In our suite of posts outlining why your business needs SEO – we cover 16 reasons why search engine optimisation actively helps to grow your small business; it costs significantly less than most other forms of digital marketing and it is highly effective. The importance of SEO for a small business owner can’t be stressed enough – especially now during COVID-19.
Small businesses require SEO as soon as they launch their entity online, as it’s the most viable and cost-effective way to simultaneously understand and target customers in the critical moments that matter.
2021 saw the greatest ever need for small business SEO services when demand rose to unprecedented levels. As consumers shifted in droves to online, even the most traditional retail business realised that they needed to switch to digital…and FAST!
Most small businesses understand the importance of SEO for their digital properties and the results they will achieve from the SEO work being implemented by a digital agency.
SEO will undeniably improve a website’s searchability and visibility, but what other tangible value does it provide?
Why is SEO growing in importance, especially during the pandemic?
The following reasons offer some definitive answers, regardless of the industry, as to why your business needs SEO to help it grow.
- SEO Helps Small Businesses Future-Proof Success
SEO has expanded its role in recent years. In particular, good SEO helps consumers find the most relevant answers to their queries – where they need it and when they need it – at that critical and decisive moment. But SEO also gives owners numerous opportunities to future-proof their small businesses, regardless of industry or business type, which we’ll go into later. It is essential to a brand’s online presence and their digital properties now and into the foreseeable future.
- Organic Search is Most Often the Primary Source of Traffic
Organic search is a huge part of most small businesses’ website performance and a key element of the buyer journey, ultimately enticing users to complete a conversion or engagement.
Particularly here in Australia, Google is the dominant search engine, and its guidelines are important to abide by.
Google (the most visited website in the world) also happens to be the most popular email provider in the world with over 1 billion users.
YouTube (owned by Google) is the second biggest search engine and over 2 billion users access it regularly.
We know that a massive percentage of the world that has access to the internet is visiting Google at least once a day for answers and information.
Being highly visible on Google will always work in your business’s favour. Strong SEO and a high-quality website will help secure your listing.
- SEO Creates Trust & Credibility
The goal of any SEO Pro is to build a strong foundation for a great website with an effortless, effective user experience that is easily found in search – thanks to the trust and credibility of the business and its digital properties.
While numerous factors go into establishing authority, it is gained over time as a result of aspects, such as:
- Natural links
- Positive user behaviour
- Algorithm signals
- Optimised content and on-page elements
Establishing that authority will do more for a business than the majority of other digital factors.
The issue is that it’s impossible to build trust and credibility overnight – as with human relationships. Authority is earned over time.
The need to follow Google’s E-A-T guidelines is essential to ensure success.
Establishing an online business as an authority takes patience, effort, and commitment. You need to offer a highly valuable, quality product or service that allows customers to trust you.
- SEO is the Ultimate Way to Understand Your Customer/Client
The importance of SEO for small businesses, from understanding tiny market shifts (as we’re doing with COVID lockdowns) to understanding search and user intent, is clear because it tells us what customers want and need. That’s important for any marketing activity.
SEO data gives us clear indicators of intent and behaviour, such as:
- Search query data
- SERP analysis
- Analytical data and insights through AI
- Good SEO Goes Hand-in-Hand with Good User Experience
User experience has become every SEO Pro’s number one priority. Every brand wants better organic rankings and maximum visibility. With this surge there comes the critical need to create that optimal user experience (UX). UX design is something we do here at Online Marketing Group.
Google has adapted to interpret a good or bad user experience, and a positive one has become an essential element to a website’s success.
Customers know what they want. If they can’t find it, they’ll go elsewhere. And website performance will drop.
A good example of building a solid user experience is how Google has evolved to become more of an answer engine, offering the most-wanted data directly on the results pages.
The goal is to provide users the information they’re searching for in fewer clicks, less time and effortlessly.
Quality SEO combines a positive user experience, benefitting from it to work in a brand’s favour.
- Local SEO Equals Increased Engagement & Conversions
With the ever-increasing domination of mobile traffic, local search has become integral to small business success.
Local SEO focuses on optimising your digital properties for a specific geolocation, so people can find you easily, placing them right at that critical step before transaction.
Local search centres around specific suburbs, towns, cities, and even states to create a tangible platform for a business’s messaging at a local level.
SEO Pros achieve this by optimising the business’s website, including local citations and backlinks, as well as broader listings relevant to the geolocation and business sector. A high emphasis should also be placed on Google user reviews.
- SEO Affects the Buying Cycle
Research is becoming a critical component of SEO, and the significance of research in real-time is growing.
Using SEO to amplify your messaging around great deals and unique services, and the relevance of what you offer customers will be game-changing. Done right, this will undeniably impact the buying cycle positively.
Businesses must be visible in the places people want them for an effective connection to be made. Local SEO augments that visibility and allows potential customers to find those businesses providing the best answers.
- SEO is Constantly Evolving with Best Practices Being Updated
It’s great to have SEO tactics implemented on a business’s website. If it’s a short-term engagement, though, through budget constraints etc. and the site isn’t re-optimised consistently over time, its performance will plateau due to other factors.
The way search evolves (at the discretion of Google) demands constant monitoring for changes to compete with other businesses.
Being adaptive and monitoring for key algorithm changes is always going to benefit those brands.
Google makes thousands of algorithm changes a year. If you neglect your SEO and website, it will be hard to come back from. A good SEO Pro can help you avoid this.
- Understanding SEO Helps You Understand the Web
With the ever-evolving environment that is the World Wide Web, it can be difficult to keep ahead of all of the changes.
However, getting on top of SEO includes being ahead of the curve for the key changes happening around search.
Comprehending the environment of the web – including tactics being used by your competitors and comparable businesses – will always benefit those brands.
- SEO is Relatively Cheap and Highly Cost-Effective
Naturally, SEO costs money to set up properly, but all marketing does. The critical difference is you don’t pay whenever someone clicks on your listing!
That makes it quite inexpensive in the big picture, and the ROI will most likely be considerable for a small business.
SEO isn’t a marketing cost; it’s an actual business investment, particularly with SEO services tailored for small businesses.
Strong implementation will benefit a brand for years to come. And, as always, it will only increase with the more consideration (and investment) it receives.
- SEO is Promotion
SEO helps build long-term equity for your brand. Solid rankings will help elevate your business’s profile.
Users search for news and related items, and having a strong SEO and promotion strategy means your brand will be noticed.
Maintaining a good user experience on your website will get your content and messaging out there, meaning your products or services sell.
SEO is no longer a standalone channel. Integrating it with your content and other online marketing tactics helps brand awareness and reach.
- It’s a Long-Term Strategy
SEO can have a significant impact within the first year, and many of the SEO actions will have a lasting effect for many years.
Indeed, as the market evolves, you will need to keep up with the trends and changes.
A business that has even basic SEO best practices implemented on a decent website with a strong user experience will see the rewards.
The more SEO time, effort, and budget allocated to it – the better and longer a website stands to be highly competitive within its market.
- You Can Quantify SEO
SEO can be quantified. While SEO results don’t appear on the outside to be as easy to calculate as some other forms of digital marketing, you can measure almost anything with decent tracking and analysis.
There is a disconnect between linking what’s happening at the back-end with user input, so understanding the link between all actions can be difficult.
It’s certainly still worth understanding how specific actions are supposed to affect performance and other factors, which hopefully they do.
Small businesses want to know and understand where they were, where they are now, and where they’re heading in terms of digital performance, especially for SEO where they outsource the work to an agency.
- SEO Creates New Opportunities
High-quality SEO will always create ways to discover and leverage new opportunities for businesses.
Offering quality SEO to businesses means immersing yourself in everything that encompasses that brand. This is the only way to truly market a small business with the same passion and comprehension that the owners have.
The better a brand is understood, the more opportunities will come from it to help it thrive. This is also true about SEO.
New opportunities with modern SEO can arise in many forms: from providing fresh content that can be amplified across various channels, digital and social ways to help increase sales, products, and customer service strategies.
- With The Era of Zero-Click Results – You Need To Strive For Page 1
SEO is becoming more and more advanced, as zero-click results show the answer directly at the top of Google SERPs.
The search intent of the user’s query is resolved without having to click any search result links.
It is more complex than just this, but in the SEO world, you need to be on Page 1.
Zero-click results are a huge step forward in answering a user’s query.
There are still far too many times when users type in a search query, and they don’t find exactly what they’re after.
- SEO Will Always Be Here
Consumers will always want products and services online, and small businesses will always look for the most cost-effective way to do that.
The role of SEO may change and the strategies may adapt, but new pathways are constantly opening up through varying entry points such as voice search, apps, wearable technology, and the Internet of Everything (IoE).
Next-generation search engines that are powered by deep neural networks and machine learning (a branch of AI) are set to dramatically rise in market value, more than tripling to US$55.7 billion by 2025.
New organic search opportunities will always come to light.
See our other small business SEO blogs here.