GENERAL

THE IMPORTANCE OF SEO FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Before we start, we’d like to present to you a few facts you may find interesting from our discussion with DNRG, a reputable digital marketing agency in Bristol;

  • A third of online consumers search for local businesses daily, per a 2019 survey
  • There has been a growth of over 500% in mobile searches that contain the phrase “near me”. There is an intersection of searches that also contain the words “can I buy” or “to buy”
  • 93% of online consumers found local businesses through searches, per a 2020 survey.
  • 42% of millennials who used local searches to look for businesses would visit the businesses more times than not. 

Have we gotten your attention yet? We hope so. Another scenario to paint a picture; imagine you run a fast food joint where burgers and chickens are the main courses. This puts you in the same category as giant chains like KFC and McDonalds. In an organic internet search, they would totally cinch all the online searches due to their high rankings and popularity. This presents a dilemma, given that it stifles the visibility of small businesses to grow. 

What is SEO?

SEO (also known as Search Engine Optimization) is the procedure aimed at increasing the amount of organic traffic your site gets, both in terms of quality and quantity. Quantity of traffic is self-explanatory; quality of traffic refers to the number of searches you get that are actually in line with what you offer. As a small business, this is an integral part of gaining visibility in a competitive world. 

Thanks to SEO, more small businesses are able to gain traction and get customers by being shown on SERPs (search engine result pages). SEO, as a concept, is made up of various elements. These elements include;

  • Keywords

Keywords are words and phrases that are likely to draw more traffic to your business by being aligned with frequent searches. This implies that they usually are words and phrases with a high search rate. To successfully use keywords in today’s market, they must be well-researched, carefully chosen, and strategically placed. 

  • Content

To many, content is the main aspect of SEO because it is a bridge through which you connect to your customers, the means through which you engage them and prove to them that you are worth their time. Contents might include blogs, videos, podcasts, listicles, etc. 

  • Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to the various actions you take outside of your website that improve your rankings in SERPs. The major strategy for this is by backlinking – the incorporation of your website links into other sites. Search engines are more likely to rank your page higher in SERPs if it has more backlinks from various high-quality sites. 

  • Local SEO

This is a subset of SEO that deals with the improvement and optimisation of the visibility of local businesses through local searches on Google. Geographical location plays a huge part in this; one of the strategies through which local SEO is built includes the geotagging of pictures and the improvement of your Google My Business account. 

  • Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing refers to the collective efforts of a business to gain visibility through paid marketing. This is done by the use of ads, pay-per-click, etc. 

The importance of SEO to small businesses

The survival of a small business is hinged on its ability to attract new clientele and position itself in the minds of a solid, consistent customer base. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is by the proliferation of SEO strategies in the order of business. It is not just important; it’s necessary. More people are relying on the internet to point them in the direction of undiscovered services. It is up to you to exploit this development. 

SEO helps to give your business visibility

Business visibility in a global village is determined by how easy it is to find your business when prospective customers go looking for services you render. SEO works to heighten that visibility by making you and your business rank high in SERPs. Backlinks building, citation, geotagging, etc, allows your business to be discoverable by new customers. The prospects for you are immense when this is made a priority. It translates to better sales, more customers, more sponsors, etc. 

It allows you to harness the goodwill of a new market

A lot of studies have shown that more people are willing to shop from local businesses than from large companies. This is in spite of large advertising budgets and marketing techniques being churned by these organisations. When you use SEO services in your business, you are taking advantage of a market handed to you on a platter of gold. Businesses that do not take SEO seriously are less likely to be patronised by customers using the internet to search for alternatives. 

It increases your site traffic

Site traffic is proportional to business visibility. The more visible your business is, the more likely for interested prospects to check your business site. According to Backlinko, the number 1 spot in a Google search result has an average CTR of 27.6%, and moving up one spot on SERPs would increase your site CTR by 2.8%. For businesses that also earn money from site traffic, this is a good way to increase profit margins. 

It improves your efforts at targeting

One key factor of SEO is customer market alignment; you are more likely to reach your target market through the use of optimisation strategies to draw people to your business. In any given field, a target market is most likely already established, and finding your way to this market through SEO would carve out a substantial niche for you within. 

It increases the conversion rate in your business

By optimising your search engine marketing, you are already ensuring that only customers who are interested in your business, at least on a surface level. With a little push from your relevance and competence in creating content that is trustworthy and relevant to the searches, these prospects are more likely to patronise your business than, say, people who randomly stumbled onto your service. You get more calls, more leads, more sales, more subscriptions, and higher profits. 

It puts your business far above the competition

You would genuinely be shocked (and a bit sorry for your competitors) at how far introducing SEO strategies into your business would take you. A business that uses SEO would always have the edge over one that sticks to traditional methods of marketing. You would be taking advantage of the inevitable and complete paradigm shift that dictates how business would be run in the digital age. Kudos to you if you take these strategies seriously.

Short tips for incorporating SEO into your business

Here are a few short tips for incorporating SEO into your business;

  • Open and manage a Google my business account
  • List your business in online directories
  • Aim for getting referrals and backlinks 
  • Create relevant content
  • Intentionally hyperlocalize your web content by geotagging and adding location keywords in your content.