The Importance of SEO for Small Businesses
A lot of small business owners have websites but a lot of those websites wind up being little more than a digital billboard few people see. For these small business owners the notion of investing in SEO or Search Engine Optimization for their website seems like a waste of time and money. But is it? Hardly. The amount of revenue generated by the internet last year was upwards of 3 trillion US dollars. That’s more than the entire economy of the UK, France or India. And that number is growing by 10-20% every single year. The fact is people are taking their money online. And whether your business is home remodels, medical equipment or tea if your business isn’t making the most of its online presence you’re losing money.
5 Good Reasons a Small Business Should Invest in SEO
More than 90% of all internet activity today begins with a search. So let’s say you’re a small company that does custom remodeling jobs. Someone is Greater Kailash decides they want to give their kitchen a makeover so they go online and search for “kitchen remodeling in Greater Kailash”. Because your company never invested in SEO your website is buried on page 7 of the search results and that person in Greater Kailash never sees it. Instead, the job goes to the remodeling company who did their SEO homework and wound up on page 1 of the search results. The bottom line is you lost money and you weren’t even aware of it.
Keeping that example in mind here are 5 good reasons small businesses should invest in SEO.
- Your search standing reflects on your business – Like it or not people tend to think companies that wind up at the top of organic search results are more professional and more trustworthy than companies that wind up on page 3 or 5 or 7. That’s just the nature of things. Success breeds success. So if you wind up on page 1 people direct their business to you. They also tell their friends who then visit your site, which reinforces your position on page 1, which causes more people to visit your site and so on.
- You are taking your business where the customers are – If you have a brick and mortar shop 99.9% of the people who pass buy in the street are not looking to buy what you’re offering. They’re on their way home. Or they’re meeting someone for dinner. Or they’re heading to the market to pick up lentils. On the other hand, people who undertake a Google search for a particular product or service like yours are ready to buy. That’s why they’re searching. By investing in SEO and positioning your company on page 1 of search results you’re going to these customers instead of waiting for them to come to you.
- SEO enhances your brand – Most small business owners don’t think of what they do in terms of a “brand”. To them a brand is something like Apple. Not their small custom remodeling business. But that type of thinking is both counterproductive and, frankly, wrong. Your brand encompasses everything from that little logo painted on the side of your truck, to the way your workers behave when they’re in someone’s house to the experience people have when they visit your website. All these elements help shape the way people experience your brand. And the good news is SEO can help you control that experience. When your website appears on page 1 of search results people immediately think you’re a serious company that is worthy of consideration. If they visit your site and it loads quickly, the messaging is clear and concise and things are easy to find and understand it reinforces their opinion of you and your brand. These good feelings then make them more likely to direct their business to you.
- SEO provides vital insight into your customers – Just as your website informs potential customers about you SEO informs you about your potential customers. If you are to fashion a more effective business strategy for attracting and keeping new customers you have to know who is searching for your type of product or service. SEO can reveal that. Search Engine Optimization utilizes Google Analytics that keeps a continuous record of who is visiting your site, where they came from (Google, Bing etc) and what search terms they used to find your site. In addition it gives you a good idea what visitors are interested in. For instance, if 80% of the visitors to your site go to the “kitchen remodels” page and only 10% go to the “bathroom remodels” page you may want to consider putting more resources into kitchen remodels.
- SEO provides unparalleled ROI – Not all forms of advertising are equally effective. While SEO is not what anyone would consider traditional advertising (like a radio, TV or print ad) it is very much a form of marketing and offers some of the highest marketing ROI. The reason for this effectiveness is that SEO is a type of marketing known as “inbound” marketing. That means it targets people who are already engaged in a search for your product or service and directs them to your website. By comparison, with a radio ad you’re just putting word of your business out there hoping someone will remember you when it comes time to purchase the kind of product or service you’re selling.
15 or 20 years ago Search Engine Optimization was a little known, little understood idea that had few real world benefits. Today, it is an absolute necessity for any company that doesn’t want to be left behind as the world’s business moves online. An SEO campaign addresses the ability of your website to facilitate conversions, involves keyword research that will position your company for search engine success and creates the kind of brand reinforcement that generates positive buzz. Talk to the folks at Gurgaon SEO Guy about an SEO campaign that will help ensure the long term viability of your business.