Why SEO is Essential for Your Small Business in 2022

Why SEO is Essential for Your Small Business in 20 …

Why SEO is Essential for Your Small Business in 2022

eCommerce adoption and the need for online engagement have been and will continue to accelerate in 2022. People want to socialize with brands on their terms and are looking for unique and streamlined online experiences to do it.

In order to stay competitive, businesses will need to adjust their digital presence to be more visible, valuable, and available to their customers. One crucial way to do that? Focusing on SEO for your business website.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of improving your site to increase organic visibility for specific search queries. The goal of SEO is to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through onsite changes. This doesn’t mean just stuffing pages with relevant keywords, but focusing on core web vitals such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, interactivity, and the content of web pages.

Experts agree that successful optimization is just as much about serving customer needs as it is adhering to the guidelines and best practices of search engines like Google and Bing. Anticipating customer intent, understanding what type of content they’d like to see, and providing the best answers are the heart of good SEO. It’s simultaneously a customer research method and sales channel for your business, and it allows you to get to know your customers and their habits.

The key is being able to put both the technical and strategic elements together. And simultaneously serve your customer’s needs and deliver it in a way that is attractive to search engines.

Benefits of SEO for small business

The beauty of SEO is that anyone can do it and it’s more accessible than you might think. Instead of paying for traditional print ads or sponsored posts, taking the time and effort to understand SEO basics, and possibly investing in a few tools, can lead to greater long-term value for your business. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider leveraging organic search for your business.  

1. Brings in more customers through organic search

53.3% of all web traffic comes from organic search and 60% of marketers state that their highest quality leads come from SEO-engaged customers. Why is that? Because they are searching for a solution, and by being one of the top results you are fulfilling a need. 

Ranking on the first page of Google is necessary to be seen by customers. Climbing to the top position can almost double your click-through rate over the number two spot. The volume is there and by ranking for specific search terms you’ll attract the right customers. And by getting your site on the front page, you make your brand highly visible and showcase that you’re a trustworthy resource. 

2. Creates a trustworthy web experience for customers

Hitting the front page, and claiming the number one spot in a search result is completely reliant on the authority you build. You can have the best answer or resource available, but without a quality experience for users, once they click into your site, you’ll have a very hard time getting them there at all.

The technical elements of SEO, such as page speed, backlinks, and other authority building elements are so crucial to the success of your business online. Playing with the rules governed by search engines forces you to keep your site in tip-top shape and makes maintaining its health a regular priority.  

The benefit will help you rank better and therefore get more exposure. It will also make it easier for customers to trust you based on the functionality of your website. Having fast pages, security measures, and automated customer service portals are just a few ways to do this.

3. Encourages you to focus on user experience

Google started prioritizing user experience as a ranking factor in 2021 and will continue to leverage their new Core Web Vitals alongside previous factors like page speed to help determine if you are providing a valuable interaction or not. Featured Snippets and other in-search elements also leverage this idea, by pulling answers, images, and other valuable information onto the search page itself.

You need to focus on the needs of your customers. Like the customer information, resources, or services you can offer to them. By prioritizing the needs of your customer first, you stand a better chance of ranking better, keeping them on your site, and converting. The more often that occurs, the more authoritative your site will be and the more people you’ll bring in.  

4. Improves brand awareness

One tangential element outside of converting users into customers when you improve your rankings is overall brand awareness. Just by reaching the front page and climbing to the top spot, the more touchpoints you’ll generate. Even if they don’t click into your site, just by being there, potential customers will begin to associate your brand with those solutions.

This is especially important if you’re competing on specific search terms with other businesses. You want to be top when people input questions or directly search for the product or service you offer. And if your competitors own those searches, more than likely those organic sales will go to them.

If you’re just starting to explore implementing SEO for your business, the best thing you can do is target longer variations of a given search. The more of these longer variations you rank for, the more likely you are to move up for the shorter search term. And through it all your building awareness within your target market.

5. It helps keep you informed

Like anything related to operating a business, SEO changes all the time. Search engines are updated, different factors become important and other businesses are working on their own strategies to rank. This means, that in order to execute SEO successfully, you need to stay informed about best practices, solutions, and changes. 

SEO is directly tied to digital technology, meaning that much of what happens with it, can help you understand online trends and proactively address any major changes. Plus through your research and site updates, you understand more about your customers, your competitors, and digital experience as a whole. 

6. It can be done on a budget

Possibly one of the best things regarding SEO is that it can be relatively inexpensive to implement. Sure, you can hire a specialist or bring on an SEO-oriented role within your business, but to start you can learn and implement much of this yourself. And outside of the cost of hiring someone, purchasing a few subscriptions, or spending your own time, the actual implementation costs nothing.

Additionally, investing in SEO is a long-term benefit to your business. Yes, things change all the time, but the core processes and strategies associated with SEO should stand for years to come and possibly only require minor tweaks. When it’s done right, it can be one of the best long-standing marketing solutions for your business that provides a continuous return on investment.

7. It’s trackable

One element of traditional marketing that is generally frustrating is how vague your return on investment can be. Billboards have an average number of views based on traffic patterns. Commercials gauge overall views based on rating systems. But SEO is completely quantifiable and can easily tie into any paid digital strategies as well.

Now it won’t be as straightforward as paid ads and you’ll need to connect some dots on the backend of your site to truly understand how your organic traffic is leading to sales. But, with a little Google Analytics know-how, you can easily set up different trackable conversions based on on-site ad clicks, page views, order completions, click-to-call, etc. 

In regards to optimizing your SEO efforts, you can use tools like Google Search Console to get a better idea of how people are finding you, what you’re ranking for and where there’s room for improvement.

8. It benefits other marketing initiatives

Almost every web project has some element of SEO research involved. Whether it’s paid, inbound , outbound , or product-related, our SEO-related resources and efforts are used to help inform decisions for other teams and vice-versa. 

Research and insights from every team help fuel that itch to research a potential search query or try a different phrase on an advertisement. In many ways, testing what has worked organically through other marketing channels can reinforce if something is truly working or not in your SEO strategy.

It can tell you what trends are emerging in your industry, what customers are more likely to click on, what elements of a product or service are more useful, and even what you should name a feature. You are working to optimize your site by understanding what your customers care about. That can only help inform your other marketing efforts.

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