Importance Of SEO For Small Businesses
Everything You Need To Know About Search Engine Optimization & Digital Marketing To Elevate Your Branding And Customer Traffic In 2021’s Competitive Climate.
While there have been highs and lows to virtually every kind of marketing that you could apply to your small business over the recent years, your potential customers have kept searching for the services they need. New customers have been far less likely to find you in person, but that has only driven the importance of SEO for local businesses and big brands alike.
The problem most small business owners have with starting a digital marketing campaign is the cost, but one of the essential benefits of SEO is that it's cost-effective, and SEO for small businesses lasts for years after your campaign ends. Whether you choose to complete a six-month campaign or stay forever, you will continue to yield new customers long after the SEO effort stops.
Paid marketing campaigns are expensive, especially when you're talking about running ads. Ad work can cost $10, $20, or more every day just to see a return on your investment, whereas local SEO strategies can start around $500 for personalized SEO services. The $3,000 minimum that you would need in PPC can fuel your entire 6 month SEO campaign.
So, Why Is SEO Important For Local Businesses?
Being number one in the search engine result pages is everyone's dream, or it should be. What would the number one position cost you if you were competing for the paid advertisement space?
Digging into the psychological benefits of SEO, more customers trust organic results than ads. Do you want to work with the ones who paid for their spot, or the business that is naturally the most relevant to Google?
SEO puts you closer to the top, making you an option for far more customers
Search Engines Power Over Your Small Business
Like it or not, your position in search engine result pages has a direct impact on whether or not you are seen by potential customers. Local SEO gives your small business website the ability to rank for relevant keywords, but it does much more than that. Let’s break down what SEO for small businesses can do:
- Help your business build trust with Google & other search engines
- Enhance your appearance in search engine results
- Increase organic traffic from potential customers
- Build a positive user experience
- Improve conversion rates
- Helps build brand awareness in your community
- Provides high-quality content
On-Site SEO Components
Whether you are doing your own SEO or choose to hire a professional, website optimizations are the most important factor in your rankings. Good SEO will include an initial site audit, an analysis of your current website traffic, keyword research, on-page optimizations, and backlink building to start. These components each have their own process and play a valuable role in your SEO efforts.
While the overall goal is to boost your search engine rankings and increase your online presence, search engine optimization has far more to it than that. To understand local SEO and digital marketing, it’s helpful to break down the individual pieces of an SEO strategy. Here are the building blocks that will help you accumulate relevant traffic and build your brand:
Technical website audits give you an overview of all site errors that need to be fixed before your site can perform, convert, and rank at an optimized level. After the site audit is run, changes will be implemented to various elements accordingly to enhance your website speed and searchability. This process points out a multitude of factors that affect your site, including:
In SEO, content is your bread and butter. High-quality, unique content will allow search engines to index your site, improve rankings and provide customers with concise information.
Convert your growing online presence to local foot traffic with a strategic local SEO campaign. We use our knowledge of the community to accurately and efficiently provide growth.
Google My Business
Google My Business is crucial in optimizing your local traffic. Get seen, climb the listings, and build your reputation with our GMB management services.
On Page SEO
On-Page SEO Services focus on optimizing your site’s ranking factors. Our on-page services are designed to increase your relevance and conversion rates.
Off Page SEO
This is where the advertisement part of SEO comes in. Off-page SEO services build domain authority, increase awareness, and most of all, drive rankings.
It doesn’t matter if you own a multi-billion dollar company or a small business in a local community, high-quality content is imperative to your success. It’s been that way for centuries, the most attractive content gets the business, but on-page SEO efforts have to go well beyond that to stay relevant in search engines. To stay relevant in an online business world, your pages should have:
New customers who are actively searching for your small business services want relevant content that supports your site and shows why you are the best at what you do. Your content should contain impeccable grammar and fluid keyword use to appeal to search engines and potential customers alike. small businesses have achieved high levels of brand awareness improvements with simple content enhancements.
Google searches love to see trust factors and so do search engine users. By adding elements like Google reviews, testimonials, linked websites that you work with, certificates, and badges that distinguish your small business, small businesses can earn some extra trust from local clients and Google at the same time.
Visually Appealing Elementst
The elements of your site can dramatically affect the rest of your SEO work. For effective SEO, small businesses need user-friendly websites that are visually appealing to potential clients. You don’t need to spend tens of thousands to build a site that is pleasing to visit. More traffic will not come to an amateurish site, so ensure that your business website is clean, easy to understand, and has a bit of flair to attract new customers.
As we previously discussed, one of the primary benefits of SEO is that your pages will be structured with the proper title tags and relevant information, but SEO brings more than that to your page structure. Website page elements that Google loves to see are:
- Google Reviews
- Linked Guest Blogging
- Call To Actions
- Proper Heading Structure
- Interlinking Between Pages
- Outlining To Informational Pages
- Linking To Map Locations
A good SEO company will know how to properly implement these elements to help small businesses earn preference from Google and other search engines to earn the first-page status.
What To Stay Away From
Search engine optimization can be negative to your business, but only when done improperly. White-hat, well-structured SEO services give your business dependable growth, but less honest practices can have a negative impact on your website, listings, and overall sales. The same can be said for the on-site aspect of SEO, as many lower-quality attempts at keyword targeting and on-page SEO will result in pages never being found.
Because Google, Bing, and all other search engines are looking for organic, real authority, the wrong strategy can quickly accrue penalties. Your rankings are based on trust factors, signals, and your website/content, so violating the trust of search engines can yank away a big part of your effort.
Link building, connecting business, listings, and basically all of your other off-site efforts are focused on building this trust, so how do you know when you are doing something wrong?
Not all links are of benefit to your website. Many links that are overly easy to get will make your domain look like it’s only connected to trash. Spam links can also be malignant, so ensure that all poor-quality links are severed before you try to build your authority back up.
It’s important to understand that over-optimizing your guest posts, shoveling numerous links into the same blog, making your exact keyword the blog anchor, and other obvious flags that you are doing paid guest posting will negate authority and potentially get your site penalized, impacting keyword progress that you had.
A big part of your listing and website authority, at least in a local setting, will include the accurate distribution of your NAP address. Your NAP (name, address, phone number)should be as consistent as possible across the web. Site tools like Bright Local can show you where you are at with your consistency and give you a place to start fixes.
You can have the tidiest, most informative pages with hundreds or thousands of signals going to them and still fail to attract new customers. To obtain the best results from your business website, it will require a stone site structure.
A common occurrence among small business websites is entangled content matting. There is no clear direction to the website, information is tricky to find, and you can’t get to the same page twice. Sites like this will inevitably have poor conversion and some irritated online traffic.
Slow websites are usually passed up for the next, faster-loading site. Compress images and review any factors that may be slowing down your site to enhance the viewer experience.
Bored customers are far more likely to move past your website. Ensure that your site is visually appealing and functions fluidly to keep online traffic browsing.
Call to actions are a powerful tool that makes it easy for potential customers to take action, but placement is key. Over saturating your pages with CTAs will decrease the user experience, but it’s important to give the opportunity to click into the next useful page.
On-page search engine optimization is all about the content, structure, elements that you use on the page. There is far more that goes into an optimized web page than keyword injection, and there are tons of things that you can do to increase your on-page relevancy.
Local Listings & Off-Site SEO
One of the first things small businesses should do is sign up for local listings and get their off-site SEO started. While many off-site SEO efforts are more complicated, a Google my Business listing is the ideal place to start your digital marketing, whether you are an SEO company or a business owner.
Google My Business Listings
Small businesses that do not have a Google my Business listing set up are wrong, end of the story. If you want more targeted visits, increased call rates, and a much easier time trying to build brand awareness, set up your business listing. Not only will this support your website and add validity to your business, but it also helps more customers see your business in a setting that’s not your site.
How many views can one listing actually rake in? After starting SEO services, this health clinic generates thousands of monthly, local views. These views aren’t coming from irrelevant searches, they are all relevant, potential customers who are coming by your listing in the search results.
Of course, nothing is more cost-effective than free, so there is no reason why small businesses should leave such a valuable resource on the table. Google my Business listings can:
Give Customers A Quick Profile
Accessibility is crucial, especially when your customers are using mobile and tablet devices, where they are typically trying to do a quick search and find the ideal business without entering a website. Your GMB gives your business a quick first impression, with the ability to add images, products, services, a business description, unique attributes, and more.
Let You Appear In Map Searches
Google Maps is full of customers who are waiting to discover your business, but they can’t do that if you haven’t added it. Maps help you find the right traffic from local customers who are looking for a product or service, you just have to make your business relevant and rank.
Consolidate Your Contact Information
Listings give small business owners the perfect spot to condense their contact information for easy viewing and even lets potential customers save your business for later.
Spread Awareness Of What You Offer
Because GMBs let you easily display products and services, search engines can relate the information to your business, making you more relevant for SEO terms.
Backlinking is vital for any small business owner to improve search results. Because Google ranks website pages based on trust, you need to acquire “signals” that you are trusted across the web. Backlinking in digital marketing increases the number of mentions of your business across various website domains, building your authority and relevance and ultimately earning more traffic.
Getting your website posted on valuable domains is a daunting task, however, making backlinking one of the biggest SEO benefits. With well-rounded SEO, your backlinking is set on autopilot, with your SEO experts earning you links each month to keep your website authority growing.
The hope is that all of your other SEO efforts and highly valuable content will promote other small business owners to use your content as well, spreading your brand awareness and organically furthering your marketing efforts. When you have valuable, unique insights or information, it becomes a very cost-effective form of natural link building. Organic benefits of natural link building will continue long after your SEO ends, helping your business stay relevant to new customers.
Types Of Backlinking
Just as you may have expected, backlink building isn’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. Some of the best approaches for building high-quality backlinks are:
HARO Link Building
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is the perfect way to organically grow any business website. This cost-effective program lets you connect with reporters that are looking for valuable insights and information from business owners like you, earning you a link and some free SEO in exchange.
This is a popular way to get your website shared on high-authority domains that are relevant to your niche. There are numerous methods that SEO experts use to get guest blogs posted, but what matters is that you’re on the site.
This link-building strategy consists of adding your business to as many relevant website directories as possible. When it comes to building trust signals with Google, directories are a great place to start.
These citations double as free online ads to anyone who searches the site for your service. Many customers trust their choice of directory over search engines, so setting up a complete profile on these directory sites can help you reach more customers naturally.
Email reach out is a touchy subject. It can be highly effective for boosting your link’s visibility and potentially having it shared, but you may also look like a spammer, diminishing your business’s image. Finding the perfect reach-out strategy can help you reach new customers, business partners, or at least get a link shared occasionally.
Once you start to build a customer base, you can request their emails to keep in touch, send updates, and share discounts to keep them intrigued. Once again, the idea is to avoid looking spammy, so make sure your emails have real value to the recipients.
Top 3 Reasons Businesses Start SEO Campaigns
There are numerous situations that would encourage business owners to hire an SEO agency, due to the versatility and longevity of the results. The three most common reasons to work with an SEO specialist are:
Taking Your Sales Online
In 2021, shops, retailers, and businesses that offer a product should sell it online. It may be an extra hassle, but with so many people shifting exclusively to online shopping, many stores have chosen to bring their products to the web. Setting up your business online is not an easy process, and the best way to get started is by working with an SEO agency. Of course, you will need some website adjustments, if you have one, and your search engine optimization expert can help you set the site up to be user-friendly, fast, and converting. After you have successfully shifted your sales strategy, SEO can help drive sales by increasing your Google search position for keywords that trigger action.
Solidifying Your Branding
Every mention of your business across the web should contain consistent information. Moving physical locations, changing your number, altering the name of the business, or a number of other things can cause inconsistencies that should be addressed. Off-page SEO efforts will refine your business information and build your trust with search engines. These campaigns typically only last between three and six months, but they can be continued to keep building search engines’ trust and start ranking for new keywords. The trust you build with search engines will go a long way, increasing your local position and sending signals that indicate your site is relevant for the niche you’re in.
At the end of the day, every marketing strategy intends to improve sales, and SEO is a highly effective way to generate long-term sales success. While PPC will go away after you’re done, the authority, relevancy, and much of your keyword rankings will remain after your campaign ends. SEO strategies can rank you for a variety of keywords that will lead to converting traffic, and the more you put in, the more you will receive. Many businesses permanently use SEO as their main source of sales generation due to the affordability and effectiveness of SEO services.