A restaurant opened in my area that served great food – the owner’s wife told me. They had invested more than a year into the build out and were excited to open. Her husband planned to “start marketing after they opened” she said.
Well the place had a lot of promise. But the problem was the avenue was crowded with multiple restaurants. When COVID hit and lockdowns happened they had no digital plan. Their online presence was a free template website with no customization, optimization or ability to place orders. The only social presence was their personal Facebook page and Instagram.
Needless to say, the company did not survive the pandemic. If you think that’s ridiculous, it happens everyday.
Most small businesses fail within the first year – before COVID. What if they had more visibility to their ideal customers? Imagine if people searching for “Italian restaurants near me” saw their location on the first page of the Google results.
SEO Helps Generate Leads
SEO is the best and most cost effective way to manipulate website traffic, connect with customers and outrank competitors in search engine rankings.
Relevance is used by search engines to organize information.
To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful says Google’s mission statement. However, Google can only do so much if business owners don’t provide content tat appeals to appeal to online searchers.
SEO allows you to create a user-friendly website, find potential customers and convert them and establish the legitimacy of your website.
To do any of this, you must first understand your target markets, interests and vocabulary.
Search Engine Optimization can benefit both online and offline businesses. It assists e-commerce businesses in generating leads, converting them into customers and then returning customers and raving fans.
Why SEO Is Essential For Brick and Mortar Businesses
Local SEO is used by brick and mortar businesses to interact with their local marketplace and direct customers to their physical stores.
This type of SEO is essential for small businesses online presence, because without it, you’re wasting money on content that will most likely be ignored.
Digital marketing requires you to target your audience. Your website is a needle in a haystack without keywords and content that matches what users are searching for online.
But effective SEO depends on more than just a small businesses website and social media accounts. Offline marketing has a significant impact on it as well. Interactions in person or in-store result in social media reviews, page visits and word-of-mouth impact.
You need to do the research first to learn the keywords, phrases and terms that users of search engines put into Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo. You need to know things like monthly search volume, headlines, image names and tags to help organize your data into valuable information.
When you adjust your content phrasing, and use relevant keywords you increase the pages appeal to search engines and get more traffic.
Marketing requires an understanding of prospects, customers and what they want. Keyword research helps determine the most popular searches and how you can rank for them.
How Google Defines Quality Content
To be successful with SEO, you need to have an understanding of how Google works. Google defines quality content as: “Content that satisfies the needs of users, improves their experience, and meets the expectations of your target audience.”
Also included in Google’s list of guidelines are:
– Have a clear title, and make sure that your title accurately reflects what your page is about.
– Ensure that you have a strong introduction that immediately draws people into your content.
– Make sure that you’re using appropriate keywords in the body text of your page, as well as in your meta tags and headings.
Why Keywords Matter for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses
These words and phrases can be useful in developing content. If there is enough search volume, understanding the keywords used by potential customers allows you to better target and relate to them, while also highlighting your small business.
Google flags websites for keyword stuffing. While repeating keywords in context can help your SEO, don’t overdo it. This behavior can get your site penalized or banned from appearing in the results. Make your phrases appropriate and natural to your audience.
Marketing requires an understanding of prospects, customers and what they want. Keyword research helps identify popular searches by these same people. You can incorporate the answers into your content strategy.
This is how SEO helps small businesses and potential customers by directing traffic to your website, blog or landing pages.
Everybody wins. Customers can find what they’re looking for more easily when a company’s website is optimized. Googlw is happy. And you grow your business.
Implementing this strategy could put your company ahead of a competitor in the SERPs, or at least some irrelevant search results. Add paid advertising to take it next level.
SEO Is Important For Small Businesses Because It Increases Visibility
Your website content is the bridge that transports users from the Google search results to engagement and conversion.
Content will improve visibility, accessibility and brand recognition.
Your website is a critical part of your marketing stack. When optimized it can give you massive exposure and bring in a lot of traffic.
Remember this traffic is searching for particular phrases and clicking on search engine results pages for specific reasons. They want information, comparison shopping, directions and are making buying decisions. Do you want them to find your business?
If you can establish authority and legitimacy by publishing content that contributes to a specific community, niche of interest you’re on your way to winning.
It is content that not only attracts potential customers, but it also establishes your company as a credible source, authority and a fixture in the conversation. This is how many small businesses increase brand awareness and increase sales while maximizing their ad spend.
Why Off-Page SEO is Important for Businesses
In today’s digital world businesses cannot depend on self-promotion and one-way conversations to establish authority. Instead you must improve your offsite or off-page SEO.
This means establishing your presence somewhere other than your website. These interactions, of course, should lead back to your website, and hopefully, an email list to build an ongoing conversation.
Important off-site channels include social media platforms, backlinks, hiring social media influencers and guest blogging on relevant sites that match your target audience.
You want to be everywhere your ideal client goes while making it appear natural and human. This will improve your company’s reputation and direct traffic right to your door.
SEO Is Important For Brand Awareness of Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses
Brand awareness and recognition may be among the most difficult aspects of marketing for small businesses.
It’s one thing for customers to recognize a company’s logo, slogan or brand colors, but it’s quite another to recognize the company for its expertise and dedication to the business world. This is what generates inbound traffic, qualified leads and higher conversions.
Here’s the magic. The biggest advantage of SEO is the ROI (return on investment).
If you can get organic traffic that converts into customers you can optimize your advertising spend and scale accordingly.
Optimization includes remarketing to people that visit your website or social channels like your Facebook page or Instagram.
This process never ends because the algorithms often update, keyword search volume changes, and new competitors enter the marketplace.
As a business owner and marketer you have to adapt and pivot.
SEO strategies are a long term play not an overnight silver bullet. Be willing to invest six months to a year to really secure the best results. Strategies must be researched, communicated, implemented and tracked. Then you have to make adjustments on a regular basis.
SEO is crucial for startups and businesses of all sizes. As an entrepreneur or business owner don’t be intimidated by the commitment that SEO requires.
This is an investment that will yield a positive return. Your entire marketing effort will benefit. It’s vital to stay current and deliver high quality content that will keep users engaged.
Commit to building a website and pages that provide value and a positive user experience.
Google measures user experience in terms of website quality, speed and mobile compatibility. Keep these factors top of mind and your SEO will benefit along with your business growth.