Is search engine optimization (SEO) worth it for small businesses? The short answer: yes. SEO can benefit any business, whether large or small. We’ll explain how, but first, some fast facts:
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
- 75% of users don’t even scroll past the first page of the SERPs
- 70% of online marketers say that SEO is better than pay-per-click advertising for generating sales
(Find more fascinating stats about the importance of SEO here.)
We all want to increase sales, generate engagement, and get the best possible results out of our websites, right? SEO is important because it helps small businesses establish expertise and drive website traffic without paying for clicks. It also has a reputation for being difficult, time-consuming, and expensive—hence many people asking whether SEO is worth the effort for a small business.
Not quite sure what SEO is? Read this first.
Here are five reasons why small businesses should consider SEO
Even if prospective customers haven’t heard of your business before, they’re more likely to view it as credible and trustworthy if it appears higher in the search results.
The higher you are in the search results, the more website traffic (and potentially business) you’ll get.
If someone has gone to the trouble to search for something, they likely have a vested interest in the topic, which explains why organic searches are 8.5 times more likely to receive clicks than paid searches.
Paid search can put you above search results, but your visibility and rankings disappear once you stop paying. Organic traffic is more sustainable in the long term.
When consumers identify a pain point they’d like to solve, many go online and start searching for a solution. Even if they’re not committed to making a purchase yet, your website can present your product or service as a solution to your target market’s problem.
We’re not going to lie—some elements of SEO can be pretty technical, which is why we often get asked whether SEO is worth it for small businesses. But the cornerstone of any SEO strategy is identifying the search terms you believe your audience is using and creating the best website content out there that includes those (and related) terms and phrases. You also need to ensure that your website is secure, technically sound, and offers an excellent user experience.
In the early days of the internet, SEO was a game of stuffing as many keywords and search phrases into a website as possible. Over the years, search engines have gotten a lot better at evaluating content from a user’s perspective. In short, if you want to attract real human customers to your website, write content designed for humans that meets them wherever they may be in their buyer’s journey. Take your target market’s expectations, wants, and needs seriously, and you’re likely to see your website moving up the rankings naturally. For example, we saw a nearly 300% increase in website traffic over 12 months for the website of a medical practice using content that answers their target patient’s questions.
All small businesses should consider optimizing their online presence for search engines AND desired users, because there are SEO tactics you can apply without significant expertise or web developer intervention. Even if you can’t hire a huge team dedicated to SEO, you can get into the SEO game and give your website a boost in the search results
Right here! We know that a lot of small businesses don’t know where to start when it comes to SEO, so we’ve created a free eBook: 5 Things Your Small Business Can Do Right Now to Improve SEO, and you don’t need a web developer’s help.
While many SEO strategies are time-intensive and challenging, there are some simple tactics to help small businesses gain some quick wins. In this free eBook, we focus on five actionable things that you can do right now to start improving your website authority and moving up the ranks, even with limited knowledge and expertise. The book also includes a checklist you can use to keep you on track and manage your progress.