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Rakesh Bandari
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Advantages Of SEO For A Small Business

September 24, 2020

As a small business owner, you wear many hats. You’re the face of the company, the head honcho, the creative force, and often the one handling day-to-day operations. With only so many hours in the day, it’s tough to master every aspect of running a business.

But there’s one area you can’t afford to neglect: search engine optimization (SEO).

I’ve helped dozens of small business owners transform their online presence and attract more customers through targeted SEO campaigns. Based on my experience, SEO delivers results and gives your small business the boost it needs to not just survive, but thrive.

Don’t believe me? Keep reading to discover the incredible advantages SEO offers small businesses.

Reach Customers Looking for You

Picture this: Sally owns a bakery in a small town. She makes delicious cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting. Locals rave about her treats and frequent the bakery.

But Sally has big dreams of growing her business beyond the walls of her little shop. She wants to reach customers from neighboring towns and even across the state.

However, her marketing budget is tiny. Paid ads aren’t really an option. So how can Sally get her bakery in front of more potential customers?

This is where SEO comes in. By optimizing her website for relevant keywords like “cupcake bakery,” “custom cakes,” and “bakery in [town name],” Sally can reach people searching for those very things on Google and other search engines.

Instead of paying each time someone clicks on an ad, Sally pays a one-time fee to have her site optimized. Then, whenever someone searches for terms related to her products or location, her bakery website appears in the search results. It’s like having an ad pop up for free in front of qualified prospects.

No matter what industry you’re in, SEO helps customers find YOU when they’re looking for the types of products or services you offer.

Boost Brand Awareness

Along with driving direct sales, SEO builds brand awareness for small businesses.

Let’s go back to Sally’s bakery website. When it ranks on the first page of Google, it establishes her as an authority in her niche. Customers start associating her brand with quality baked goods. Even if they don’t place an order right away, they’ll remember Sally’s for future cravings and recommendations to friends.

Appearing multiple times in the search results only strengthens brand recognition. If Sally ranks for both “bakery” and “custom cakes,” searchers will see her website for multiple queries. The more real estate she takes up on search results pages, the more familiar people become with her brand.

This repetitive exposure leaves an impression even for searchers who don’t click through to her site right away. They’ll be more likely to choose Sally’s next time they visit her town and want something sweet.

Deliver Relevant Information

Here’s a search scenario we can all relate to: you Google a question like “how much sleep do I need?” and get bombarded by ads alongside the actual search results. The ads often have catchy headlines meant to grab your attention – but they aren’t always relevant to your query.

SEO-optimized content, on the other hand, directly answers the searcher’s question or provides information related to their intent. By creating content that fulfills the needs of your ideal customers, you establish authority and demonstrate expertise.

Let’s circle back to Sally’s bakery website. Along with pages that describe her products and services, she could have a blog with posts like:

  • The Best Way to Store Cupcakes for Maximum Freshness
  • How to Make Buttercream Frosting From Scratch
  • 10 Unique Cupcake Flavors to Try This Season

Subject matter like this shows customers Sally knows her stuff when it comes to baking. The educational content adds value on top of promoting her business.

No matter your industry, producing informative, keyword-optimized content attracts more qualified traffic to your site. You help customers learn while also persuading them to buy from you.

Gain Unlimited Exposure

With traditional print, TV, or radio ads, you pay for each impression – there’s a limit based on your budget. With SEO, you can essentially gain unlimited exposure over time as you rank for more keywords.

To pull this off, you need to take an expansive approach to SEO that targets both short-tail and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are broader, high-traffic terms like “bakery.” Long-tail keywords are more specific multi-word phrases like “custom birthday cakes.”

Focus first on ranking well for a handful of short-tail keywords that align with your brand and attract high search volume. But don’t stop there. You can target dozens, even hundreds of long-tail versions that deliver laser-targeted traffic.

The more keywords and topics your content covers, the more doors open to drive traffic to your site indefinitely. With some ongoing optimization, new customers will continue discovering you through search for years to come.

Gain a Competitive Edge

Imagine another bakery opens up across town from Sally’s. They sell cupcakes for a dollar less than she does. At first Sally is worried about losing business to them.

But here’s the good news: SEO helps Sally differentiate from competitors so price isn’t her business’s only selling point. By optimizing her content for keywords her competitor overlooks, she attracts customers who resonate with her brand’s unique value proposition.

Let’s say the competing bakery doesn’t focus on search marketing. But Sally targets long-tail keywords like “custom birthday cake” and “cupcake delivery”. She also writes blog posts about curating personalized baking gift baskets.

This allows Sally to stand apart by showcasing her strengths in areas the competitor fails to communicate online. Customers looking for specialty services see Sally as the superior choice. Even if her prices are slightly higher, it’s worth it for a tailored experience.

When you optimize for terms that set you apart, SEO helps insulate you from the price wars smaller companies often get caught up in. You get to compete on overall value instead.

Measure What Matters

One of the biggest benefits of SEO for small business owners is the ability to track meaningful metrics. With traditional marketing, it’s often impossible to calculate your exact ROI. But with SEO, you gain clear visibility into the revenue and leads generated from organic search.

The data you can measure includes:

  • Organic traffic volume over time
  • Top landing pages attracting clicks
  • Average rank for target keywords
  • Conversions from organic traffic (phone calls, form submissions, purchases, etc.)
  • ROI compared to SEO investment

Tracking and analyzing these metrics allow you to pinpoint which keywords and pages perform best. You can fine-tune your SEO strategy to maximize profitable traffic. Unlike spraying and praying with some marketing tactics, you get to direct spend where it really pays off.

I recommend using Google Analytics along with keyword rank tracking software to monitor essential SEO stats each month. Dive into the data to identify new opportunities and double down on what’s working.

Enjoy Lasting Results

SEO does take commitment. You likely won’t see first page rankings overnight. But unlike paid search or social media ads, you don’t have to keep shelling out more and more money to sustain results.

The traffic and conversions you earn from SEO have longevity. As long as you maintain your website and publish fresh content, your rankings and organic visibility build over time.

Let’s fast forward a few years into Sally’s SEO journey…

Her bakery now ranks #1 for “cupcake bakery in [city]” as well as a dozen other high-performing keywords. Her website traffic has doubled. Customers from nearby towns and across the state frequently order treats online and visit the bakery when passing through. Business is booming thanks to SEO.

By investing early in SEO, the results you gain this year become a traffic and revenue engine that fuels your small business for years to come.

Time to Take the Leap

As a small business owner, you have limited time and resources. That’s why you need to be very strategic with your marketing dollars. An integrated approach that combines SEO with other tactics like social media and Pay-Per-Click ads can help maximize impact.

But based on the powerful advantages outlined above, SEO belongs at the core of your marketing strategy.

My advice is to partner with an experienced SEO specialist that understands the nuances of optimizing for local search. I’ve been in the trenches helping small business owners rank faster and higher than trying to DIY it. Feel free to reach out here if you need an SEO expert on your team!

Even if you start with a small SEO investment, over time it will pay dividends. Don’t leave organic search on the table. Unlock your small business growth potential with the many benefits of search engine optimization.

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