SEO is essential for small and medium-sized businesses in today’s fast-paced online-first world.
When you don’t have a high-ranking search presence you make it nearly impossible for your target customers to find you, which as you might expect makes gaining new customers a difficult task. Plus, there are many benefits that come with SEO that are not always immediately apparent.
SEO Enhances Brand Awareness
As a small business, you always want to work on your brand awareness. If you don’t then your target consumers won’t realize you exist until they need your services and will always turn to larger companies first – unless you use SEO to your advantage.
If you can get your homepage, service pages, and blog posts to the top of the front page of search engine results, you’ll generate brand awareness just by users seeing your name there whenever they perform a search. Even when users don’t click on your page, they’ll still associate your brand’s name with their query and are more likely to remember your brand as they continue their journey.
According to Forbes, an excellent way to improve your brand awareness is by using content marketing. Small, medium, and big businesses alike can do this with outstanding results. To maximize your impact you will want to participate in the content marketing process as a small business.
It’s essential that all content you create is of the highest possible quality and provides some usefulness or utility to the readers/viewers engaging with your content. The more high-quality information your site can offer people looking for something related to your business, the better SEO rankings you are likely to receive. Overall, high-quality content and SEO research will go far in helping you get on the front of SERPs.
The best part about SEO is that it moves at whatever pace you are comfortable with. If you want to move fast and get amazing results and can afford a higher price tag then consider hiring an SEO agency, hire a consultant or freelancer at a lower cost and possibly slower results, or do it yourself for free in your spare time.
No matter which method you choose you can start doing SEO right now to benefit your brand awareness at a cost and pace you desire.
You Can Avoid Paying for Advertising and Influencers
Next, as a small business, your budget will be much tighter than the ones big companies have access to. You probably can’t compete with them by creating paid ads since they can throw thousands of dollars into theirs without much worry, brand-only billboards are high-priced commodities SMBs can rarely afford, and supporting a local sports team could use up your entire marketing budget for the year. Instead, you can use SEO to rank your website higher in search results, which when used effectively often has the effect of reducing your advertising costs along with bringing in new business.
SEO brings visitors to your website and keeps them interested— without requiring you to have a massive marketing budget to manage a paid ads platform, come up with new creative or ad copy, and pay the advertising servers’ fees.
There’s no need to pay a bunch of influencers to talk about your products on social media, especially when you can get better results with SEO. People will trust a brand when they see it providing quality content and answers through Google, Bing, and other engines.
In fact, influencers may often find products or services via search engines that they trust and organically promote them as part of keeping their audience engaged.
That doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of any ads you have entirely or rule out influencer marketing completely, but spending time and money on your SEO will help you drastically lower your overall advertising costs if you choose to maintain your advertising budget can make your advertising far more effective.
SEO can be done at a much lower cost than influencer marketing and advertising in many cases and once you have your SEO content set up, it is potentially a part of your website forever.
In short, you will find that advertising online can be expensive and produce thinner profit margins. You can make your advertising and marketing budgets go much further if you spend at least some of it on quality SEO work instead of plunging it all into advertising. Your site will get more traffic using a blended strategy like this. Plus, as a small business, you are unlikely to out-advertise a large corporation vying for the same audience.
SEO Provides for You in the Long-Term
The effort you put into upgrading your SEO now will last you longer than you might realize. Many small businesses consider SEO an investment since you’ll see consistent results from it over a longer period than other forms of marketing.
The time, money, and hard work you put into your SEO today will ultimately pay off.
Many small businesses feel discouraged when they don’t get immediate results from SEO work, but you must not give up. It can take a long time to perfect the SEO on a website and to compete against other businesses in your industry that have been doing SEO for much longer.
A video produced by Google estimates that SEO work won’t have any impact on your site between 4 to 12 months, which honestly is a long time to wait for marketing results.
However, when you do, SEO will continually provide for you. You will see more traffic and gain access to a much broader audience than before and you will power the growth of your business into the future. This process increases your brand awareness, draws more people to your brand / products / services, then repeats.
While Google’s video says 4 months is the earliest you can see results from SEO work, on average, you can expect significant SEO results within a six to 12-month period.
Of course, several factors can impact that time frame, including what goals you have in mind for your small business, the current state of your business’s website, how well your competitors do with SEO, and other factors.
SEO Boosts Your Other Strategies
Any strategy or project you’re using online can receive a boost from SEO. If you want to ensure your marketing efforts aren’t in vain, adding SEO research and implementation to your strategies keeps your team on the same page. Plus, potential customers will have an easier time discovering all of your unique projects when you use the right keywords effectively.
If you’re putting money into these projects, you should do your best to ensure they succeed. SEO is the best way for many small businesses to do just that.
SEO and PPC Campaigns
PPC (pay per click) campaigns, including popular Google Ads, can benefit the most from effective SEO. If you have a page that already ranks high on SERPs, then using it with PPC can bring in a steady stream of money for your business.
Combine that with more organic traffic from SEO, and your small business will surely thrive. You’ll also find that your website appears much higher in search results when you use these two strategies together.
SEO Doesn’t Bother Users
SEO is not an “in your face,” marketing tactic making it much more appealing to users. Unlike interruptive advertisements that popup over a news story, interrupt a video, or automatically play with sound, SEO doesn’t harm the experience of using a website or app. When used correctly, SEO even makes content more informative to users.
SEO works to attract customers naturally—you don’t have to reach out to them first. This process is much more appealing to customers and has more of their interests in mind. You won’t accidentally scare visitors off your site by pushing too many ads or spam onto them.
Overall, users appreciate not having to sort through multiple interruptions on a website. They’re sure to appreciate that your small business makes posts dedicated to them without flooding them with advertising.
Work On Your SEO Today!
The sooner you start working on your small business’s SEO, the sooner you’ll notice these changes. Small businesses tend to focus on their SEO less than they should, so you can quickly gain the upper hand when you put more effort into it.
In short, start working on your site’s SEO today. There are so many different benefits that you’ll receive from it.