5 Reasons SEO is Important for Small Businesses 
The increase in the internet’s ample hub for consumers has increased search intent alongside it. A significant improvement, alongside entertainment and information provided by the internet’s search engines, is in the hunt for purchasing decisions. Consumers look to search engines for what businesses to pursue and what products to buy – or better yet not support and not buy.
“51% of shoppers surveyed say they use Google to research a purchase they plan to make online.” – Think With Google
All businesses need to be at the forefront of search pages relative to them and capture their audiences when they are organically searching with keywords related to their business and products. This practice is called SEO or search engine optimization.
Most businesses are engaging in SEO efforts to optimize their website, but for small businesses, especially, it can often be overlooked. SEO is an important tactic that should be at the forefront of any businesses’ marketing efforts.
“61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.” – Hubspot State of Inbound
WHAT IS SEO?
Search engine optimization is a tactic that focuses on optimizing a website or content to rank higher in organic (non-paid) search results. SEO’s goal is to get search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to rank a site that is appropriately optimized for targeted keywords to rank closer to the top of search results and drive more organic traffic.
WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES?
- Improved user experience
- Increase in qualified leads
- Drive higher conversion rates
- Expand organic brand awareness
- Outrank competition
- IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE
The focus of SEO is on search engines, but it truly begins with the user and potential customer in mind. SEO encourages businesses to optimize their website for better user experience (UX), not only in terms of design but in the strategy within and behind the content.
A website optimized for better user experience is quick responding, easy to navigate, content pleasing, and has the user at the forefront. In doing so, it consequently optimizes for search engines. If the user knows what a company’s website is about, enjoys the experience, and values the content, search engines will too.
- INCREASE QUALIFIED LEADS
For small businesses, increasing a customer base is one of the biggest challenges and an important goal when first starting. The goal is not to reach everyone, but the right audience that matters. SEO improves the user experience and reaches the right audience through targeted keywords tailored to that specific business.
SEO is not only an efficient but affordable tactic that should be the foundation of any marketing efforts, especially for small businesses. Businesses that implement SEO have more traffic to their site from qualified leads than competitors, leading to higher conversion rates.
- DRIVE HIGHER CONVERSION RATES
Optimizing a website for SEO drives higher conversion rates because you are reaching the right audience. Also, the content they are landing on has optimizations with the end goal in mind: the customer journey that is designed to end in conversion.
Increasing visits from qualified leads with SEO and greeting them with an optimized user experience once they get to the website encourages them to explore the business and makes them more likely to convert into a customer, which can then return or refer someone else.
- EXPAND ORGANIC BRAND AWARENESS
Although brand awareness is not the top reason or benefit of implementing SEO, it is still one that is an “important perk” to a smart and effective strategy for search engine optimization. Consumers are more likely to see small businesses if they show up higher in search results and trust them more for their purchasing decisions.
Small businesses require a lot of upfront work and work to keep up and grow. Therefore, implementing SEO, one tactic available to boost the number one problem most small businesses have – awareness – should be a top priority for all small business owners. Companies should implement SEO initially since it takes time, trial, and error to increase rank on search, but it is essential.
- OUTRANK COMPETITION
The benefit of search engine optimization (SEO) to outrank competitors in the search space, and in the UX and conversion space as well, is self-explanatory. Failing to implement SEO for a small business, when there are other small businesses (and bigger ones) competing in the same arena, is equivalent to purposefully telling no one about the brand and expecting to outrank those competitors who are implementing it.
Consumers use search engines for most of their decisions, it is the first place they go to, and when they do, they put their trust and quick decisions on the businesses that are at the top of the results page. As a small business, it is critical to hire an SEO expert or implement internally and optimize your website for the user and search engines to reap the benefits and, more importantly, outrank your competitors and win a share of the market in your space.
Now that you know how critical SEO is, is your small business implementing a smart SEO strategy to reap these benefits? As a Google preferred partner and awarded the “Google Badge,” the LEAD Marketing Agency team is an expert in the Google playing field and is ready to help you! Take a quick look here how LEAD’s SEO strategy exceeded their client, CHS Foundations’, qualified lead goal by 71%.
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