While the first word that comes to mind when we think of online search is usually Google, it's not the only one. Google indeed holds an incredible 80% share of the global search engine market, but we should not forget Baidu (focused mainly on the Chinese market), Bing and Yahoo. SEO strategies should include methods applicable to all search engines.
In our analysis of why your business needs SEO we should also note that SEO is part of “inbound marketing”. As opposed to outbound marketing where you work towards finding customers, inbound marketing makes customers find you. It creates interest and attraction and increases brand awareness.
The sad truth is that no matter how great your website design is, how perfect your product is and how big the demand for your product is, without SEO you're invisible. People search for everything online, and without a properly planned SEO strategy, they'll never find you.
Let's look at why you need SEO for your business.
# SEO is cost-effective
While SEO does have its costs, they are less than the costs of outbound marketing methods, such as cold-calling. SEO is focused on the so-called “organic search” — the active search that users do in their browsers.
When a user starts searching for something, it means that they are already interested, and they need the thing they're looking for. That's half the battle, and the task of your SEO is to make your user find you among competitors. Moreover, SEO brings more quality traffic than outbound marketing because the users are already interested in the product or service.
# SEO increases traffic
In this context, we will talk about snippets. A snippet is a short description of what the user is going to find on the website that is returned by the search engine. Snippets are placed under the website title and are limited in length — about 160 characters for Google. Snippets are your only chance to win that click, because if the snippet doesn't look engaging to the user, they will move on to the next result.
On the other hand, a smartly composed snipped will make the user follow the link to your website – and then it is up to the website design and usability to make them stay longer. A higher traffic means a chance of raising the conversion rate, thus aim for a killer snippet to make the user want to see what is inside.
# SEO creates a better first impression
Again, we are talking about snippets. If you set up your SEO campaign wisely, it will include snippet optimization too. Optimized snippets are very clear and to the point – they immediately give the user the idea of what your website is about.
If you use the so-called “rich snippets” showing not only a short summary but also a thumbnail and rating, the degree of trust gets much higher. Your users will be much more inclined to click your address when they see the preview.
# SEO helps you fight competition
Of course, everyone fights for those top ranks on the search results page. Moreover, all businesses that make it to the first page are, obviously, doing their SEO, otherwise they would not be there. While it is more difficult to compete with someone that uses the same methods, your competitors' SEO can give you certain insights.
There are techniques for analyzing the SEO methods applied by your closest competitors, such as the keywords and key phrases, links, domains, and seeing how your strategy compares to theirs. The results of such analysis will allow you to adjust your SEO accordingly.
# SEO builds trust and brand awareness
A smart SEO strategy that has earned you one of the top ranks on the first page has an additional effect – people start recognizing your brand. When they see your name often, they tend to trust you, as the businesses that appear on the first page are believed to be more trustworthy.
At the same time, with the right SEO, your name will come up in connection with certain keywords, creating the impression that you are what the user has been searching for.
# SEO is an investment, not a cost
We have mentioned that a solid SEO campaign has certain costs, but it is, rather, an investment. Compared to the leads, conversions, and website exposure that SEO brings, the costs become an investment in the prosperity of your business.
Moreover, the quality of leads that SEO brings is higher than with outbound marketing, as SEO targets the users who are already interested in you. Thus, its ability to increase business growth is undeniable.
# SEO helps the business reach other markets
The benefits of SEO marketing for a small business that aspires to become known beyond its local region lie in its ability to make the business's name recognizable. However, this requires some additional effort, as there is a whole layer of techniques called “international SEO” that focuses on other national markets.
If you want to set up your SEO to work for the international market, you should start by researching the cultural specifics of the regions you have set your sights on. The results of such research will determine the preparation of your business to work on a foreign market – from the localization of your brand, product and website to adapting your SEO to the other market. You may need to revise your keywords to get to the top ranks in other regions.
# SEO is forever
This may be a bold statement, but the truth is that a clever SEO strategy will last you for a long time. Of course, search engines are constantly updated and improved, but the ranking you get with a smart SEO campaign is going to serve you for years.
Without doubt, you should follow the market trends and adjust your strategy, but the trust that you have earned is going to remain with you.
SEO – a critical component of your marketing campaign If you doubted the importance of SEO for your business, we hope we have convinced you otherwise. SEO makes you visible and searchable and, what's more, it works when customers are already looking for you. We can even say that today SEO is a must, as most new customers start their search online. Include SEO in your growth hacking strategy and you will be amazed at how the user community responds to it. However, to implement an effective small business SEO campaign, a wise move will be to engage an experienced SEO professional or team. When the SEO is done by experts, its results are seen almost immediately and remain for a long time. Our web development team includes SEO professionals who will make sure that your website is searchable from day one.
Do you have questions or inquiries? Contact us today for your web development, SEO, and social media marketing needs.