When small businesses think about getting involved in SEO they often become intimidated by the whole concept. A few minutes Googling will return results from large businesses that have access to large budgets or in-house SEO teams. Even your competition might appear in the results before your website makes its first appearance.
What if I told you that small businesses are in the perfect position for taking on the competition and climbing the ranks?
Small businesses have a lot to gain from SEO and are in a far better position than businesses that don’t invest in SEO.
Here are twelve benefits of SEO for small businesses.
Local SEO for Small Businesses
Most small businesses are locally owned, making it easy to take advantage of Local SEO. Local SEO works on a different algorithm and is a fantastic opportunity for small businesses to get one up on large businesses and the competition.
By using Google My Business and Bing Places you can create a profile with your business details, opening times and location. Users searching for your business will see your details appear in the map above the search results, increasing your visibility.
Take a look at our “Why local businesses need to use Google My Business” article to get you on your way with using this free tool.
Brand Awareness and Trust
Getting your brand in front of potential customers is an important step to growing your business. Having your website on page one of Google will translate into more exposure and help users associate your business with the target keywords they searched for.
Users trust Google and are more likely to trust a brand when it appears high in search and has a good web presence.
Being a small business means that you can take advantage of any Google algorithm and rule changes quickly. Larger businesses need to spend time researching changes, get the changes approved and then start to make the changes. During this time small businesses can be testing new strategies, targeting new keywords and gaining new traffic.
Reach a new audience
A small business doesn’t mean a small customer base. With SEO you can expand your audience beyond the local area, gaining new customers across the UK or globally.
Increase website traffic with searcher intent
SEO is highly targeted and by using keyword research you can discover what people are searching for and how competitive the market is. Using long-tail keywords attracts the website traffic that you want… customers that want to spend money.
SEO is cost effective
SEO has been proven to be one of the most cost effective forms of digital marketing, delivering a high return on investment over time. You don’t have to commit to an expensive monthly SEO package to see the results.
Once your SEO campaign is running it will attract new organic traffic and improve search visibility. If you end the campaign you will still gain organic traffic from all the SEO work and remain in a good position in Google. Your position in Google will only be challenged if your competitors start their own SEO campaign or Google update their algorithm.
A small business getting increased organic traffic around the clock is like having your shop/office open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. You don’t have to limit yourself to the typical 9 to 5 and you can gain new customers whilst you sleep.
Beat the competition
If you want to grow faster and attract more customers than your competition, you need to have an optimised website. An optimised website will always be favoured over non-optimised websites in search engines.
If your competition has an optimised website with an ongoing SEO campaign, you’ll have to do the same to keep up with them and not fall behind. If they are not doing any SEO then it’s the perfect opportunity to get a step ahead of them.
A better user experience
SEO is closely linked to the user experience. Technical SEO covers issues relating to how your website works. Improving the loading speed of your website, website structure, 404 errors, will improve the overall SEO. Improving the user experience and resulting in more time spent on your website.
An SEO campaign will reveal a lot about your target audience that can drive your business forward. You will discover what your customers are searching for online, age and gender. Knowing this information can help business decisions such as new product lines or how to attract a different demographic.
Increase offline sales
Most people start their buying process with a Google search, researching products and local business to buy from offline. If your website is in the local listings and in the top search results, it’s more likely that you’ll get a visit to your shop.
Once you start featuring on Google, every time a customer searches for your target keywords they will find your website. If they have purchased from you before they will be encouraged to buy from you again. This will increase the number of returning customers to your website.