To remain competitive in today’s market, businesses in every industry need comprehensive, strategic marketing plans that incorporate content marketing along with advertising. Online engagement is crucial to reaching and retaining customers. So how can you ensure your business is more visible and enticing to your target audience? How can you increase the conversion rate on your website and improve your bottom line? SEO is the answer to these questions and can help your small business achieve your goals. It is a worthwhile investment for any small business. If you haven’t explored all of the ways SEO is important for your small business, let’s start with the basics.
What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization and, in short, it is the process of improving your website to boost your rankings in search engine results pages. When a potential customer finds your website as a result of a specific search query or phrase and clicks on your link in the search results, this is qualified as organic traffic. The goal of search engine optimization is to drive traffic to your website and convert that traffic into sales for your business. We all know getting customers to your website is just half of the equation. The other part of the equation is the creative and engaging content that will convert them from merely a visitor into a paying customer. This part of SEO is about providing customers with the content and experience they want and anticipating what they will need from your website. Search engine optimization is equal parts understanding how to best sell your product as well as using your content to build a relationship with your target audience. Search engine optimization is a long-term strategy but yields a high return on your investment. Unlike some forms of content marketing, the impact of search engine optimization is not immediately apparent. This is not a short fix for your sales revenue, but once you start to see results, it will be a snowball effect. The upside to SEO requiring longer periods of time is you will have a plethora of data providing insight on your target audience. You will also find value in the content you create as part of optimizing your website, because it can feed into other marketing strategies.
Benefit #1: Organic Search Brings in More Customers
When search engine optimization is done correctly, your website’s ranking will improve on results pages. Your target audience will find you when they search for your specific product or service. In order to be seen by potential customers online, you have to have high rankings with Google. When your website shows up as one of the first listings on the first page of Google search results, customers will see you are filling a need for the product or service they are searching for. Most people will not scroll through multiple pages of search results, so if you are not on the first page, you probably aren’t getting noticed. Once a potential customer finds your website and sees you have a solution for them, there’s a higher chance they will click through to your website. Search engine optimization and organic searches will drive qualified leads to your website. In fact, over 50% of a website’s traffic can be attributed to organic searches, and this number is backed by a well crafted SEO strategy. This is an enormous chunk of your monthly website traffic and too important to disregard. When you focus on your SEO and improve your search rankings, your organic traffic will increase, and an increase in qualified leads will translate to increased revenue.
Benefit #2: SEO Will Improve Your Website
Your SEO strategy hinges on having a quality website. Without an excellent website, you will not satisfy Googles’ requirements for ranking well in search engine results, but equally important, your target audience won’t have a reason to convert into customers if they have a terrible experience on your website. Building your website with important elements such as high-quality content, optimal page speed, mobile friendliness, positive user experience, security, and a multitude of other important factors including SEO and technical SEO will ensure your website is most likely to convert and bring business to you. When potential customers come to your site and see they can trust the functionality of your website, this will help build credibility and establish your authority, not only with customers but also with Google. No one wants to visit a website that is a security risk or has pages that take forever to load. Just as first impressions are important for customers in person, they are important for online customers as well. Maintaining a healthy website will ensure potential customers will not have a bad first impression of your business.
A strong SEO strategy will also help you improve your website by developing content based on your target audience’s needs. To do this, you will need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they need. What questions do they have? What would they want to do next? What information can you provide them? When you think about your potential customers’ needs, you will be able to design your website content based on them. This will greatly improve their experience on your website, which will keep them on your website for longer periods of time, thus increasing the chances of converting them into sales. The more often this happens, the more authoritative your website will become, and the more users your site will attract. This becomes a cycle, and your website will consistently rank high in search results.
A tangential effect of improving your website and search engine optimization is also increasing your brand awareness. When your website consistently ranks in the top search engine results, and more visitors are converting to customers, you are simultaneously expanding your reach to more and more customers. Even if they do not click on your site when they see it in the search engine results, they are still being exposed to your name and your message. If you are competing with other businesses for specific keywords or phrases, every chance you have to establish yourself as the preferred solution will increase your chances of winning the click and gaining a new customer.
Benefit #3: Data, Data, and More Data
Knowledge is indeed power. Knowing your target audience and their habits will help you stay on the forefront of trends and give you the opportunity to capture their business. You will be able to use the data from your website traffic to make better marketing decisions. Analytics will provide you data based on each step in a visitor’s decision-making process, along with keywords used to search, pages visited most frequently, and important demographics like where your visitors are located, the time of day they searched, and how long they remained on your website. This information is particularly valuable in helping you refine your marketing strategy. You can analyze the traffic on your website and make any necessary adjustments. If you are seeing high volumes of traffic to a product page but low conversion rates, it is a clear sign you need to evaluate the content on the page or the functionality of the checkout process to make it more useful for your potential customers.
Additionally, data will also provide you information on links, making it easy to identify potential collaborations or networking opportunities. Google has a deep appreciation for backlinks, so having other websites or internal links from landing pages or blogs linked to your site will improve your rankings.
SEO will also provide insights on your competition. Organic ranking data will show you how your product or service compares to your competitors. It is helpful to see how your website ranks for specific keywords and phrases compared to your competitors. If they are beating you in search rankings, data will show you what they’re doing that is working, and you can explore how to improve your ranking performance.
Benefit #4: Search Engine Optimization Fits Any Budget
Another benefit of search engine optimization is that it can be implemented with nearly any budget. Even if you have no budget, you can begin the process of search engine optimization and prepare your budget for when you are ready to implement a more aggressive SEO strategy, as well as pursue other digital marketing strategies alongside your SEO. Working with an experienced digital marketing agency such as Digital Marketing Partners can help you design a tailored SEO and digital marketing strategy unique for your company’s goals. Your digital marketing strategy is a crucial foundation of your marketing plan, and cutting corners may hurt your business in the long run.
Search engine optimization gives you the flexibility to start with a smaller budget and increase it as you start to see a return on your investment. Monthly costs will vary depending on what you want to do, but it is important to see search engine optimization as a long-term strategy. It is an investment of your time as much as your budget, and the core SEO strategies will be relevant for years at a time. As a long-term marketing strategy, you will see a consistent return on your investment for years to come. This is one of the most powerful benefits to your small business and one of the most important reasons you should make SEO an important part of your digital marketing strategy.
Benefit #5: SEO Feeds Your Other Digital Marketing Strategies
Another wonderful quality of search engine optimization is that it plays wells with other digital marketing strategies. SEO should be one part of your digital marketing strategy, and the original content you develop for it will support your other content marketing strategies. Creating engaging and interesting content for your target audience should come in a variety of formats, including website text, graphics, videos, and social media posts and advertising. You can use this content to help your paid advertising and other digital marketing strategies. Overall, this will increase the success of your entire marketing campaign.
Additionally, you can use the data provided by search engine optimization to help inform your other digital marketing strategies. The data will provide useful insights on your target audience’s behaviors and habits, which will help you make informed marketing decisions. In the instance of pay-per-click advertising, SEO insights will give you a platform for testing strategies on your target audience to see what works and what doesn’t. You will be able to test strategies across various platforms. This will improve your digital marketing strategy overall. Likewise, data and insights from other digital marketing platforms will help you improve your SEO strategies. It might be helpful to think of your digital marketing strategies as puzzle pieces, with each one providing clarity and insight into the big marketing picture for your small business.
Search engine optimization is here to stay. While it is true SEO has changed over the years, and will likely change in the future, it will continue to stay relevant because people will continue to search for products and services on the internet. Search engine optimization is an incredibly helpful tool to help your customers connect to your products and services, and as a business, it is imperative your digital marketing strategy include a comprehensive search engine optimization plan. It has major benefits for your business including reaching more people, improving your website, providing insightful data on your target audience and customers, affordability, providing a solid return on your investment, and complementing other marketing strategies. With a strong SEO strategy and an experienced digital marketing agency on your side, you will have the competitive edge over your competition. Keep in mind your competitors are likely using SEO as part of their digital marketing strategy, and you don’t want them to outrank you on Google search results pages. You simply can’t afford not to utilize SEO for your small business. Search engine optimization will help your business stand above your competitors. It is a worthwhile investment for your small business, as it is a proven method to generate qualified leads and sales. As the trusted leader in search engine optimization in Philadelphia, Digital Marketing Partners is a full-service digital marketing company you can rely on to deliver results. Our experienced team will help you develop an innovative SEO strategy for your business that will deliver the results you need. Contact us today to see how we can help you reach your goals!