From our friends at Business2Community.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to making your business visible and searchable for your target audience. However, there’s more to SEO than the search element. Here’s what you need to know about investing in SEO for your small business and the benefits of SEO for your small business if you have an effective SEO strategy.
Why You Need SEO for Your Small Business
One of the main benefits of SEO for small businesses is that it improves your website’s overall visibility and searchability. There are a number of benefits why you need SEO for your business, and we’re diving into six below.
SEO helps your business build credibility and trust with your target audience. While the internet is great for making information available at the touch of a button, it can be difficult to discern which sources are trustworthy. Ensuring your website has the best SEO strategy in place can help establish credibility and trust with your target audience. The SEO elements that contribute to establishing that level of credibility include:
- Optimized on-page elements and content
- Quality backlink profiles
- Machine-learning signals
- Positive user behavior
However, it’s not possible to build trust and credibility overnight, so it will take time to ensure your SEO is helping your business. As Search Engine Journal states, “Establishing a brand as an authority takes patience, effort, and commitment, but also relies on offering a valuable, quality product or service that allows customers to trust a brand.”
Organic search is typically the primary source of traffic to your site. Perhaps the most well-known benefit of SEO for small businesses is that it’s typically the primary source of organic search traffic for your website. If your website becomes known as a trusted resource by Google and other search engines, that will only work in your business’s favor. To become known as a trusted resource by search engines, you need a high-quality website and SEO strategy.
A good SEO strategy can create a better user experience. Google has announced that their algorithms will be focusing on user experience in 2021. What some business owners may not realize is that ensuring your website provides visitors with the best user experience possible is one of the benefits of SEO for your small business that plays a large part in maximizing your site’s visibility and improving your site’s ranking. According to Search Engine Journal, “Google has learned how to interpret a favorable or unfavorable user experience, and a positive user experience has become a pivotal element to a website’s success […] Quality SEO incorporates a positive user experience, leveraging it to work in a brand’s favor.”
Developing a local SEO strategy can increase traffic, engagement, and conversions on your website. The benefits of SEO for small local businesses are immeasurable. Local SEO is essential for ensuring your target audience can quickly and easily find your business, which puts them one step closer to completing the sale funnel and making a purchase. As Search Engine Journal states, “With the rise and growing domination of mobile traffic, local search has become a fundamental part of small- and medium-sized businesses’ success […] Local optimizations focus on specific towns, cities, regions, and even states, to establish a viable medium for a brand’s messaging on a local level.”
To ensure your website and content are fully optimized to reap all of the benefits of SEO for your small business, be sure to:
- Include local citations, listings, and backlinks that are relevant to your business’s location and vertical.
- Complete your business’s Google My Business listing, including the Knowledge Graph panel and social media profiles.
- Emphasize reviews of your business on Google, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and Yelp when applicable.
SEO is a relatively inexpensive way to increase sales for the long term. Another major benefit of SEO for your small business is that it’s relatively inexpensive to implement, which makes it a viable option for most businesses. Yes, it does cost money to develop and deploy an SEO strategy to help your business, but the cost is typically worth it. Rather than thinking of SEO as a marketing expense, think of it as a true investment in your business. As Search Engine Journal states, “Good SEO implementation will hold water for years to come. And, like most things in life, will only be better with more attention (and investment).”
With the right strategy, SEO can help your business see a positive uptick in profit within the first year. The more effort, dollars, and time you can invest into SEO for your business, the better and longer you’ll see results for your website and business in general.
SEO yields measurable results and brings new opportunities for your business. With the right tracking elements and analytics connections in place, you can measure the benefits of SEO for your small business to justify the ROI. As Search Engine Journal describes, “Brands want to know and understand where they were, where they are, and where they’re going in terms of digital performance, especially for SEO when they have a person/company that is being paid to execute on its behalf.” The best way to determine the success of your SEO strategy lies in the data and the results of your optimization efforts.
Successfully analyzing the results of your SEO efforts can yield new opportunities and avenues of revenue for you to explore.
Best practices need to be continuously monitored and updated to reap the benefits of SEO for your small business. While implementing SEO practice for your business may seem like an accomplishment in and of itself, you can’t just stop there. The world of search and SEO requires constant vigilance to keep up with all of the changes that are constantly being implemented and to stay ahead of your competitors. “We know Google makes thousands of algorithm changes a year,” Search Engine Journal states. “Fall too far behind, and it will be extremely difficult to come back. SEO pros help to ensure that is avoided.”
This article originally appeared in Pam Ann Marketing.