SEO Is Essential For Local Businesses
Lately, businesses are concentrating more on SEO marketing. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a strategy that every business owner ought to learn. SEO is especially important for small and local businesses.
Marketing at this level is what allows small and local businesses to compete with large national chains. If you only judge its significance according to the size of your budget, you will lose out on a major opportunity. There is more to SEO than ad-focused marketing and keywords.
It concerns how your brand feels, looks, and reacts to consumer demands. It’s your site navigation, content delivery, and blogs. With the right game plan, SEO marketing can bring vast awareness to your brand and you will overshadow your competition.
Importance of SEO
If you are a business owner, and your business has a website, you probably want visitors on your site. The specific goal of SEO is to help you get exactly that, which is why it is so important. SEO will enhance your internet presence, increase site traffic, and help you obtain your goals.
SEO uses observation and knowledge of precisely how web directories and search engines determine which sites to list as results for searches. If you do not have an SEO strategy in place, you are likely missing out on as much as 85% of potential clients. 80% of those will find your competition.
Five Main Benefits of SEO
With the help of SEO, local businesses can develop rich and fast user-friendly sites that get higher search engine rankings, which helps them attract more qualified potential clients to their sites and leads to higher conversion rates.
Additionally, SEO helps increase brand awareness because search engine users usually trust a site listed on page one of search results than those with lower rankings. As a local business owner, SEO is your best bet for developing a strong web presence.
SEO marketing will help your business get around the competition and obtain new customers, taking it to the next level. Following is a list of the 5 most important advantages that SEO brings to local businesses.
1. Creates User-Friendly Sites
Many people still believe that SEO is just about optimizing their site for search engines. These days, however, SEO is enhancing user experience as well. With the help of SEO, local business owners can develop a smoother, quicker, and more user-friendly site.
A well constructed, non-cluttered, and clean site urges the casual guest to browse a little longer, hence reducing the bounce rate and boosting page views.
Likewise, extremely relevant content, be it blog articles or sale pages, keeps your readers satisfied as they are more likely to find exactly what they want on your site, find solutions to their problems, and get answers to their questions.
When done correctly, on-page SEO makes your users happy. Which in turn creates happy search engines because they enjoy providing their users with quality information.
2. Attracts More Customers
Of course, it is no secret that one of the primary reasons to have a website is to outdo your competition and enhance your customer base. What other reason could you have for investing thousands of dollars in marketing?
Businesses with a website that is SEO optimized attract more customers and expand more quickly than businesses with sites that are not SEO optimized. SEO is perhaps one of the most affordable and efficient marketing strategies in existence.
More importantly, SEO only attracts customers who are actively looking for your service or product. For just a little money and a few hours of your time, SEO will bring targeted traffic to your site, and ultimately more customers to your business.
3. Improved Conversion Rates
Websites that are SEO optimized are easier to browse and read, have faster load times, and will properly display on any type of device, including tablets and cellphones. Sites that are easy to navigate and read are more likely to get and keep the attention of your guests.
In return, it is highly likely that these guests will become your faithful subscribers, customers, and repeat visitors.
4. Enhance Brand Awareness
One advantage of getting a higher rank in the search results is increasing brand awareness. When customers search certain terms and find your site on page one of the results in top search engines like Bing or Google, they are more likely to put faith in your brand, than those with a lessor web presence.
For this reason, if you wish to enhance your brand awareness, you should invest in SEO in order to gain top rankings for the key search words related to your business. In today’s world, search engines play an important role in the success or failure of your brand.
5. Get Around the Competition
Consider two businesses of the same kind, selling comparable products, for approximately the same cost. One business has their website SEO optimized, the other does not.
Keeping in mind that everything else is the same, which business do you think will gain more traffic to their site in a local search? Which company is more likely to grow the fastest, and which will likely be most successful?
Obviously SEO marketing and search engines are extremely powerful tools. If your competitors are engaged in SEO marketing and you are not, you can bet that you are losing business.
SEO Works Around the Clock
One of the best things about SEO is that as long you are ranking in the search engines, you are always visible to potential clients. You can receive traffic to your site any time of the day or night, which can become leads or sales.
If you did not engage in SEO and employed salespeople to email or call possible customers you would have interruptions in your campaigns because people need breaks, sleep, etc. However, a well-organized SEO campaign can continuously generate leads and sales 24/7.
Four Ways SEO Helps you Compete Against Big Business
Using contemporary advertising methods, your capability of competing with other businesses is based on your budget. This means if you operate a small, local business, it is almost impossible to compete against large chains.
On the contrary, online advertising is a more equal playing field. Although national chains still have larger budgets and more brand recognition, search engines desire to show users the results that most relevant, not the companies who spend the most on advertising.
That means a strong SEO strategy can help your local business compete with even the biggest national chains and gain more traffic to your site. Here are 4 ways SEO helps you compete against big business.
1. Using Your Niche to Your Benefit
For starters, you must decide which keywords you wish to target. Usually, it is not a good idea to compete short and broad key terms because other sites will always outrank you.
Although this might sound like a disadvantage, it provides you with the chance to target your potential clients more effectively. Big companies with many products find it difficult to write unique product descriptions for all of their merchandise, which results in duplicate content issues.
Take advantage of this by writing customized product descriptions that show the benefits of each product as well as describe the product. The use of long, specific key terms will give your pages a better chance of getting higher search rankings than sites with similar products.
If your business is not e-commerce based, you can still draft effective descriptions of the services you provide. Additionally, you can use testimonials and case studies to demonstrate how you have helped clients and include long-tail key terms on those pages also.
2. Targeting Local Audience
If you are like most small businesses than you operate from one location and serve a particular region or city. Different from top brands, who might have hundreds of physical stores worldwide, you must use local SEO to get the attention of your audience.
By focusing on a local audience, you will more likely attract traffic to your site that will realistically become customers. Additionally, by using location-based key terms throughout your website, it is possible to outrank larger companies in your area.
For instance, if you have a small sporting goods store and you use the location-based key term, golf clubs Detroit MI, your small business could be ranked higher than a major sporting goods business in the area, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods.
3. Industry Related Content
Writing unique service or product descriptions and developing a local SEO strategy is good, but that is only a start. You must build on that process by creating a content marketing campaign. This is a good way to gain new customers and teach them about your business.
Furthermore, content marketing can help your local business overshadow the competitors. Technically, this is a different strategy than SEO. However, these two strategies work hand-in-hand towards making your website successful.
As you produce videos, blog posts, articles, and downloadable content that are suited to your audience, you will be able to create trust with possible clients by demonstrating your skills to them.
Also, since your audience is more targeted and smaller than the audience of a national chain, it will be easier to choose subjects that they can relate to. Aside from presenting you as an expert in your industry, original content will earn links to your site. Link building helps you compete more successfully.
4. Build-up Your Brand
Big corporations have the funds to create national ad campaigns, placing their brands in front of hundreds of millions of patrons, but those campaigns have a fleeting effect.
Viewers might recall seeing a magazine ad that seemed interesting, or a commercial that they thought was funny. However, they often will not remember which company the ad was for.
When guests visit your site, let them see what makes you better than the other choices. Regardless if it is your passion for the business, contributions to your local community, or superior customer service, you should emphasize these unique features to enhance your brand.
National chain stores might have the benefit of convenience and low prices, but they cannot compete in terms of developing personal relationships with guests. This gives you a unique advantage, helping you to be successful in any industry.
Unmatched Customer Insight
As already established, SEO generates quality traffic to your site. This traffic is recorded and tracked by Google Analytics, which is an excellent tool. The metrics and data gathered to provide you with valuable insight to your customers
With Google Analytics, you can learn how customers search, the terms they use, how they browse, what technology they use, where they live, the days and times they are most active, and more.
This valuable information will help you make quality and informed decisions in regards to your business and its marketing strategies, both offline and online.
SEO Gives Your Business Credibility
Users take mental notes of the results for the terms they search for on Google or other search engines. This might be a subconscious act on their part, nevertheless, they do it. In a consumer’s mind, your business ranking shows credibility.
If Google says a particular business is relevant, consumers figure that it must be so. This might sound silly but think back to the days of the yellow pages. If you were searching for a contractor, did you usually call the company listed on the eighth page, or page 1?
In much the same way, high rankings in the search engines make you seem more credible in the eyes of potential customers.
The Power of Information
When Search Engine Optimization is discussed, it is innately connected with search results and conduct. There is a great deal of information connected to how people get to and interact with your site. The biggest hurdle is gathering this information and breaking it down into usable terms.
Any experienced SEO team will know every technique and tool to examine your data. Mutual decisions are made and you are taught why your internet presence needs work. A portion of this information is only gathered through SEO experience.
In addition, mighty tools exist that help you track interest and performance. One example of such a tool is Google Search Console, which is a free instrument that will provide insight beyond the numbers.
Use this tool correctly and you will receive demographic data on customers, identify under-performing content, backlinks, and ads, find out where visitors are coming from, and understand bounce rates, navigation behavior, and CTRs.
All of this information, among other things, are figured into developing your customized SEO strategy.
Future Proof Your Business
Search Engine Optimization is a dynamic procedure. What currently works well might change down the road. The elements of SEO are changed any time search engines adapt their algorithms.
The more optimized your site is, and the more time you have had an SEO strategy in use, the faster and better you will understand and react to these changes in algorithms. A decade from now, when SEO is needed even more than it is presently, you will be happy you engaged in a sound strategy now.
As you can see, SEO is vital to the long-term success of local businesses. If the required implementation and research seem discouraging, there are many SEO services who will be happy to help you with the process.