. Social in nature. People go there to connect with friends, find memes and keep up with popular events/culture. When you advertise to your social media audience, you’re interrupting their experience. They don’t go there with any intention of taking out a credit card, so you really have to know their socks off for those conversions. When your prospects reach the later points of the buying cycle they turn to search engines. They are literally sitting in front of a device asking for your business. Positioning yourself properly to show up for them will give you a steady flow of leads without the additional worries involved with social media ads and ad spend.

How SEO Works

SEO is the process that small businesses go through to make sure that your site ranks high in search engines for your top keywords. Although it gets really intricate and advanced, the overall concepts are easy to understand. You make changes to your website and content that make it easier for search engines to digest. The most important thing to remember is that search engines are a business. They need to make sure that the results they are serving up are the best out there. If people don’t like the answers they get from Google, they might turn to Bing or DuckDuckGo. Or vice versa. So what they do is go out and crawl (scan) as many different websites as they can to get an understanding what each is about. This helps ensure the results they’re showing are the best out there. If you’re skilled enough to show the search engines you’re what their users are looking for, they reward you with one of the top positions in their results. How does your search presence stack up?

Benefits Of SEO

SEO gets you more traffic. This is arguably the most important benefit. If you choose the right keywords and improve in the rankings you get more visitors to your site. SEO builds credibility and influences purchasing decisions. People trust Google, plain and simple. If you’re able to take the top spot you’re immediately positioned as the best in their mind. More than 30% of people that perform a search click on the first result. And almost nobody reaches the second page or beyond. SEO receives more clicks than PPC (paid advertising). Many search engine users end up skipping the ads they serve. This becomes more and more true the more savvy these users become. They’re essentially “trained” to be blind to them as they know businesses pay to be there. Organic positions are earned.

SEO is measurable. If you have the right tools, you can tell which pages keywords specifically are the most valuable to your business.

SEO can help you compete with larger companies. There are companies out there you could never out bid with paid ads. It’s true these companies also invest in SEO, but they typically focus on the larger keywords. They simply aren’t able to zone in on the more locally focused keywords with buyer intent. SEO makes your business more valuable. If you possibly want to sell one day or need a good valuation to secure financing for growth, potential buyers will see good rankings as an intangible benefit. Better insight into your competition. A good SEO strategy isn’t only about your website. It’s also about analysing your competition and seeing what gaps they have in their strategy and capitalising on those opportunities. This helps you not only stay ahead of them, but also get a deeper understanding into the minds of your customers.

What Does All This Mean?

Continuing to run your small business without investing in SEO is certainly possible, but you’re going to be limiting your overall reach and growth. It’s even possible to use the endless resources out there and do it yourself. The fact is that the faster you have and implement a proper strategy, the faster you will get results. Partnering up with the right company allows you to skip the trial and error phase you’ll suffer through with a DIY approach and get straight to the results. If this all sounds overwhelming or confusing, please get drop us a line for more guidance.