05 Feb Can SEO Help My Small Business?
Whether you’re a business mogul or an entrepreneurial novice, one thing rings true: companies depend on their customers for success. And if you own a small business, you understand exactly why your website, advertising techniques, and customer service matter so much. Without these features, you couldn’t appeal to or keep your customers. Without their business, your company would fail.
To keep attracting customers, you’ve tried a number of different tactics, such as special sales, convenient coupons, and phenomenal flyers. You’ve even considered search engine optimization to improve your website—but you don’t think that investing in SEO can really help.
Even if your company’s website only contains a few different web pages, search engine optimization benefits you in a myriad of ways. Below, we’ll tell you which problems small companies like yours face on a regular basis and how SEO improves your business as it mitigates these issues.
Common Issues Small Businesses Face
Modestly sized companies often face struggles that bigger corporations can’t imagine. You have to find a way to manage time, resources, and employees. You typically do the majority of the work yourself, from accounting to planning shift schedules. And you decide which services and products to offer your customers. But you also face some bigger, more pressing complications.
Unlike bigger businesses that have a huge customer base, you depend entirely on your regular customers and their opinion of your company. This word-of-mouth advertising adds to or detracts from future business and the reputation you’ve worked hard to build.
You also deal with other concerns including:
- Larger competitors with bigger budgets and more resources
- Limited finances and resources of your own
- Isolated or fewer locations than your competitors
All of these factors together lead to fewer opportunities for growth. To expand your business into an ever-increasing market, you need to look outward for an effective solution.
What SEO Does
In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed what SEO is and why businesses need this service. Here, we’ll go into more detail and tell you exactly which techniques SEO uses, and what these processes do to connect you to more customers and help grow your business.
1. Improves Your Website’s Construction
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! use algorithms and spiders (little programs) to crawl through every webpage available on the internet. If your website isn’t well constructed or contains unnecessary content, the spiders have a hard time deciding if your website is valuable to online readers. Your search engine rankings cannot improve if your website doesn’t provide enough relevant information to your readers or the spiders can’t read what you do provide.
Optimizers work to eliminate this issue. In fact, they improve your website’s overall construction as they eliminate fluffy, spammy, and nonessential information. Additionally, they restructure your site so the search engine’s spiders can easily crawl between each page.
For example, optimizers will recode your content into HTML: a coding language that search engines value and look for most because it makes the reader’s experience much simpler and smoother. Optimizers will also ensure that each page is linked to another page on your website. This interconnection allows search engines to recognize every page on your site—not just one or two—as a useful one for your audience.
Some optimizers also create meta descriptions for each webpage. These short tags appear under a link on a search engine results page (SERP) and give readers an idea about what they’ll find if they follow that link. The more concise and effective the meta description, the more people will select the link and visit your site.
As you implement these methods, your online presence will increase and you SERP ranking will rise—and your business will grow.
2. Makes Each Web Page Appealing
One of the best ways to improve your website is to keep readers on it. If people stay on your site longer, the higher it rises in the SERPs.
To keep your intended audience interested in your site, make sure they can read the information you present. If your sentences are too long and confusing or your pages overflow with block paragraphs, your readers can’t find the details they need. As a result, they could leave the webpage and find this information elsewhere.
Some SEO specialists focus solely on making web pages readable for an online audience. They accomplish this task by keeping sentences simple, clear, and concise. This straightforward format makes the material easy to scan so your customers spend more time on your site and choose your products and services over a competitor’s.
Another way to keep patrons on your site is to increase its visual appeal. However, you don’t want the design to overshadow your content. The better your website combines visual aesthetics with good content overall, the more customers you’ll entice.
Remember, you want to please your customers first—not search engines. If your customers have a good experience on your website, they’ll stay on it much longer and even visit it again. If readers find your site appealing and useful, search engines will also.
3. Implements Keywords to Boost Your Search Ranking
When customers search for a product or service online, they consult their preferred search engine. They usually type in specific words, or keywords, and the search engine spiders crawl through the Internet to find pages that contain those words. When a webpage has these chosen words on it somewhere in a logical fashion, the spiders flag the page and rank it as a relevant result.
Adding useful keywords to web pages makes it more likely your company’s site will pop up during a customer’s search. The better keyword practices each page uses, the higher your search ranking becomes.
How It Benefits You
Now that you know exactly what SEO does to improve your website, you can better recognize the benefits it brings your business.
1. Appeals to a Larger Audience
We live in a world of convenience—and nothing makes life easier than the Internet. When you use SEO to improve your website, you appeal to a much larger customer base. As you attract more customers, you increase your advertising capabilities—without the added marketing costs of printing ads, flyers, signs, or filming a commercial.
2. Increases Your Customer Retention Rate
As we mentioned above, the better your website looks and the easier it is to read, the more customers will enjoy your site. They’ll even browse other pages to learn more about your company, visit your storefront, or schedule a service.
When they get to know more about you and your business, they develop a well-rounded opinion. As they tell others their viewpoint, you’ll gain more customers. This domino effect continues even after you have a regular flow of old and new clients. You can even compete with big company names as you become a popular, recommended business in your local market.
3. Stays in the Public’s Eye Longer
Unlike newspaper ads, T.V. commercials, and posters, the internet isn’t temporary. It doesn’t disintegrate or fade out over time. People will continue to use this luxury to make their lives as convenient as possible—and so should you.
When you put your company’s products, services, and persona online, people can access that information for a much longer time than they can a flyer or business card. Once you improve your website and enter the online spotlight, you’ll stay there much longer—and attract more consumers as well.
As you consider whether or not to invest in SEO, keep these advantages in mind. No matter what your company’s size, you can reap the benefits of search engine optimization and increase your customer base. And who knows—maybe SEO is just what your business needs to outshine bigger names in your industry.