Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses
Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO, is the process of optimizing the on-page and off-page factors of a web site to increase the traffic received from search engines. By optimizing a web site, you ensure that the search engine spiders can index the entire site and develop the overall theme of your web site.
While SEO is good for businesses of all sizes, it arguably provides the greatest benefit to small businesses. SEO allows small businesses that are not well known to place their products and services in front of users that are actively search for them online. Below are 5 reasons why every small business should engage in an SEO program.
1.) SEO is an affordable entry point in to Internet marketing and an effective way to promote your business online.
SEO provides an affordable solution to marketing your products and services online because, with other types of Internet marketing (PPC & banner advertising), you are paying for each visitor to your website. With SEO, you pay an SEO professional to optimize your website and then you can receive an unlimited amount of free traffic via web searches. SEO is effective because it allows you to target users that are actively searching for your products or services and puts your website in front of them at the exact time of their search.
2.) SEO gives small businesses a chance to compete with corporate conglomerates.
SEO allows a small business to position themselves next to large corporations in the organic search results. When competing with large companies in other forms in Internet marketing, such as PPC, it can be more difficult to compete because it is bid price driven and the large companies have a bigger budget to allocate. On the other hand, small businesses do have an advantage when it comes to SEO. Since 55% of Internet users use search engines to find local companies or services, small businesses can target these geo specific searches and local searches easier than a larger company. This allows small businesses to attract the users that are searching geo located keywords.
3.) SEO provides a long term marketing solution.
A successful SEO campaign allows you to build a sustained stream of free traffic to your website and form a substantial web presence. Having your web site continually appear for specific search terms is a great way to brand your company and build familiarity with users that are looking for your products or services. This will often lead to offline sales because users will continue to remember your business information.
4.) 38 million Americans run web searches each day.
The sheer numbers on Internet users and their activities online are proof enough of the importance of SEO. On average, 38 million Americans per day use search engines to find information, which generates nearly 90% of the traffic that web sites receive per day. The most important statistic for small businesses is that 55% of Internet users use search engines to find local businesses and services. That is roughly 20 million Americans per day that turn to the web to find information about companies in their local area. With the adaptation of local search in search engines such as Google, this trend will only continue to grow.
5.) SEO offers trackable results.
With the advancements in web analytics software, it is easy to track the success of your SEO program. Analytics software, such as Google Analytics, Urchin, and Web Trends, allows you to view important information about the visitors to your web site. The useful information to review when participating in an SEO program is the search engine referrals. SE referrals show the number of visitors your site received via web searches. Most analytics programs will allow you to view these referrals by search engine and allow you to review the specific keywords that generated traffic per search engine. Google Analytics offers a great tool called “goal conversions,” which allows you to set up a conversion metric on your website. You can then review which site visitors reached the set goal and track the success of each keyword driving traffic to your web site.As you can see, there are many great reasons why every small business should look into Search Engine Optimization. Having a web site is only the foundation of your web marketing campaign; marketing your site is what will set you apart from the local competition.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ben Wilver is the Internet marketing Manager at Sharp Innovations, Inc. Sharp Innovations is a Pennsylvania web design and web develpment company located in Lancaster, PA that specializes in web design, web development, e-commerce solutions and search engine optimization services for clients of all sizes.