Are you a small business owner?
If Yes, then you know the level of obstacles one face, day in and out, to keep running the business.
Running a business is not limited to just having products & services.
From finding the clients to building awareness for your small business, there are dozens of things that demand attention.
In this midst, SEO doesn’t strike to many small business owners.
Also, many small business owners have either never heard of SEO or never explored its benefits.
So, they invest in a website and ignore the SEO part.
Big deal? Yes!They are not just ignoring SEO, but also about 95% of their potential customers who are looking for the exact products and services you sell, unattended.Click To Tweet
Now, that’s a big deal!
So you get the point, SEO for small businesses is no more a luxury but a necessity.
Now, hold on to this thought and read below to understand what real benefits can search engine optimization bring to a small business.
Also how small business owners can use SEO strategies in the right way to reach to thousands of new customers.
What is SEO For Small Businesses Mean?
Search engine optimization helps in improving websites ranking on the search engines. But what real value will this bring to a small business owner?
Well, for a small business every client matter the most!
Unlike big brands, which have hundreds of clients, a small business sustain on the basis of word of mouth, much like our small budget movies.
Positive word of mouth comes with the high user experience.
Now, consider this, you build a beautiful engaging website for the searcher but missed the little details that enhance the user experience.
For instance, website speed. User comes to your website but due to speed issue leaves it before making any purchases.
Result, high bounce rate, giving a negative signal to Google that your website is not relevant for the user.
That’s how you miss many potential customers.
Now, this is where SEO comes to the picture. It is about optimizing your website for high user experience.
Do I need to repeat what satisfied customers can do for your small business?
I have read many case studies of small businesses in fashion, retail & e-commerce, who wants to keep the user happy but fails in the midway.
They put plenty of photos and videos on the website.
Now, this is a great help for the user but from SEO point of you, it can be an issue.
Since most of these visuals have high file size which can affect your website’s performance.
So you are getting how optimization checks your website at every step?
It is about building credible and trustworthy website for Google and searcher, and eventually, generate a high number of leads.
By optimizing your website well for your visitors you ensure that no customer goes unattended. But hold on, SEO isn’t magic, it involves hundreds of things.
Which optimization solution your website needs depends on where the website is going wrong. These were just few a small examples of what SEO mean for a small business.
So here comes a question when should you introduce SEO to your website?
At What Stage Small Businesses Should Invest in SEO
The scope to expand your business with SEO is huge, but only if you start investing at a right time.
But what is the right time?
Now, this is where most businesses go wrong. They start considering optimization after the development of the website.
This is what many businesses do, are you one of them?
SEO should start along the website development.
Implementing SEO protocols after the website development is difficult and time-consuming.
This happens because many website designers and even big website development companies don’t have experienced in-house SEO professionals.
Result, they don’t get proper guidance on search engine optimization practices.
There focus is simply on module development as per the client’s requirements.
Considering proper optimization protocols comes last on their mind.
This is where your business can go wrong.To leverage organic traffic, SEO expert should be considered at the earliest stage of website designing and development.Click To Tweet
By collaborating the development team with seo expert, you can get incredible benefits for your small business.
SEO Benefits To Small Businesses
Despite stating the relevance of optimization, I know not many small businesses naturally gravitate towards SEO.
The biggest reason, it doesn’t deliver instant results, plus, it’s not as simple as placing an Ad in the newspaper.
Yes, that’s true.
Here’s how it brings wonders to your business.
SEO Builds Trust & Brand Awareness
Research suggests 98% of users choose businesses available on the first page.
Can you guess why?
The truth is the higher your business appear on the search engine ranking the more likely users think your business is trustworthy.
Building trust is not easy and surely doesn’t happen overnight.
Now here what SEO helps you achieve. It will still take time though but it’s worth spending the time.
The goal of experienced SEO professional is to optimize your site for high traffic and make your business visible on the most trusted search engines.
What after that?
Well, let’s not forget visibility plays a pivotal role in building awareness for your small business.
High rank is directly proportional to an increased number of visitors on your site which automatically enhances your brand awareness.
Who would want to miss that? Surely not a small business owner, who would otherwise have to burn a whole lot of money in promotions to become “Trustworthy”.
Local SEO Bypass Competition For Small Business
Many people think SEO is dying or no more effective.
Well, plain and simple, SEO isn’t dying but yes, constantly changing and for the better only.
The latest example of this change is “Local SEO”, which I feel is a boon for small business owners.
Why do I say boon?
Well, because no matter what industry you are in, there will be at least one big player in your domain who has been there for a long time and have a big budget to rank high on search engines.
No doubt it is extremely difficult to compete with such a big competitor.
But here’s the question:Do you need to compete with big competitors in your domain? With Local optimization you surely don’t!Click To Tweet
Local SEO carves your website for local searchers’ in your vicinity.
You have limited or no competition but have a more targeted audience. That’s why I call it a boon!
Consider this, if a user is searching for a local service or product it means they are likely searching something very specific.
They don’t care about who is big at the macro level, for them it’s about who is available in their vicinity.
Local SEO Result, more targeted audience and better rate of conversions. Who doesn’t want this?Click To Tweet
After all, it’s better to get 50 local searchers’ who are interested in purchasing, rather than 200 searchers’ who are just browsing that they might buy later.
Consider your own searching habits, if you are typing “Electrician in Menlo Park”, you probably not searching this for time pass, are you?
It can do wonders for your small business, so start it right now.
If you have a google account you can easily get the free promotion by localizing your business.
To begin, head on to http://www.google.com/local/add
There are many other ways to optimize your small business for Local searchers.
Interested in some more local SEO techniques?
Well, here you go, check out Neil Patel’s 4 easy tips to market your local business:
By investing in local seo you are visible to people who are in need of the products and services you sell.
SEO Ensure Optimal User Experience
Coming on the first page of the search engine is a dream of every business.
But many fail to understand that high user experience is crucial to turn this dream into a reality.
Something that Google not only take seriously but it also know how to differentiate between good user experience from the bad.
No wonder google consider this while ranking the websites.
This is when optimization again comes to the picture.
The goal of SEO is to render optimal user experience to your potential buyer.
Wondering how does SEO help you in achieving this?
In technical language, by reducing your bounce rate.
In layman’s language, by ensuring visitor stay on your page for long. Both mean the same thing.
The longer the user stays on your site the higher he/she is likely to convert.
But how do you get that?
So there are many things that ensure higher user experience. (We have discussed this in starting, now adding some more details.)
For instance: websites design, site navigation, site architecture, content strategy, responsive design, effective CTA and a whole lot of other things.
This all comes under SEO. It makes sure that user comes to your site, find it relevant and becomes a lead.
For a small business, this SEO benefit is huge. Wouldn’t you agree?
SEO Provide Leads Without Any Recurring Cost in Future
Many small businesses have a tiny marketing budget if they have even that.
The beauty of SEO is that it’s completely free, given the fact you have the courage to implement some tactics.
There are hundreds of best seo analysis tool available that will help you to edit, research and learn some elements of optimization.
Plus, once done rightly, SEO can give you leads for a long time without burning a hole in your pocket.
Consider this, if you optimize your website for “Florist in South Boston”, the searcher can find you even after years from now.
But what if you have to invest in publishing the same message in newspapers or magazines? It will be a big expense on your small business.
Worse, the moment you stop paying for ads, the very moment you disappear for your many potential customers.
So a quick recap, we are talking about free quality leads that are interested in the products and services you sell.
All you need is right SEO strategy and little patience.
Not Just Traffic, With SEO, Get Better Conversions Too
(Note: This point will going to be long, as I don’t just want to give you facts, but facts that’s backed by solid evidence, so here you go!)
Isn’t it an amazing feeling to see a sudden hike in your website’s traffic?
Whether it’s your article that goes viral on social media or it’s your consistent optimization efforts, high traffic is all that your business needs.
Right? Think before you say “Yes”
Consider this, your website witnessed a surge in traffic!
Seeing the hike in your traffic you check your website analytics account excitedly.
But here’s when disappointment creeps in.
You realized those high page traffic haven’t contributed in sales. That means high traffic but a poor rate of conversions.
So I ask my question again “Is high traffic enough for your business?” Now You know why I asked you to think again.
It’s a proven fact, high traffic never means high conversion too.
So does this mean all the SEO efforts you put in to rank your website on the top goes in vain?
No, absolutely not! Answer my question to understand this further:
Have you designed your SEO strategies for Google or for Users?
Many small businesses fail to understand the goal of SEO and optimize their website for Google. Now here’s when they go wrong.
Even for Google, it’s the user experience that matters the most.
Does by optimizing the website for users’ you do not just get high traffic but high sales too. Allow me to explain how.
It’s by Designing a funnel based SEO strategy for every stage of engagement.
Here I bring to you the most common yet underrated Purchase funnel.
The Top Funnel: Identifying The Needs & Questions
This is a broad stage where potential buyers are looking for the products they intend to buy but are confused or need more information
Understanding the queries of your potential visitors at this point can help you to optimize your site for users and take them further into the sales funnel.
Different industries have different needs and queries.
It’s your job to identify those needs and give answers.
Middle Funnel: Provide Insights To Potential Visitors
At this stage, the potential visitors are serious about the product you sell.
They want to make the purchase they just don’t know what and where.
In this particular example, your job is to nourish these potential buyers with content that would address these queries.
Once content work is done you need to design beautiful product images to convert these visitors into buyers.
Bottom of Funnel Stage: Sales
At this third stage, the visitors have repeatedly come to your website and almost made up the mind to buy from you.
So now the visitors needs other information that you need to focus on.
For instance information like shipping and delivery cost, packaging, product description, reviews, video testimonials and so on.
Can you see how are you optimizing your website for your targeted audience at every stage and eventually converting them as a buyer?
This is how SEO increase your sales multifold times.
For a small business, this is what you need.
After all who would want 100,000 monthly searches with 0.5% conversion rate over 50,000 visitors with 2% conversion rate. Right?
This is when SEO compliments CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)!
Getting high conversion rate is a technique and there aren’t one fit solution for every business.
Yes, convert better without worrying about the money. Now, which small business would want to miss this SEO benefit?
Quick Tips To Fix Your SEO Issues
After reading enough about SEO and how it can help your small business, aren’t you eager to start it quickly?
If Yes then Great!
The beauty of SEO is you can start this literally with no money, given you have time and patience.
The benefits search engine optimization brings to a small business is huge, so there’s no reason to delay.
SEO is not a science but sure an engineering which improves and get better with time.
With literally hundreds of tools available, you can start optimizing your website instantly.
These set of tools will help you analyze your website and see where is it not adhering to SEO protocols.
Here are some of the tools to begin:
Once you know the issues, get started with solutions. But first, analyze your website!
What Is The Cost of This Investment?
So you have read the incredible benefits SEO can bring to your website.
From being “unheard” to being a “brand”, that’s the transformation your business can experience.
Then is it wrong to call it an investment?
It can bring hundreds of free organic traffic over time.
But there are no free lunches or dinners, similarly, how can there be a surge of traffic without any cost incurred.
Wondering what’s the cost of this investment for your business?
Well, as I said before SEO is huge, you can start from basic optimization to building advanced strategies for higher sales.
In the initial stage, SEO might seem to be cheaper if you have time and patience in your hand. (TIME & PATIENCE in Search engine optimization is huge, folks, I can repeat this hundred of times)
Analyzing your websites’ issues and then learning how to solve them is time-consuming.
That’s the price SEO ask to get all those traffic and conversions you dreamt for.
Yes, I know “time is money”! So you might look for good SEO experts who can do this for you.
But it’s important to choose a good SEO company before paying your hard earned money.
You have seen what wonders SEO can do for your small business.
Well, the benefits of SEO for a small business is huge. I have just mentioned some handful of them.
Successful Search engine optimization strategies can take your business to another level.
From no traffic to a high number of traffic, from limited sales to a high conversion rate, basically from being a small business to becoming a big brand in your niche.
But folks, it takes time, just like many other good things.
You have seen SEO is not easy and surely not a magic.
It’s about checking your site at every possible stage and making it better.
Knowing where are you going wrong is a crucial part of this game!
So Start by analyzing your website, look for solutions and then don’t delay further to optimize your website.
Implementing a strong qualified SEO strategy is the call of new age marketing.
Still have questions?
Great! Brilliant thinkers never stop asking questions!
So tell me your questions in the comment section below and I would like to respond to your queries.
Digital Marketer with experience of working with brands across the globe. She is a data-obsessed digital marketer who makes the most by analyzing data and intersecting it with her creativity. Passionate about creating content strategies that drive traffic and conversion rate too.