Just because your business has a website doesn’t mean that anyone is looking at it. Building a website is only the first step in marketing your business on the Internet. What comes next is search engine optimization, which is a process that improves the overall quality of your website and in turn makes it easier for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! to find.
How SEO Helps
SEO can help small businesses in many ways. The most important benefit is that it can bring new customers to the business. People are using the Internet more and more to find information, shop, compare items or discover new products. The higher you rank in search engine listings, the more likely it is that a potential customer will find your site and engage with your business.
SEO helps small businesses find better customers. These are people who are searching for your product, making them much more likely to be purchasers than people exposed to mass media advertising, of which only a small percentage are likely buyers.
SEO can also help your small business target new markets and customers. Say, for instance, that you are adding a new product that appeals to a different type of customer than you already serve. By using keyword targeting and other SEO techniques, your small business can focus on new markets and try to attract new customers.
Leveraging SEO Against Other Ads
For small businesses aiming for local customers, SEO gives them a chance to “steal” TV, radio, billboard and print advertising from their competitors. If you local business can get one of the top few rankings in search engine results for the product you sell, you can catch customers who were inspired to buy a product from your competitors ad but found your business when they later searched for it.
For example, if you’re a carpet dealer in Jacksonville who gets a top search billing for the term “Jacksonville carpet,” you can get customers who were reminded that they needed carpet from a competitor’s ad but found your store when they went looking to buy.
“By having search engine optimization in your marketing plan, you can start using other people’s advertising against them,”said Drew Slover, owner of Slover Consulting, a full-service marketing firm in Jacksonville, Fla. that specializes in helping small businesses get the most from SEO. “Using SEO is a great way for small businesses that don’t have brand recognition to leverage their marketing resources. With a solid SEO plan, the price of finding and converting new customers ultimately becomes less expensive,” he added.
Businesses that Benefit Most from SEO
Almost any small business can benefit from local SEO searches. Consumers often take to the Internet to find lawyers, plastic surgeons, plumbers, real estate agents and chiropractors, making local SEO development crucial for businesses that want an edge. But more and more Internet users are searching online for products and services and as a result, many small businesses are starting to use SEO marketing to boost their page rankings and compete for local businesses through better Internet search results.
Getting SEO Help
Most small business owners don’t have the time to do all the necessary things to build strong SEO content that delivers improved search results. This can include blogging, building links and other time-consuming activities that are required for SEO. But a local marketer who provides SEO services can do all of these things for you, leaving you free to concentrate on your business.
“Most businesses owners don’t have the time to do their own SEO work. They shouldn’t. But by finding a market that understands SEO, you can let them handle the drudge work while you focus on your business,” Slover said. “Clients that get quality SEO development will definitely see it in the bottom line, as increased traffic leads to better sales numbers.”