In 2017, Google receives more than 3.5 billion searches daily and more than 50% of Google searches came from mobile devices in 10 countries including the US and Japan. Statistics likewise shows a rise in local searches where 72% of users visited searched stores within a 5 km radius of their location. This is very good news for small and local business as it indicates an increase in potential customers looking for solutions nearest them. Search Engine Optimization levels the playing field between major players and small businesses giving small businesses a good chance to compete. In spite of this, small businesses still shy away or totally avoids SEO Services.
There are many reasons why small businesses avoid investing time and budget on SEO. Here are the top 4:
- I don’t need it. This is very common particularly in older businesses that managed to thrive in their niche. They are already satisfied with their current situation and believes that they can survive without technology.
- I don’t know where to begin. Some business owners have some idea of the internet but don’t actually understand its full potential and how it can help their business grow. To them, having a website or a Facebook page is enough. They want to engage but lacks the know how.
- It’s too late to start. These business owners understand the workings of the internet but are afraid to compete with bigger businesses who invested time and resources in SEO.
- It’s too expensive and it doesn’t work. These business owners already engaged in SEO but were not satisfied with the subsequent results. They were made to believe or had the misconception that SEO will boost traffic and sales immediately.
All these reasons are understandable and important, especially for business owners. However, the business landscape is changing together with technology. SEO is not a miracle solution that will give magical results to your business. It’s a long-term process that produces permanent results. SEO Benefits far outweighs business owners fears and apprehensions and here are the reasons why:
The infographics below will show you important SEO Benefits and how it helps your business grow.
SEO Benefits to Small Businesses
SEO Versus Traditional Marketing
- Highly targeted. SEO allows marketers to target users intent and create relevant contents to rank in searches. While traditional marketing relies on impression which in itself is hard to measure. You can create contents based on keywords used to search for certain products or services. With best SEO practices, users will find your content on page 1 of Google search results.
- Very affordable. Contrary to popular belief, SEO is far more affordable versus traditional marketing. You can set your budget and work around it. Contents published are available 24/7 and once they rank, its very hard to kick them out of page 1. Imagine how much your advertising would be if it’s shown every commercial break non-stop.
- 24/7 promotion. When you put your content on the internet, its out there permanently unless you delete it, take it down or default in your web and domain hosting. Unlike commercial advertisements that are only available during particular time slots, online content is accessible anytime.
- Measurable and Improved Return on Investments (ROI). In traditional marketing, you cannot determine where your sales or leads are coming from. Hence, you cannot pinpoint which campaign is effective or not. With Google Analytics and other SEO tools, you can actually measure effectivity and costs of each campaign. Given more information, you can allocate your marketing budget more efficiently with SEO.
- Active Marketing. SEO makes your content discoverable to users searching for solutions. Simply, SEO connects you to searchers who already decided to buy a commodity that you have. Traditional marketing is passive, they will only remember your advertising when they want or need it.
Positive Effects on Business
- Builds Trust and Credibility. 67% of traffic goes to the top 5 organic search results while 33% traffic goes to no. 1. If you consistently show in the top results, Google shows that you are important and your contents need to get to page 1. This actually builds up trust and credibility for your brand or company.
- Brand Recognition and Equity. Not only does being number 1 in SERP builds trust and equity, it also makes your brand more popular to users are searching for your products.
- Makes You Stand Out. It goes without saying, being consistently on top of search results makes you stand out from the rest. Your brand gets more recognition even in the midst of bigger players.
- Increase Social Media Followers. SEO takes advantage of social media even if Google says social media signals do not affect ranking. However, you can share contents to a wider audience which can drive more traffic.
Helps Grow the Business
- Increase the value of the business. Good SEO practice helps business rank no. 1 on Google searches. That said, users perceive businesses on top of SERP as more professional, have more trust and credibility.
- Break New Markets and Increase Market Share. The top 10 results in SERP gets 50% of organic traffic while the top 3 gets 33%. Given the tremendous exposure to relative traffic, it’s easier to break new markets and increase market share.
- Increase Referrals. Offline referral will increase because of the trust and recognition from consistently ranking no. 1 in SERP. Conversely, how can you have referrals if your business is unknown?
- Increase Offline Sale. This is a direct result of the above benefit. As more people recognize and trust your business both online and offline, sales will increase.
Long-Term SEO Benefits
- Not a Cost, It’s an Investment. Treating SEO as a cost undermines its full potential. Expert SEO professionals will truthfully disclose that SEO is not a shortcut rather, an investment which benefits you reap over time when executed properly. Benefits from good SEO practices are long-term and cannot easily be eroded.
- Smartest Marketing Investment. Value for value, SEO still is the smartest investment any business will go in to. It’s measurable, more efficiency and improves ROI.
- Best PR Strategy. Presently, companies treat SEO and PR campaigns separately. However, more people are relying on their smartphones for information over traditional media. Soon, more people will be using the internet versus television or print media combined. Being on top of SERP helps significantly is building good public relations as businesses can distribute news or press releases over the internet.
- Sustainable Long-Term Strategy. More businesses are recognizing SEO benefits and its impact on business development and growth. In 2017, more businesses started allocating a significant portion of their marketing budgets to SEO.
Whoever said that SEO is dead doesn’t know what they are saying. As Google’s search algorithm evolve towards providing better user experiences, SEO will become more relevant and important to keep local and small businesses thrive and compete with their bigger competitions. This is the best opportunity for small and local businesses to start investing in SEO and make their business relevant in today’s digitally-driven world. If you have anything to add or disagree with any of the benefits cited, please let us know by putting them in the comments below.
Author: Vic Waje
Vicente Waje is a co-founder of Leads Digital Marketing Services. He was also an asset manager for more than 10 years and a former banker specializing in retail and commercial loans. He writes about credit, real estate, productivity, and technology.
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