SEO (“Search Engine Optimisation” or how to get found in Google/other search engines) can be a bit of a mystery. Many SEO practitioners seem to delight in making it a dark art with their own language (spoiler alert – it’s not techie at all and in fact quite intuitive when you get to know it). Is it worthwhile putting the effort in to understanding SEO and using it to get your business found using search? Why should small businesses use SEO?
These are the benefits we see from using SEO
1. People use Google/other search engines to find things they want to buy
At the end of the day we’re all in business to sell our services to clients who need what we have to offer. According to Junto Digital, 93% of online experiences begin with Google/other search engines.
Think about how you find things (products or services) you want to buy. Friend recommendations potentially come first. But most of us will also look at Google (other search engines are available), go to the website indicated and have a bit look around – what they offer, where they’re based (if relevant), do we think they “get” us and what we need etc. Having shortlisted a few, we’ll then tend to look at their social media.
2. It directs people to your website
SEO takes people directly to your website. Your website should be a place which is designed to take visitors at different stages of their journey with you – guiding them through what they need to know in an organised way – to take the “next logical step”.
A study by SparkToro suggested that over half of traffic to websites comes from Google alone (versus around 5% from Facebook). As social media platforms become more obsessed with keeping people on their own platforms rather than sending them to other websites, the role of SEO in directing people to your website will become stronger.
3. It is a way of finding new people to add to your audience
One of the great things about SEO is it is finding you new people. People who have never come across you before. And once they have found you, you can work on getting them to “know, like and trust” you. You can persuade them to sign up to your email list. You can get them to follow you on social media. So if they’re not ready to buy then (a cold audience rarely is) they know who you are for when they are ready to buy.
4. SEO has a long “shelf life”
SEO is one of the least glamorous forms of marketing. It is much more fun to put a pic up on instagram, write a few words and watch the likes and comments come in. But 24 – 48 hours later it has disappeared off most people’s newsfeed.
SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. We have blog posts that are 2 years old that rank on page 1 of Google for certain terms and that still bring visitors to our website every single day. These popular blog posts have been viewed more than all bar a few of the instagram posts we have put out. Not all content hits the mark in terms of search rankings of course, but we know that those which do will continue to bring visitors to our website for a long term.
5. It is free
There is no need to pay for ads. Adopting a simple strategy for SEO is free and, more importantly, can be done by you. There is no need to pay a lot of money to an SEO agency either.
The best SEO strategy is based on good content that potential clients will want to read. With a checklist to go through to ensure that Google knows what you are writing about. 99% of SEO work is work that would be beneficial to your business marketing even if it did not help your Google ranking…
Put bluntly, it has a great Return on Investment (time and money).
If you need help, we have an SEO masterclass designed specifically to give small business owners a simple and easy strategy to improve their search engine rankings.
Conclusion – Why should small businesses use SEO?
An SEO strategy is a great way to attract new potential clients to your business. Whilst it may require more effort than posting on social media, it is brilliant for your business in both the short and long term – the benefits go far beyond SEO. SEO takes people directly to your website so you can take this new audience through an organised path, getting them to know, like and trust you, so they take the “next logical step”.
It is particularly good if combined with a complementary social media and email marketing strategy. Capture them with SEO and warm them up with emails that nurture and social media that shows your personality until they reach the point where they are ready to work with you.
And if you need help with an SEO strategy for your business why not come along to our SEO masterclass?