Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most critical areas of any digital marketing strategy.
Whether you’re a massive corporation or a small local business, SEO can help you achieve some amazing things. Most importantly, it allows you to target high-value traffic, which you can get for free. This traffic can result in a lot of new customers for your business.
But why exactly should you invest time and energy into SEO? And how can you get started applying SEO to your business?
To help you out, here are some of the main benefits of SEO for small businesses.
9 Reasons Why SEO is Important for Small Businesses
When it comes to developing a marketing strategy for your small business, search engine optimization can be one of the most valuable areas to cover.
Here are five of the main reasons why small businesses should be focused on SEO.
- Increases Web Traffic
- Helps You Become an Authority
- Reach Your Target Market at the Start of Their Buyers Journey
- SEO is Free
- Achieve Long-Term Results
- Improves Local Marketing
- Helps You Understand Your Audience
- Helps You Develop Your Brand Image
- Helps Your Customers
Increases Website Traffic
The overall goal of SEO is to help you attract more traffic to your website. As your website is your most important online asset, this is critical.
More than half of all website traffic is organic (not paid), so the better your rankings, the better your chances of gaining traffic. And the more traffic you gain, the more possibilities you have to make sales.
A good SEO strategy doesn’t only help your web pages rank in order to get more traffic, but it also helps you attract highly targeted traffic. By focusing on the right keywords and optimizing your pages for them, you’ll be able to attract your exact target audience.
This means websites that are properly optimized can use SEO to generate the right kind of traffic that turns into sales.
Helps You Become an Authority
A solid SEO strategy is also a great way to help your business become recognized as an authority within its niche. This is because SEO is all about publishing great content based on your field of interest. Search engines index and rank this content based on authority and trustworthiness.
So, if your website reaches the top of the SERPs, it will convey a sense of trust and credibility to your audience. This is important because you want to convince people who click on your pages to trust your brand in order to convert them. If they already think you’re a credible brand in your niche, you’re starting the buyer journey on a good path.
Successful SEO is also all about publishing plenty of great content. By incorporating a blog into your content marketing plan, you’ll be able to produce more content that inspires, educates, informs, and entertains. All of this helps you develop credibility around your business.
Reach Your Target Market at the Start of Their Buyers Journey
Google is generally the first place people go to when they want to discover something, have their questions answered, or learn about new products or brands. Using SEO can help you target users at this early stage of the buyer’s journey, helping you achieve important brand awareness when it’s most valuable.
If you offer great content, the user will develop trust in your brand and remember your website as they progress into the buyer’s journey. And if you manage to engage the user further by getting them to sign up for your mailing list or download a resource, you can target them with more valuable marketing content.
This can help your brand stay at the forefront of the target customers’ minds during their buying journey.
SEO is Free
The whole idea behind SEO is that it lets you target organic, free traffic.
Unlike paid advertising, you can publish SEO-friendly web pages and let them attract traffic without spending a cent.
Sure, you might need to spend some time and effort creating great content, but once it’s published you don’t spend any more money on it. This means SEO is a great strategy for small businesses and startups to scale up their digital marketing efforts with minimal (or no) marketing budget.
And when done right, the free organic search traffic you generate from SEO can be incredibly valuable for your business growth.
Check out these other paid advertising alternatives for more free marketing ideas.
Achieve Long-Term Results
Search engine results can be evergreen. Once you reach a good position in the SERPs, you can stay there for a very long time. The longer you stay at the top, the more backlinks and traffic your page will get, which will help it develop even more authority. This will continue to boost your SEO strategy.
Unlike social media or running ads that have a very definite end period, SEO can help you achieve long-term results. Combine this with the fact that you don’t spend any money on this, and the SEO benefits are amazing for any small business.
Improves Local Marketing
SEO is an important marketing tactic for all kinds of businesses, including local businesses. If your business is location-specific, then you can achieve some awesome things with a solid SEO strategy.
Google is the first place most people go to find a product or service. If your website is optimized properly, you’ll be able to grab these customers’ attention and drive a lot more interested people to your business.
The great thing about local SEO is that it’s also a lot less competitive, so it’s easier to get the right specific rankings. It’s also a lot more targeted, so you’ll have a greater chance of conversions on the traffic you get.
Check out our complete guide to local SEO for more tips and strategies on how to do this.
Helps You Understand Your Audience
Paying close attention to SEO is also a great way to understand your target audience more deeply.
An important part of any SEO strategy is paying close attention to your SEO performance and metrics. A key part of this is seeing what search terms you’re gaining traffic for and what search terms are popular in your niche.
These are the terms users are looking for in order to come into contact with your business. So, these terms are a clear indicator of the users’ interests and desires.
The more research you do into SEO, your competition, and your website’s performance, the deeper you can understand your target audience. This also helps you discover new opportunities that you can attract. These are ideas you can apply across your entire marketing strategy too, and not just SEO.
Helps You Develop Your Brand Image
Successful SEO also helps you with PR. By ranking well for the right keywords, your business can leave a lasting impression on anyone who comes across your name in the search results. This is a great way to boost your PR efforts and make your brand more memorable.
This doesn’t take much work, as you should hold your search position for some time. So, as soon as you start ranking well, the more positive brand awareness you can generate. And the more SEO-friendly content you publish, the more positive PR you can create.
Helps Your Customers
A major factor of SEO is using it to attract new customers by strategically targeting them in their stage of the buying journey. However, you can also use SEO and content marketing to help your current customers.
This is because SEO is closely tied to your content marketing plan. By consistently publishing valuable, helpful, and insightful content, you’ll be able to provide helpful resources to your customers. This can help them improve their relationship with your brand and possibly result in more repeat purchases.
Publishing SEO content can also help all the other areas of your marketing strategy. For example, you can distribute or repurpose this content across your different marketing channels or efforts. This helps you create a more diverse marketing strategy with a greater reach.
5 Tactics to Help You Get Started With SEO
SEO can often be intimidating for small businesses. And fair enough – it’s a complex area of marketing with many technical requirements.
At the same time, SEO is easy!
With the right basic practices and tactics, you can enhance your website’s search rankings without much time, effort, or specialist knowledge.
Here are some of the most important core practices involved in successful SEO.
1. Keyword Research and Optimization
While Google uses over 200 ranking factors, keywords remain the foundation of any SEO strategy.
Keywords are the search terms that people type into search engines. If your web page is optimized for the right keyword, it can rank at the top spigot of the relevant keyword. If this keyword is valuable to your business, it can help you attract a lot of high-value traffic for free.
This is the basic idea behind SEO.
So, before you start publishing or optimizing the content on your site, you’ll need to know what keywords you’re targeting. You can discover keywords by using various SEO tools, by targeting your competitors, or by analyzing your site’s current search performance using Google Search Console.
There’s a lot that goes into keyword use and optimization, but here are some of the main factors to know:
- Understand your keywords: Keywords have different metrics attached to them, like monthly search volume and difficulty. Understanding these is important so that you don’t target keywords that are too challenging for your site to rank for
- Search intent: Search intent is what a user wants to find out when they search for a specific keyword. It’s important that your content matches this.
- Use your keywords in important places: Add your keyword to your web page’s title, meta description, meta title, intro, and scattered it throughout your content. Just make sure you don’t overdo the keyword, as this is a red flag for search engines.
This is a very basic guide on keyword use for SEO. If you want more information on how you can use keywords and optimize your website, follow our step-by-step SEO guide for small businesses.
There’s a lot of great content out there competing for the same keywords. How do search engines determine which one of the most relevant to achieve the top-ranking position?
Backlinks and authority are major factors.
Backlinks are when other websites link out to your website as a resource. Quite simply, the more quality backlinks your page has, the more authority it will generate. The more authority your page has, the greater its chances of ranking for certain keywords.
So beyond just publishing content, you’ll want to implement strategies to generate backlinks. You can check out our complete guide on how to get more backlinks for all the strategies you need to know.
3. Publish Quality Content
Search engines are smart. They understand when content is relevant to a certain search term, and they understand how useful that content will be.
Beyond trying to get technical, the most important element of successful SEO is to simply create high-quality content. By high quality, we mean content that is interesting, educational, insightful, or entertaining. These elements make content valuable to the user, which will help boost your search rankings.
If your content doesn’t offer the user what they want to find out, you’ll struggle to get any traction from it.
To create high-quality content, make sure that you understand your audience and what they want to know from your keyword (search intent), By addressing all of the information they want to find, your content will stand a better chance of ranking.
4. Pay Attention to the User Experience
SEO-friendly content shouldn’t be only created for search engines. In fact, it should be designed for the user first.
Beyond just offering high-quality content, you’ll need to ensure your web pages are optimized for the user experience. This means making sure your pages load fast, that they’re optimized for mobile, and that the page reads well. Adding valuable images or videos to your content also helps to make it more valuable to the user.
There’s a lot that goes into this, but the most important thing is that you actually go onto your web page content and view it as a user. Does everything work well?
Then check up on any possible SEO issues that might come up baked on your Google Search Console and Core Web Vitals reports.
5. Continually Optimize Your Content
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. This means you can’t expect to make fast gains with SEO, but you can gain a lot of long-term value from it.
A key part of SEO is consistently monitoring your results and updating your content.
Search engines change all the time, and so do your competitors’ content strategies. This means you need to keep a close eye on your rankings and what other sites are doing. If they offer more valuable content than you, there’s a good chance they could start to steal your organic traffic.
SEO is one of the most fundamental marketing tactics to get right these days. If done properly, it can help you gain a lot of highly targeted traffic for free. This can do some amazing things for your business growth.
Most importantly, a successful; SEO strategy can help you acquire plenty of new customers over the long term.
Looking for more SEO ideas and inspiration? Check out our guides below.