The Internet has had a profound effect on the way that people communicate and interact with each other. The changes have also had a dramatic influence on the business world by altering the way that consumers shop for products.
Until about ten years ago, companies reached out to consumers through trade shows, print advertising and other traditional marketing methods.
Times have changed. Today, people start their shopping experience by looking on the Internet. In most cases they will visit a search engine, most likely Google, and begin to do their product research from there.
Your customers are no different. If they want a product or service that you provide they will expect to find you in the search engines and on the Internet.
This is very exciting and creates the opportunity for your company to use the Internet to your advantage and reach out to a wide range of customers all around the world as well as clients in your local area.
In order to have the competitive edge and to ensure that other businesses don’t steal all of your potential customers search engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever. It is not an exaggeration to say that businesses who don’t practice SEO are in a dangerous situation compared to other local businesses who are investing in search engine marketing.
What is SEO?
This is the bit when we talk to small business owners that we see their eyes glaze over and they try to stifle a yawn. But bear with us as Search engine optimization (SEO) is very important and could literally save and transform your business.
SEO is helping the search engine find you
SEO is making your site more visible and transparent to the search engines. The most important goal of SEO should be connecting your site to the search engine.
SEO is helping people find you in the search engine
Social media has made everything on the Internet more personal. People don’t want to look hard for your site. People don’t want to do hours and hours of research in order to find information. They want it quick, 1-2-3 boom! SEO makes it possible by making your site more direct and focused on certain keywords that people would most probably go looking for when they want information provided by your site.
That is the point of SEO and that is why your business needs it.
The benefits of SEO for YOUR business
The Internet has provided a level playing field for businesses no matter what the size. Small companies can have a viable online presence just as much as the large corporates but just like in the offline world, the competition is huge and you need to have the competitive edge in order to get a good share of the market.
Search engines are there to help you. They serve millions of users every day looking for answers and solutions to their problems. If you have a website or online store, SEO will help your business grow.
Search engine optimization is essential because:
- The majority of search engine users are much more likely to choose one of the top 5 suggestion at the top of the results page. They are unlikely to go continue past page 1 or trawl their way through hundreds of search results. This means that if you want potential customers to find you, click on the link and visit your site you need to rank as high up the search engine page as possible.
- SEO is not just about being ranked in the search engines. It also improves the user experience and usability of your site making the purchasing experience much more enjoyable for them so that will want to come back and buy from you again.
- Users place a great deal of trust in the search engines and it gives them confidence and helps build up trust in your product or service is they see your company occupying the top results.
- SEO is perfect for the social promotion of your website. People who find your site by searching in the search engines are much more likely to promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media channels.
- SEO puts you way ahead of your competition. If two websites are selling the exact same product, the search engine optimized site is more likely to have many more customers and make more sales.
As you can see, small businesses have a lot to benefit from SEO. It can literally transform your site into a sales marketing machine. Let’s explore the benefits in a bit more detail.
SEO forces you to create a better and more user friendly website (more sales for you)
Implementing SEO strategies will help you to create a better, faster and much more user-friendly site for your customers.
Well, despite the name, search engine optimization is not just about search engines but it also focuses on the user. If your users have a good buying experience on your site then the search engines will be happy too. Everybody wins.
The customer will come back to visit your site more often as well as telling their friends about how good your site was.
The search engines will recognize that people like your site so will want to refer other users to it when they use the relevant search phrases to find your business.
You win because you have lots more traffic, bigger profits and happy, loyal customers.
Find new customers and watch your business grow
If you have invested in a website it is because you want to increase your customer base and get more sales. It is a fact that businesses that have a website grow twice as fast as businesses that don’t have a website.
SEO will help you to rank higher in the search engines, which will in turn give you more targeted visits and more customers.
Reach a whole new market
As we mentioned earlier, having a website makes excellent business sense because the Internet is growing so quickly. However, SEO will help you to find brand new customers that would normally have never known about you by substantially increasing your traffic levels within social media platforms and mobile marketplaces. There is a revolution going on and you can be part of it.
Increase your visitor to customer conversions
A Search engine optimized website means that your site is fast, easy to use and is compatible on mobile and tablet devices. Visitors coming to your website are much more likely to become customers, subscribers or loyal visitors. All of this translates into better conversions for you – more sales.
Build Brand Awareness
If you have top rankings in the search engines this is going to help build better brand awareness for you and your company. Users are more likely to trust brands that are near the top of the search engines than those who don’t have a prominent web presence.
If you are a small business that needs to build brand awareness because for example, you want to target local or national markets then you need to invest in SEO in order to gain the top rankings to enable you to reach your target audience relating to your business.
The search engines play a very important role in building or destroying a brand.
Beat Your Competition
Imagine you have two businesses both in the same niche. They sell similar products and charge similar prices. They are both almost identical in every way. Now lets imagine that one of them has a search engine optimized website but the other decides not to invest in an optimized site. Which one do you think will be more successful? Which company will gain more customers from local SEO and which one will grow faster?
It’s obvious. In this day and age you can’t afford to underestimate the power of the search engines. Your business needs them.
If your competition is on the Internet and they are investing in SEO and social media marketing, you have to as well. If you don’t, your business is going to be left behind and they will take all of the customers that should have gone to you.
If on the other hand they are not doing any SEO and they are slipping down the search results page then now is the ideal opportunity to differentiate your business and grab the top rankings.
Your business will be a 24/7 sales generating machine
A business that gets sent lots of traffic by the search engines is like a store that is open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. That is the power of the Internet and SEO.
If you invest time and money to get your website on top of the search engines you will gain new customers even when your bricks and mortar business is closed and you are fast asleep in bed.
How Can Your Take Advantage Of All of these Benefits?
1. The first thing you need is a website. This may sound obvious but there is still a high percentage of businesses who don’t have a website (we are shocked too).
If you are one of those companies who doesn’t have a website or you have a website that is tired and dated then you can contact us free of charge and we can give you expert advice on how to take your business online and reaching a wider audience.
2. You need somebody with SEO experience and expertise to plan your marketing campaign. Remember, money spent on SEO is an investment and not a cost. A good online marketing campaign will always bring in more profits than what you spend.
SEO is a must for every website
In summary, SEO is a way to optimize your web site so that search engines will understand it better and give you higher rankings. It is important because a good SEO approach can drive more traffic to your website or online store and make many more sales.
Let us help you to build your brand and turn your website into a 24 hours sales generating machine. Contact us today for free, professional advice.