SEO is a critical digital marketing strategy that improves rankings and drives more traffic to your website. To ensure that your small business gets all the value SEO can offer, you should adopt it as one of your primary marketing strategies.
According to recent studies, more than 68% of all online experiences begin with a search. Plus, over 50% of all website traffic comes from organic search results. If your website isn’t optimized for search engines, you’re missing out on a significant source of potential traffic and revenue.
Key benefits and value of SEO
If you implement a paid search strategy, you get quicker results. However, these results only last as long as you have the money to pay for traffic. Once you have implemented a sound organic search strategy, you continue to generate traffic and leads for your website. You do have to maintain and adapt your SEO strategy to changes in the search engines, but you won’t drop out of the results immediately like you do when you stop paying for traffic. While it may take some time to see results from SEO, the benefits can be significant and long-lasting.
Visibility and Traffic
By optimizing your website for search engines, you can improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). This leads to increased traffic to your website.
What is the sense of having a website that gets no traffic? Unfortunately a lot of websites still don’t get much traffic. They built a website and thought people would come.
Your website should act as your premier sales person. If people can’t find you or see what you offer and how you can help, your website is not doing its job. A professional website is important to your business, but only if it is visible to those looking for what you offer. SEO is the most effective way to do this.
Credibility and Trust
Higher rankings in the search engine results also build brand awareness. When your site is on the first page of the search results, your potential customers see a brand that is the authority for the topic. This raises your credibility and authority and puts your business ahead of your competition.
Creating high-quality, relevant content can improve user experience. Landing on a page that has thin or poorly written content detracts from your brand image. If the content helps your visitors, they will come back for more. This can lead to increasing your credibility and expertise in your niche. People are more likely to trust businesses whose content appears at the top of the search results. This leads to increased brand awareness, loyalty, and referrals.
A featured snippet is a brief summary appearing at the top of Google’s search results designed to answer the searcher’s query. It is an excerpt from your web page that gives your content greater visibility.
If Google chooses your content as the top answer to the search query, it can boost your traffic and your authority in your industry. It does depend on the query and the content contained within the snippet as to whether this makes sense to your business. If the content answers the question completely, it could result in a zero-click outcome.
But, for most service businesses, it could encourage people to contact your business because you have demonstrated expertise in that particular topic.
SEO does require an investment in terms of time and resources. There is work to do to ensure your content is optimized. But, it is a cost-effective way to generate traffic and revenue for your business. SEO can provide a high ROI over time and help to maximize your marketing budget.
SEO challenges for small businesses
There are several challenges that most small businesses face when trying to implement an SEO strategy.
Well-written, optimized content is the foundation of your inbound marketing strategy. Without content, there is nothing to optimize. Small business owners are hard pressed to find time to write content when they are dealing with other challenges in their businesses.
SEO takes time to produce organic rankings. If you are looking for immediate return on an investment, SEO is not the strategy to pursue. But if you have patience to build your web presence using organic search strategies, your business will become visible and will continue to stay visible long after the initial effort was made. Regular maintenance and new optimized content can keep you visible for the long term.
Optimizing your content is only one piece of the SEO puzzle. There are technical aspects to SEO that need to be implemented so your content optimization doesn’t go to waste. These factors include things like website performance, mobile support, link structure, optimized images with alt tags, sitemaps and keyword research.
SEO needs a budget. You need to hire the right resources to create and optimize your content and implement technical SEO on your website. You can try to do it all yourself, but most small business owners realize that it may not be a good use of their time. Outsourcing this to someone that knows the intricacy of content, optimization and technical SEO is worth the investment. This investment can have long-term benefits for your business.
Effective SEO Techniques and Strategies
So how do you get value from your SEO strategy? Incorporate the following techniques and strategies for improving your website’s search engine rankings into your regular marketing activities.
Perform keyword research
Conducting keyword research is essential for developing an effective SEO strategy. Keyword research is identifying the keywords and phrases that your target audience uses to search for products or services in your industry. Knowing how your target customer searches can help you create useful content that moves them through the buyer’s journey.
Keyword research also helps you identify high-priority keywords and phrases that you should be targeting on your website. By targeting these keywords, you can improve your website’s relevance and authority for these terms through your content. This increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.
Further reading: How to do Keyword Research for SEO
Create an SEO content strategy
It is important to optimize your content, but before you write the content, you need to create a content strategy. Don’t just start writing content. To be successful, you need to focus your content on topics that are important to your target audience.
By combining SEO into your content strategy, you ensure that what you create is relevant and visible. It needs to provide value to your target audience. High-quality content helps improve your website’s search engine rankings because Google wants to provide the those searching with helpful content. But it also establishes your brand as an authority in your industry and encourages social sharing and engagement.
Create an Effective SEO Content Strategy
How to Write SEO Friendly Content
Conduct on-page and technical optimization
On-page SEO involves optimizing the content and structure of your website to make it more search engine-friendly. On-page optimization includes optimizing your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and content for relevant keywords.
Technical SEO involves optimizing your website’s technical structure to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages. Technical optimization includes creating a clear site structure. You want to be sure it is free from technical errors. You also need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and has fast loading times.
Further reading: On-Page & Technical SEO: Boost Your Visibility in Search Engines
Optimize your entire web presence
Web presence optimization extends search engine optimization to all of your web properties to create better visibility, awareness and brand recognition. This includes:
- Building high-quality backlinks from other websites
- Creating engaging social media profiles
- Ensuring that your business information is consistent and accurate across all online directories and listings.
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website and are a critical component of off-page optimization. They help search engines determine the relevance and authority of your website. High-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites can significantly improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Further reading: Web Presence Optimization – The Inbound Marketing Foundation
Improve website user experience
User experience (UX) is a critical component of SEO. Search engines prioritize websites that provide a positive user experience for their visitors. To improve your website’s user experience, you should focus on optimizing your website’s navigation, layout, and design. Additionally, you should ensure that your website’s pages load quickly and are mobile-friendly.
Further reading: How to Improve Website User Experience
Optimize for local search
If your business serves a local audience, it’s essential to optimize your website for local search. Local search optimization involves optimizing your website and online presence to rank higher in local search results. To optimize for local search, you should focus on:
- Creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile
- Optimizing your website’s content and metadata for local keywords
- Building high-quality local backlinks
Further reading: Optimize Google Business Profile for Local Visibility
Monitor and analyze results
Monitoring and analyzing your SEO results is essential for identifying what’s working and what’s not. By monitoring your website’s search engine rankings, traffic, and conversions, you can identify which strategies are driving results and make adjustments as needed.
Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console help you monitor your results. They provide insights into your website’s search engine rankings, traffic, and conversions, and other important metrics such as engagement and click-through rate.
The value of SEO cannot be overstated in today’s digital landscape. More and more people turn to the internet to find information, products, and services. Businesses that neglect SEO risk falling behind their competitors and missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with potential customers.
Overall, the value of SEO lies in its ability to help businesses:
- Improve their online visibility
- Attract more traffic and customers
- Establish themselves as credible and trustworthy authorities in their industries
By investing in SEO, businesses can build a strong online presence that provide lasting benefits and help grow their business over time. Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort and dedication. While it may take some time to see results, the benefits of SEO can be significant and long-lasting.