As a small business owner, you have probably heard the word “SEO” multiple times, and immediately doubted its purpose or effectiveness. You probably might even think it is not even a real thing, or just a code word used by marketing companies to make money off of you.
If this is you, then just stick with me for just a moment. “SEO”, is an actual thing called Search Engine Optimization, and on top of that it actually works. SEO requires much technical detail and attention as well as creative marketing techniques.
Good news though, is that just the smallest amount of SEO can go a long way, especially if you are a business which is in a non-competitive environment or located in a smaller or less tech savy town or city.
Here is a couple of things to keep in mind.
5 Reasons why SEO is important for Small Businesses
1. Phone books aren’t dead but online searches for businesses is very much alive.
When you are looking to or need to buy something or use a certain service, what is the first thing you do? You get out your phone probably first or get on your computer and search online for whatever it is that you need.
If you are not one of those people and instead get out the dusty paper copy edition of yellow pages then you are part of the minority.
In this day and age of the world of technology most consumers find what they need or are looking for online and are searching for a particular product or service. Trillions of online searches are done daily and hundreds-maybe even thousands- of those searches are for what it is your business offers or does.
If you don’t have an online presence, then you miss out and loose those searches and don’t get found by possibly hundreds of new customers and clients.
Most people do not have phone books, they have phones. Which means they are looking online for businesses.
2. If you’re not found in the search results, your competitors are stealing business.
Despite the common opinion, just having a website does not mean you are marketing online. Instead, having a website simply means you have a business card or portfolio on display that people can view by typing your websites exact URL (e.g. www.example.com) into their browser or search bar.
Online Marketing, specifically for small business SEO, means that you have dumped hours into getting your website to populate or show up when people, consumers look for services and products your business offers.
If you just have a website and your competitors are using online marketing techniques then it will be their business getting all the inquires and calls instead. Without using proper SEO marketing you will not be found online and you will be loosing business to your competitors.
3. SEO puts you in front of people who want what your business offers.
There is a business saying that goes around the world in sales that says: people like to buy; they just don’t like to be sold. This is so true in many ways. Marketing your product or service to someone who is not directly interested in what you offer can be frustrating and unrewarding.
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 or offers. They need something and you’ve got it.
4. Effective SEO doesn’t have to be expensive
The Big word S.E.O.
When most people here these three letters they either have no idea what it means or say they just don’t have the money for that. The bad news, most people who have been in contact with SEO “professionals” have either been price gouged or received horribly poor services, and sometimes both.
The good news, SEO does not have to break the bank. Affordable also does not mean ineffective.
The tricky part is understanding what is affordable and cost effective. 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, PA may cost $150/mo, where as SEO services for the same attorney in BigCity, PA may cost $1,500/mo.
One way to test and 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 can come out strong and winning, then it is probably a good match for you.
5. The Age of Online Connections Is Here, Now
According to Statista the average American spends at least 32 minutes a day on the computer and a total of over 3 hours on a smartphone or tablet. Yes they could be browsing YouTube or Facebook or watching Netflix, but that also means they they are searching for things online.
There is a high possibility they could be searching for your business right now. Combine this statistic with the fact that nearly 77% 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. In fact it continues to grow and the importance of being active online will continue to grow. Small Business SEO is already very much important, and there is no shortage of computer consultants who can help you and your business adapt to the ever changing technology.
Enter the online world now, and in five years, when you are way ahead of the competition, you’ll love your decision.