By Brad Murray
SEO has certainly taken the business world by storm. While it wasn’t even a thought for most businesses a decade or two ago, it is now an important consideration in any legitimate marketing strategy. The big players in any industry have teams of experts who know how to utilize SEO to achieve company goals, increase prospects, and grow sales. But what about small businesses? Is it worthwhile for smaller, newer, or local businesses right here in Indianapolis to pursue an SEO strategy? Yes, it absolutely is worthwhile and can actually be even more important for small businesses than it is for more established, larger ones. Here are just some of the ways that SEO can benefit small businesses.
Though the mechanics of how SEO works are sometimes complex, the objective of SEO is amazingly simple. Its goal is to make a website more easily found in online searches. The obvious outgrowth of a website that ranks higher in searches is that more people will follow through on that search and visit that website. As more business is driven online and more searching is also done online, more visitors means more opportunities to sell your product and services.
Even better than bringing in more visitors, SEO also produces better leads for your business. People who are searching for a particular item already have an obvious interest in that item. When a business places an ad in the local newspaper they are advertising to all subscribers to the newspaper, but SEO targets only those people who are already interested in the promoted service or product. These visitors will be much more likely to buy than random visitors would be. It is like the difference between grabbing people off the street to visit your pet store versus finding people who are considering getting a pet and bringing them to your pet store.
Smaller or newer businesses often have a problem demonstrating their stability or reliability. Without the name recognition of larger, well-established businesses, small businesses may lose out on leads because prospective customers feel unsure of their ability to deliver. Unfortunately, when businesses do not rank highly in search results, these doubts can be reinforced. Failure to appear on the first page of search results can make businesses seem small, new, and ineffectual, even when these assumptions are untrue. Conversely, when businesses appear near the top of the list of search rankings, searchers view them as competent, effective, and reliable.
Cost-Effective, Ongoing Results
Another big reason why small businesses especially should pay attention to SEO is because it is a cost-effective strategy. The investment required to get SEO going is relatively small, especially compared to more expensive avenues of marketing. And the return on that investment continues on indefinitely. Once your website is optimized, it will continue to generate leads as long as people are searching for the keywords you’ve incorporated. Compare this to a print ad, radio spot, or even an email campaign. The effect of each of these is momentary and once the moment passes, there is little residual effect. Furthermore, SEO requires little ongoing maintenance whereas more traditional marketing endeavors demand additional resources.
Better User Experience
So often businesses have competing priorities, but not so for usability and SEO. Some of the elements that contribute to good search rankings also make a website more user-friendly. Search engines give preference to websites that are mobile responsive, load quickly, contain relevant content, and are free of coding errors and broken links. Happily, real human visitors also prefer these kinds of websites too. So getting your website’s SEO on track will involve making sure that your website is optimally functional and user-friendly as well. It’s a win all around!
As you can see, taking advantage of SEO is a smart choice for small businesses. If you’re ready to get started, Inspire Marketing can help. We understand the factors that influence SEO, from website design and coding to content strategy and keyword integration. Our Indianapolis SEO consulting and website design can help your business get more leads and make more sales. Call me at 317.220.6005 x704 to learn more.