If you’re like most business owners, you probably hear the word “SEO” and immediately doubt its effectiveness, or wonder if it’s even a real thing or think it’s just a code word marketing companies use to get your money.
If that’s you, then hang on for just a minute. It’s a real thing called Search Engine Optimization. And it works. SEO requires detailed technical attention as well as creative marketing.
The good news is that a little SEO can go a long way, especially if you’re a business in a non-competitive environment or located in a smaller and less technically savvy town.
Here’s a couple of things you should keep in mind.
5 Reasons to Improve Your Small Business SEO
1. The Yellow Pages aren’t dead but online searches for businesses is very much alive.
What’s the first thing you do when you need to buy something or use a particular service? You get out your phone or get on your computer and perform a search for whatever it is you need.
If you don’t do that and you get out the paper copy of the yellow pages you’re part of the minority.
In this world of technology, most consumers find what they need by looking online and searching for a particular product or service. Billions of searches are done online daily and hundreds—maybe even thousands—of those searches are for what it is your business offers.
If you don’t have a presence online, then, you lose those searches and don’t get found by new customers and clients.
Google+, Yelp, and niche specific directories are the new YellowPages. (If you don’t know what Google+ is, you need to know why you should be on it here).
Most people don’t have phone books–they have phones. That means that they’re looking online for businesses.
2. If you’re not found in the search results, your competitors are stealing business.
Despite common thought, having a website does not mean you’re marketing online. No, having a website means you have a business portfolio on display that people can look at by typing your exact URL (e.g. www.example.com) into their search bar.
Online marketing—specifically small business SEO—means that you’ve poured hours into getting your website to show up when consumers look for your businesses’ services and products.
If you only have a website and your competitors are marketing online then it will be their business getting all the calls and written inquiries. Without SEO marketing you won’t be found online and you’ll be losing business to your competitors.
3. SEO puts you in front of people who want what your business offers.
There’s a business adage that floats around the world of salespeople that says: people like to buy; they just don’t like to be sold. It’s so true. Marketing or selling something to someone who isn’t directly interested in what you offer can be tedious and unrewarding.
Here’s the best part about investing in Small Business SEO: you put your business right in front of people who are ready and willing to buy what your business sells. They need something and you’ve got it.
4. Smart SEO doesn’t have to be expensive
When most people hear these three letters they either say “what’s that?” OR “oh, I don’t have the money for that!” Let’s start with the bad news. Most people who have come into contact with SEO “professionals” have either been price gouged or received poor services (and sometimes both).
What’s the good news? SEO doesn’t have to break the bank. Affordable also doesn’t mean ineffective.
Understanding what’s affordable and cost-effective is tricky sometimes. SEO services are usually based on a number of factors, including: industry, location, and strength of your competition. SEO services for an attorney in LittleTown, VA may cost $150/mo whereas SEO services for the same attorney in BigCity, VA may cost $1500/mo.
One test to measure the affordability/effectiveness of an SEO company is to consider the number of leads per month you would need to cover the SEO cost per month.
If it seems do-able and you come out on the winning end then it’s probably a good match for you.
5. The Age of Online Connections Is Here, Now
According to Statista, the average American spends at least an hour every day on the computer. Yes, they’re browsing Facebook and YouTube, but it also means that they’re searching for things online.
They could be searching for your business right now. Couple this statistic with the fact that nearly 70% of adults use their phones to go online every day and you can begin to see the incredible power of being active and found online.
Technology isn’t going anywhere. It will continue to grow and the importance of being active online will continue to grow. Small Business SEO is already important, and there is no shortage of computer consultants who can help you and your business adapt to the changing technology.
But enter the online world now and, in five years, when you’re miles ahead of the competition, you’ll love your decision.
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Jeremy is the Lead Designer & Owner of Enable. Jeremy is a small business connoisseur who helps the little guys conquer big. When he’s not designing websites or writing blogs, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and family.