You’re in business to make money, right?
Of course, you are, but so are your competitors. That is why you need to get an edge on your competition.
We’re halfway through 2021 and the best form of marketing is online, and the most cost-effective way to do so is to drive organic traffic to your website, and then turn those site visitors into money-paying customers.
But first you need to be found, and to do that you need to have an SEO strategy, one which gives you the best return on investment.
As a small business, it is important to understand the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps to drive traffic to your website, and not just in terms of the numbers of site visitors. More importantly, the quality of visits; by targeting keywords (or keyphrases) that match what your potential customers are searching for.
SEO is carried out in a number of ways, there is On-page SEO, this is the optimization of code, the speed of your website, the content in terms of the way the information is written, and possibly the most important way to keep people on your site is User Experience, is the website clear about what you are offering, is it easy to navigate and find the information they want and all call to action buttons are clear and prominent.
After this is Off-page SEO, this involves getting links back to your website from sites that Google sees as important, in other words, high page rank websites. Then everything from Press Releases to article submissions to guest blogging. Whichever method is used it ultimately goes to pleasing Google and its algorithm to get higher rankings within search results.
SEO for small business
All small businesses have to compete with 3 types of business to grab their share of the market. Firstly they have to compete with large corporations such as Amazon, who can use their huge marketing budgets, reach, and reputation to saturate every market around the globe.
Secondly, they must compete with other small businesses in their local market, who will have the same advantages and disadvantages as you.
Thirdly is businesses that are solely online-only. If you’re a service company you don’t have to worry so much about this. But if you sell a product that is offered by the 1st and 3rd type of business and you have a traditional brick and mortar offering then you are at an increasing disadvantage.
Why SEO is important for small businesses?
SEO is simply the most cost-effective way to reach customers. The pound/dollar value far exceeds any traditional marketing methods, think millions of people actively searching for your service or product offering. You will have the chance to reach customers at the ideal time in their decision-making process.
With a well-laid out, user experience optimized website you will be able to provide helpful information to answer their questions or simply give them the opportunity to make their purchase.
So you’ve seen the importance of SEO above but you need further proof of its benefits. Following are some important stats to help you in planning your SEO strategy, particularly if you are a local business.
User Behavior Stats
Internet use is increasing at an astonishing rate. Nearly everyone in the UK, Europe, and North America has access to fast internet connections. The devices pushing this growth are smartphones, which now outrank desktop users for the first time. Additionally, internet use is the most spread amongst all age groups, with the majority of the older demographic not only online but quite often using smartphones. Now is the time to get a responsive website
- 68% of all online activities start with a search engine.
- 75% of searchers never click past the first page of results.
- As many as 46% of all Google searches are local.
- 70% to 80% of users completely ignore paid ads.
- Google holds 86.6% of the search engine market in 2019.
- 61% of marketers say growing SEO and organic presence on their websites is one of their top inbound marketing priorities.
- 51% of all website traffic comes from organic searches.
- Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages than those that don’t.
- Leads from SEO are eight times more likely to become paying customers than those generated through traditional ad campaigns.
- The US SEO marketing spending is projected to reach $129.59 billion in 2021.
Search Query Behavior
When creating content for your website we make sure to have a good understanding of your potential customer’s typical search behavior. Content that ranks high for search results. The great news is that this behavior now points to local results being seen as the most important deciding factor. As a local, small business with a good, professional SEO strategy you will be well placed to take advantage of this trend.
- 500 million photos were shared through Google Maps last year.
- An 80% growth has been measured in “best” mobile searches in the past two years.
- A staggering 185% growth has been recorded for “near me” searches.
Recent changes by and to Google
When you know that Google changes its algorithm up to 600 times per year with major changes happening every few months it can seem daunting to keep up. The most important changes in the past few months have been:
- 230 characters for snippet length is now average compared to 160 in recent years.
- Core Web Vitals – now more important than ever to have a fast website. The faster the website, the more Google rewards SEO work.
- 70% of the first page Google results were secure (HTTPS) websites.
Small Business Competition
It is important that you do not fall behind your competitors, that is why you should start a strong SEO plan now. This is even more important now when more and more businesses are relying less and less on traditional ways of marketing their business. Our experience and know-how will help you to compete.
- 63% of small business owners rank generating traffic as their top challenge.
- 53% of small businesses see blog content creation as their top initiative.
- 61% of business owners list improving SEO and search engine rankings as their top goal.
Small Businesses Opportunities
Especially for small businesses, SEO, done right, can be a very powerful tool. In addition, local SEO will help you connect you to important, local customers. That is why an SEO strategy is needed to take advantage of this trend by increasing your search engine rankings.
- 25-35% more clicks occur on business directory listings with a website.
- 63% of U.S. travelers want brands to tailor their information based on past behaviors or individual preferences.
- 55% of people search for promotions or discounts online.