SEO has become sort of a buzzphrase within the business world, hasn’t it? For many, SEO might conjure up a vision of large companies, firms, and other organizations that compete at a global level. However, did you know that SEO is just as important to smaller, local businesses as it is for those larger businesses? In today’s blog, let’s explore the reasons why SEO is important, especially for small businesses in Massachusetts, where there is a careful balance between large and small businesses.
First, in case you’re new around these parts, let’s get you up to speed with a brief, straightforward explanation of what SEO actually is.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is how marketers, via website content, development, and design, tell search engines (such as Google and Bing) what your website/business is all about. When search engines send their bots (or spiders) to crawl your website, they then use this information to determine whether or not your content is relevant in regards to users’ intents when they perform certain searches.
The more that you can craft SEO-friendly content that delivers exceptional information covering relevant topics and keywords, the higher your website or page will rank on search engines. This prompts an influx of traffic, user engagement, and ultimately, conversions.
The business landscape moves incredibly fast. Whether you’re a corner Mom & Pop wine and cheese market or a Whole Foods franchisee, organizations must always remain adaptable and competitive. The digital culture that we have become means that, for most, decision-making information is only a few taps or clicks away.
While this may cause concern for some holding onto the past, this actually presents lucrative opportunities for small businesses to compete against their larger chain counterparts. By using SEO to deliver relevant, location-based content describing exceptional products and services effectively, small businesses can gain exposure where they would be buried otherwise.
Small businesses may not have anywhere near the marketing and PPC budget of larger organizations, but they certainly have access to SEO tools, strategies, and a digital landscape to present their brand and messages effectively.
Did you know that a consistent SEO strategy can help build your business’s credibility, industry awareness, and even authority? With almost continuous updates, search engine algorithms consistently try to improve how they deliver websites, pages, and content to their users.
It’s important to remember that SEO strategy isn’t “tricking” search engines into finding your website. In fact, many search engines have become wise to outdated black hat SEO tactics and actively penalize websites for using them, dropping their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings dramatically.
Engaging in ethical, well-researched, and consistent SEO techniques, such as blogging, keyword research, mobile optimization, link building, etc., you’re creating quality content that also lets Google and other search engines know that your site is to be trusted. Then, once that cycle begins to increase impressions, traffic, conversions, and rise in SERP rankings, Google will start to recognize your company as an authoritative source.
While pay-per-click campaigns certainly offer high value when it comes to marketing your brand(s), there’s no mistaking that organic traffic still reigns supreme. According to a study performed by Brightedge Research, “53% of all web traffic is the result of organic search.”
So, if you’re hesitant to spend precious time and budget on PPC campaigns and paid social media, rest assured that a proper and dedicated SEO strategy can certainly increase quality traffic to your website. An increase in organic traffic also means that your SEO efforts are exposing your brand to new audiences, potentially bringing in previously unreachable prospective customers and clients.
To put this into perspective, Ahrefs reports that SEO strategies drive 1000%+ more traffic to websites than organic social media — a truly staggering and significant statistic.
Almost everything in marketing works in tandem with each other. SEO strategies, such as quality content creation, mobile optimization, search engine listings, and proper keyword research and utilization all come together to form a better user experience for your website.
Search engines are smart (like, super smart) and have learned the signals of a poor user experience. Data sets, such as high bounce rates and slow page load times, tell search engines that the user experience on your site is poor at best. This causes your website to drop in rankings, severely affecting traffic, engagement, conversions, and overall domain success.
This is especially a HUGE factor when it comes to mobile optimization. In fact, 52.2% of all website traffic across the world comes directly from mobile devices, such as smartphones. This means that over half of the world’s internet users are now using their smartphones over their laptop or desktop.
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile engagement, such as slow mobile loading speeds, lackluster mobile website design, and poor website navigation, you’re effectively alienating over half of your potential audience while destroying your search engine rankings. So, yeah, not a great look for your SEO or your business.
Sound search engine optimization strategy, providing quality content and user experience to the audiences you seek to reach, provides a semi-even playing field for all companies. The age of optimized e-commerce and digital business means that the gates are down, and all companies (yes, including yours!) can potentially become global competitors through organic search.
Now, not everyone wants to be a global competitor. And, local SEO strategies are an incredible tool for standing out, gaining traffic, and welcoming new visitors to your restaurant, retail store, etc. But, isn’t it amazing to know that the opportunity to grow your business as much as you’d like (regionally, nationally, and even worldwide) is present through dedicated, ethical SEO strategy?
So, if you have any questions regarding growing your local business and/or online presence through an experienced SEO strategy, please feel free to contact Sperling Interactive today. As local neighbors, we’ll be sure to provide you with a comprehensive SEO strategy to ensure search engine exposure and engagement, helping to grow your business as you see fit.
Whether you want us to take control of the SEO wheel or to walk you through SEO best practices that you can implement on your own, we’re here to help.