SEO stands for search engine optimization. When optimizing a website for search engines, there’s a focus on attracting relevant traffic. But what does SEO entail and what are the benefits of SEO for small businesses? A lot of business owners mistakenly believe that SEO is irrelevant to their marketing. However, a well-optimized website can deliver excellent results for businesses.
Can SEO Help Your Business?
The short answer is yes, definitely.
SEO is all about helping your website rank on search engines like Google. So, if your website is optimized for search, it will show up on the first pages of search engines whenever people search for your product or service.
There are various SEO tactics that digital marketing companies use to help improve website SEO, these include:
- The use of relevant keywords throughout your website copy
- Relevant link building tactics to improve your website’s domain authority
- Skilled SEO web development
- Regularly updating your website with new content
If your website is properly optimized for SEO, you’ll be able to attract traffic from relevant internet searches.
For instance, if your business is in the construction industry, your website SEO will be focused on attracting traffic from search queries related to building and construction. Better yet, your SEO can focus on attracting traffic from search queries from people looking for construction in your area.
This is the basic principle of how SEO can help your business. But there’s more to SEO than meets the eye. Aside from increased search engine traffic, an SEO website can offer more advantages.
Benefits of SEO for Small Business
Many small business owners view SEO as an advanced marketing technique that requires a big budget. But SEO isn’t a marketing strategy that’s reserved for fortune 500 companies. Small businesses can also benefit from relevant SEO marketing. These some of the benefits of SEO for small businesses.
Increase Organic Website Traffic
If someone visits your website by clicking a non-sponsored listing directly from their search engine, this person is supplying organic traffic to your website. In other words, your website can get organic traffic for free if it’s optimized for search.
Other forms of traffic to your website can include:
- Paid traffic: This is when someone visits your website by clicking a sponsored listing on Google, or an ad on social media. Basically, any traffic you get through paid online advertising is paid traffic.
- Social traffic: If you promote your website on social media (i.e. your Facebook page, business Twitter account or Pinterest) and people click your social links to arrive at your website, this is called social traffic.
- Referral traffic: This is traffic from sources that aren’t search engines or social media sites. If your business is on local business directory and people click a link to your website from the directory, that’s a source of referral traffic.
- Email traffic: If your business has an email marketing newsletter with links that refer people to your website, that’s a source of email traffic.
Some other traffic sources to your site can also be direct (where people paste your website URL directly into their browsers) or unknown.
Of all the different kinds of web traffic you can get, organic traffic is the best. That’s because organic traffic is free and you won’t need to constantly promote your website on social media or in email newsletters to keep a consistent amount of traffic coming in.
SEO is the only way to improve your website’s indexability in search engines.
An important aspect of a website that’s optimized for search is that it must be user friendly. Search engine crawlers look at critical data such as website loading times when selecting what websites to display in top search results.
A website that’s too slow to load will turn many people off, so it’s important that your business website is optimized for quick loading times.
Another thing to consider is how responsive your website is. Nowadays, so many people are using mobile devices like phones and tablets to browse the internet. Search engines try to give users the best possible experience by only listing websites that display well across all different devices.
Getting a user-friendly website that’s developed specially for search engines is one area where getting professional SEO help is most necessary. Your website’s functionality is at the core of all your other SEO efforts.
SEO Can Be Local or Global
Your website SEO can be focused around attracting traffic from your local area. So if your business operates locally, your SEO can focus on attracting local people who are potential customers to your website.
There are some great options available, like Google My Business and Bing Local to help local businesses even more in attracting customers that are situated in the area.
On the other hand, many businesses can benefit from attracting traffic from all over the world. Hotels, travel companies and software providers don’t need to stick to local SEO because their customers could be anywhere in the world. In such an instance, these businesses can benefit from an SEO strategy that’s will attract relevant traffic from all over the world.
SEO Builds Trust
Any business can have a website or Facebook page, but not any business can rank on the first pages of search engines for industry-specific searches.
This is one of the major benefits of SEO for small businesses. Even small businesses can rank high for popular search terms. Once your website becomes a known source of information for your industry, customers will trust your brand.
SEO Only Gets Better
As mentioned, a lot of marketing tactics to attract website traffic are temporary. You might see a spike in web traffic after sending out a marketing email, or publishing a Facebook post, but the results won’t last.
Long-term SEO strategies such as content marketing, deliver results for longer. In many cases, the traffic you get to your best blog posts will only grow over time, not diminish. The great thing about this is that you still only pay once, but can reap the benefits of a good content piece for years to come.
Similarly, a website that’s designed with SEO and user-friendliness in mind, won’t stop delivering results right after it goes live. On the contrary, your business website should grow over time as a marketing asset for your company.
SEO Is Affordable
Of all the benefits of SEO for small business, this is one you might not have expected. But SEO is a cheaper form of marketing compared to many alternatives.
When you take into consideration that your business can keep enjoying the benefits of SEO long after your first investment, your initial input costs become so much less.
If you compare SEO to placing advertisements in local newspapers, or running ad campaigns on radio or television, SEO delivers a much better ROI.
Another benefit is that an SEO website opens up more marketing opportunities. You can use your website as a hub to direct your social media followers to your sales pages, or to get email subscribers and grow your marketing reach.
How to Do SEO for Your Business
When starting out with SEO for your business, having a website that’s well-optimized should be your first priority. There are various ways to go about getting a website. Some businesses opt for a website builder such as Squarespace. However, building your own website on this kind of platform usually isn’t a good long-term choice.
The best, most reliable platform to build a website is a self-hosted WordPress site. The good thing about WordPress is that it’s reasonably easy to use, even for beginners. There are some premium themes available that allow business owners to build their own websites quite easily at a low cost.
The problem is that even on an easy-to-use website builder, it takes skill to craft a great SEO website. You want your website to look good and be highly functional. Doing everything yourself will require a lot of skills such as graphics design, web design and more.
The easiest way to get a great SEO website is to hire an experienced web design company to handle the project for you.
The great thing about WordPress is that you can start off with a budget website you built yourself, and save for a more sophisticated SEO site while you already have your website up. You won’t need to migrate your website from one platform to another once you’re ready to invest in web development services.