Today I want to begin to help you on the long journey to helping your B2C (Business to Consumer) members understand the importance of having a presence in the Digital realms of the Internet, Websites, Social Media, and marketing their business online as a strategy for growth. I said it’s a long journey, and it IS – it won’t just happen overnight – but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to set off on an adventure, you and I, to find the answers that plague many of your members today regarding marketing and Building their Brand for the purpose of driving more customers to their business and Dollars into their cashboxes. We’re going to dive into the term-infested waters of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Analytics, Add buys and Pay-Per-clicks (PPCs), Content Marketing, and Social Media, and we’ll look at how they’re currently positioned to harness the power of these things to Build their Brand, and have the best 2020 their business can have thanks to more exposure to more clients who want to buy their products and services.
Who knows – You might even find something here for you and your team at the association too! Here we GO!
SEO helps small business owners create fast, robust, and user-friendly websites that rank higher in search engines, which in turn helps bring more qualified potential customers to their websites and eventually increases conversion rates (simply, converting them from lookers to paying customers).
SEO also helps build brand awareness for your business as search engine users are more likely to trust a site that is on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) than brands who are not.
If you’re a small business owner, you should utilize SEO to build a strong web presence and bypass your competitions to gain new customers for your business and take it to the next level.
Here are the top 5 KEY benefits of SEO for small businesses:
- User-Friendly Websites
SEO will help small business owners create a faster, smoother, and user-friendlier website. Although most people still hang on to the old definition of SEO, thinking that it is only about optimizing for the search engines, today SEO is also about improving user experience too.
Well-structured, clean, and uncluttered websites compel a casual visitor to stay longer, thereby decreasing the bounce rate and increasing page views. Similarly, highly relevant content (sales pages and blog articles) keeps you readers happy as they are more likely to answer their questions, solve their pressing issues and helps them find exactly what they’re looking for on your site.
On-page SEO, if done properly, makes your users happy, which makes search engines happy too as they love to serve high-quality information to their users.
- Bring in MORE Customers
Let’s face it, one of the main reasons for having a website is to stand out from your competition and increase your customer base. Otherwise, why invest 1,000s of dollars ($) on marketing, right? Businesses that have an SEO optimized website bring MORE customers and grow as twice as fast than businesses who do not have one.
SEO is probably the most efficient and affordable marketing strategy that exists today. Moreover, it will only bring in customers who are actively seeking to find your product or service!
If you’re willing to spend few hours of time, energy, and a small amount of money, SEO will help bring “targeted” traffic to your website, and eventually more customers to your business than any other marketing tactics you’ll ever use.
- Better Conversion Rates
SEO-optimized websites load faster, are easy to read and surf, and will display properly in almost all types of devices, including mobile phones and tablets. Websites that are easy to read and navigate are more likely to grab and hold attention from your readers or visitors – i.e. they’re more likely to become your loyal customers, subscribers, and returning visitors.
- Build Brand Awareness
One of the benefits of getting higher rankings on the SERPs is building brand awareness. When your sites appear on the first page of major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, your potential customers are more likely to trust your brand when they search for a particular term rather than other brands that don’t have a strong web presence.
That is why small businesses that want to build better brand awareness (either locally or expanding nationally) must invest in SEO and start gaining top rankings for the key terms related to their business. We’re not in the 90s anymore; search engines now play a significant role in making or breaking your brand.
- Bypass Competition
Let’s take an example of two businesses that are in the same industry, selling similar products, at similar prices. One of them has an optimized website while the other has a non-optimized website. Considering everything is else is equal, which company do you think will attract more customers to their website from local searches? Which company will likely grow faster and become more successful?
Search engines and SEO are very powerful. If your competitors are doing SEO marketing, you must ask yourself why you haven’t invested in such a strategy yet too.
Search engine optimization has leveled the marketing playing field for small businesses. It used to be that as a small business unless you were really lucky, you had no way to compete with the big guns of your industry. Now, however, with a bit of strategy, a pinch of small business SEO and some hard work, you can muscle your way into your biggest competitor’s space.
While big businesses still start with an advantage in SEO, with the right strategy, you can find cracks in their armor and come out on top. Yep, even if you’re a startup with a new website.
Over to you. Why do you think SEO is important for small business? Please share your ideas in the comment box below.