What Is SEO and Why Should Your Small Business Care?

Did you know that only 30% of all small businesses adopt an SEO strategy and gain a competitive edge in the business world?

Did you know that only 30% of all small businesses adopt an SEO strategy?

We believe that every small business that operates a website needs to abide by SEO strategies if they wish to generate conversions via their website.

You may not agree with this statement, but think about it, how is your business supposed to differentiate itself online against an ocean of competitors, each with their own online presence?

If you wish to gain an edge on your competition in 2020, then you should stay updated on current facts and figures regarding SEO for small businesses.

What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it has the ability to increase the quantity and quality of visitors on your business website via organic search engine results.

Let’s say you wake up one fine morning and plan on buying your significant other a nice coffee cup. You’re not sure what might interest them, so you type ‘beautiful coffee cups’ in your search engine.

In most cases, search engine users click on the top 5 results because either one of them should get the job done. More importantly, the endless labyrinth of results that follow the top 5 might also have what you were looking for, but why should you put in the extra effort, right?

User Behavior Statistics

Each year presents an increase in the population of users that connects to the internet via a range of devices. Major shifts in users’ trends had been noticed towards the end of 2017, where a majority of users had finally diverted their attention from desktops to smartphones.

Now, smartphone users are a major demographic that uses the internet. Why is this important? Whether your website has a mobile-responsive design also affects how Google ranks it on its search engine.

  • 59% of the global population has access to the internet. (Statistica)
  • 82,730 Google searches occur in each second. (Internet Live Stats)
  • The average search engine user performs 3 to 4 searches each day (Moz)
Statistic: Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2016 to 2021 (in billions) | Statista

Find more statistics at Statista

Image Description: Graphical representation of the increase in smartphone users

It All Begins With the Algorithm

Most information that we have regarding SEO optimization comes from our knowledge of how search engine algorithms work. Just like the business world, search engines are motivated to find exactly what users are looking for with a competitive incentive.

For this reason, search engines need to have algorithms that cater to the user’s search by running it through their database consisting of billions of websites. Search results are then ranked with regard to how closely their contents match with what the user was searching for.

If this sounds like a tough chore for search engines, think about the effort each business needs to put to organically reach the first page of results. Most experts would say that search engine algorithms look for approximately 200 on-page factors to determine where it should rank in search results.

These factors are what we, as businesses with an online presence, need to utilize so we can maximize our potential. However, before we can discuss how to enter in Google’s good books, let’s quickly go over some of the key benefits of SEO for small business.

How SEO Can Benefit Small Businesses

Just like every other website, small businesses need to compete with the rest of the internet to rank higher on search engines. The only difference is that small businesses are competing with:

  • Other small businesses in their area
  • Established corporations with a vast reach and brand reputation spread across the globe
  • E-commerce or online-only businesses who focus on innovative features and low overheads

With so many competitors to look out for, small businesses need SEO to gain a competitive edge among online consumers. That being said, SEO is the most cost-effective method of doing this because the only cost that needs to be incurred is the cost of generating content.

Whether you outsource your website’s content production or generate it via an in-house team, the dollar value of traditional marketing methods is still way higher. Apart from a few minor costs of developing an SEO-friendly website, this strategy is virtually free!

If you don’t wish to be overshadowed by your competitor, then we would strongly recommend having an SEO strategy or a search engine optimization audit for your existing website. By doing so, you will be able to meet your customers halfway and compete with:

  • 63% of all online businesses that consider generating online traffic their top priority. (HubSpot)
  • 53% of all online businesses that prioritize content creation (HubSpot)
  • 61% of all online businesses that make SEO rankings and improving SEO strategy should be their top priority. (HubSpot)

With an effective SEO strategy, your small business will be able to experience the following short and long-term benefits:

1.   Popularity Among Consumers Via Larger Online Presence

Well, this is the whole purpose of building an SEO-friendly website. With SEO improving factors, you can structure a new website or tailor your existing one to prove to search engines that you deserve to be one the first page.

Since users click on the top 5 results on search engines, your SEO-friendly website could have more visitors, more engagement, and, ultimately, more exposure. Additionally, since targeted keywords are an important factor in SEO, your customers will automatically associate your brand with whatever they were searching for.

This is why companies that rank highest on search engines are automatically perceived by consumers to be more trustworthy as compared to later results.

Fun fact: Approximately 93% of every online activity starts from a search engine, and, at least 66% of these searches lead to one or more clickthroughs.

2.   Helps Improve Site Efficiency

Most small businesses launch a website because they wish to differentiate and increase their existing customer base. Since we’ve already established that SEO helps your website achieve better search engine rankings, this solves the problem of increasing your customer base.

Of course, with more consumers visiting your business’s website, you will have to make sure that your website works efficiently, even when it’s visited a peak number of visitors. Enter technical SEO.

Search engines and consumers love websites that employ technical SEO strategies such as improving site speed or making websites easier to navigate. This helps the search engine crawl through your website to find relevant pages to return to users.

An SEO strategy requires proper website maintenance; as a result, you will not only increase your customer base but also accrue the traffic being rerouted to your website efficiently.

3.   Increasing the Quality of Traffic

By learning how to optimize your business website with high-quality keywords and the necessary technical tweaks, you can draw-in quality traffic. With more quality traffic rolling into your page, you will have better leads. With better leads, you should have a higher potential for conversions.

With so many businesses to compete with, would you rather play the field or only serve quality customers? Of course, you would prefer the latter. For most small businesses, this could be as simple as targeting local town keywords to increase the probability of making sales.

4.   Cost-Effectiveness

We established earlier that Google’s algorithm ‘organically’ determines which websites are the best for users’ queries. Since your SEO strategy is doing so without paying Google for ads, you’re saving a lot of money.

While some small businesses still prefer traditional marketing strategies, inbound strategies like SEO have the potential of producing results at 62% less cost. Moreover, since SEO targets users who were looking for your products or services, it is more effective than other mass-marketing strategies.

Finally, a well-implemented marketing strategy can produce results that will last for longer periods. We’re talking years of success till your business ranks decently on search engines.

As a result, you wouldn’t have to waste your capital trying to test the effectiveness of different marketing strategies while customers place orders, day in and day out.

5.   SEO Can Yield High ROIs

If SEO techniques are followed correctly, small businesses can benefit from higher sales potential than just local sales. Furthermore, since the capital required for an effective SEO strategy is already very less, small businesses have a higher chance of breaking even or making profits over a short time.

Fun Fact: Studies have found that 61% of laptops and 78% of mobile searches result in local offline purchases. Since there are 7 billion monthly local searches in the U.S. alone, imagine what an SEO boosted visibility will mean for your small business.

6.   An Opportunity to Compete with the Established Businesses

Right now, you must be well-aware of how challenging it can be to compete with larger or established businesses. Since 82% of all marketers believe search engine optimization is a rising field and continuously gaining ground, it can help small businesses stay competitive where traditional strategies fail.

Larger and more established businesses are bound to use the same SEO strategies to get their message out there. In other words, your small business is no longer a shrinking minority in the business world.

Examples of SEO Strategies for Small Businesses

Set Benchmarks

Before you can effectively implement SEO strategies, you need to have a clear idea of where your website currently stands. For this reason, you should combine free tools, such as Google Analytics or free SEO audits from third-party experts, to determine the effectiveness of your website.

Develop Responsive Web Page Designs

Without device-responsive web design, Google and other search engines will not make things easy for your website. As a matter of fact, Google ranks websites based on how long visitors linger around on your website. If people just click away within seconds, your visibility will automatically be reduced in searches.

To increase the responsiveness of your website, you should improve its functionality, navigation, and speed. Also, Google recently started penalizing websites that have intrusive or overwhelming ad content.

Generate ‘Tempting’ URLs

Your web page’s address also has an effect on its SEO effectiveness, and most content management systems (like Wix or WordPress) create long and complex URLs by default. Oftentimes, these URLs also contain nonsense characters.

If you have a short and descriptive URL, preferably with the right keywords, Google will automatically start awarding it with an increased number of interactions. An example of a decent URL could be: example.com/SEO-for-small-business.

Choose the Right Keywords

By conducting some keyword research, you can find all the right keywords that are already preferred by your target customers. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can help ease this task and research long-tail keywords (3 or more words) or LSI keywords (complementary keywords).

Design Content for the Entire Buyer Journey

A buyer’s journey consists of the following steps, and your website’s content should be based on each of these.

  1. Awareness: What does your target customer need, and where can they seek solutions?
  2. Consideration: What is their biggest problem, and what specific solutions can you offer?
  3. Conversion: How are you different from your competitors, and what’s your USP?
  4. Happy customers: How is your business easy to work with, and how does it deliver consistent value?
  5. Promoter activity: How will your customers recommend your business to others?

While your content pertains to these general themes, it can be divided into multimedia that visitors can interact with or SEO-friendly content.

Would You Like a Free Expert Insight?

Now that we’ve established the importance of building an SEO strategy for small businesses, it’s high time you started competing for the ranks.

With everything we have discussed up till now, we have barely scratched the surface of the ever-growing world of SEO strategies. For this reason, SEO Made Great would like to help you with expert search engine optimization insights. Our team of SEO experts in Las Vegas would like to offer your small business a free page audit so you can finally be on your way to gaining a competitive edge

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Daron
I am a front end WordPress developer and a search engine optimization practitioner. Always looking to connect with other self-motivated individuals and small business owners. If you have found any value from reading my articles please support me and my brand by following us on your favorite social media channel.
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