2 March 2022 - Richard Shire
Whether they’re shopping, choosing a restaurant or checking the weather, people rely on search engines every day. So there’s a very good chance that your potential customers will be using search engines to help them find products or services just like yours.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making improvements to your website so that it will appear as high as possible in the Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs). It involves researching your competitors, their websites and the most effective keywords, then optimising your website’s performance and producing content which targets those particular keywords.
And why is SEO important for business? Basically because the top-ranked site on Google receives around twice as many visitors as the one which lies in second place. Meanwhile the websites which only make the second, third or lower pages hardly receive any clicks.
This can have a significant impact on the success of your business, so here are some of the main benefits of SEO for small businesses:
Compared to many forms of promotion, Search Engine Optimisation services are relatively inexpensive. Other marketing methods, such as PPC advertising, have ongoing costs associated with them but your business can enjoy long-lasting return on investment on well-executed SEO strategies.
Keyword research and competitor research can identify long chain keywords to be used as part of an SEO strategy for small businesses. These tend to have lower search volumes but are easier to rank for, with high intent and a higher conversion rate which results in better ROI. And because SEO targets a set of keywords rather than specific demographics, you could attract a wider range of potential customers.
So if you’re running your own small business, SEO services should really be viewed as an investment in your business rather than simply a marketing cost!
Search Engine Optimisation can be very cost effective, but you still want to know that you are getting results from the time and money you are investing.
It’s not as easy to track the ROI from SEO as it is with paid search, but you can track the changes in traffic, ranking and conversion rates through platforms such as Google Analytics. This provides comprehensive information that you can examine on a granular level, allowing you to drill right down and track an individual user’s journey from their first SERPs click through to completing their purchase. Google Search Console can also be used to highlight which keywords you are already ranking for and where there is room for improvement.
This information can then be used to evaluate, adjust and improve your website’s SEO strategy.
SEO is an important part of your marketing mix and works well alongside other forms of digital marketing like PPC.
Creating fresh, useful content and updating it regularly will help your site to rank better in search results. You can then support your SEO efforts with paid marketing strategies (PPC), using low cost-per-click keywords to boost your ranking further.
If your pages appear both at the top of the organic listings and in the paid ad slots, it gives your content extra credibility and helps to build trust in your brand.
User experience is an important Google ranking factor and of course, it’s also a vital part of providing excellent service for your customers. You should aim to provide your visitors with the information that they require quickly, clearly and in as few clicks as possible.
Search Engine Optimisation also focuses on many of the same criteria, and so by optimising your site for the search engine rankings, you will also help to improve the user experience. This will then help to give your site a better chance of ranking higher and bring in more visitors, which will make your site more authoritative, creating a cycle that continues to boost your business.
Local searches like “hairdressers near me” are becoming more popular these days and a good local SEO strategy can result in a great conversion rate.
So if you run a small business that serves the local area it’s very important to make sure that your website is fully optimised for local searches. This can include creating a Google My Business account, careful placement of relevant local keywords on your website and optimising for voice search with compelling content that answers common queries.
Investing wisely in local SEO can help to boost your ranking in this valuable category of searches.
The sites that appear at the top of the SERPs listings are those that the search engine algorithm considers to be trustworthy and high quality. Search engines prioritise sites that produce reliable information and deliver it on fast, secure and mobile-friendly pages.
And your potential customers generally trust the results that they find in the organic listings, because they know that any business can pay to appear in the ad slots.
Investing in SEO doesn’t just help your site rank higher, it can also help to boost the credibility of your business. That means when people click through to your website, they will already feel that they can trust your brand.
Many purchases start with a search on the internet, and the sites that appear on the first page of the search engine listings generally receive over 90% of the clicks for that search. So being competitive in the search engine listings is now just as important as being competitive on price, quality and customer service.
Optimising your website by ensuring that it loads quickly, is mobile friendly and provides great content with an excellent user experience will help you to beat your competitors in the SERPS. Your competitors are probably investing in SEO, so can you afford not to?
Search Engine Optimisation has some major benefits for business websites which can result in long term growth and lasting ROI. As well as increasing visibility in the SERPS, boosting website traffic and improving user experience, investing in SEO services for small businesses can also help to build your brand’s credibility and trust. All of this underlines the importance of SEO in digital marketing strategy.
Of course, if you would prefer to implement your business’ SEO strategy yourself, there are many courses and websites available which will guide you through the basics. But finding the right strategy for your business can take trial and error and it’s important to keep up to date with the latest changes in SEO best practice.
So if you’d prefer to place your SEO strategy in the hands of experts, Aspire Shire’s affordable SEO services for small businesses can help you to reap the benefits of Search Engine Optimisation.