SEO & Why it’s important for small businesses

To know why SEO is important for a business, we first need to know the answers to these two questions: “What is SEO?” and, “How does it work?”.

What is SEO?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve definitely heard about SEO. SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of making changes to your website content and/or design in order to help it appear in the search engines. SEO helps you increase your visibility on the web and get organic traffic from the search engine results page.

In other words, SEO involves making certain changes to your web design and content to make your site appear at the top of the results page.

How does SEO work?

SEO can get quite complex when it comes to all the different factors that impact your ranking. But the basic process involved in it is not as difficult as you think it is and is quite easy to understand.

Search engines want to provide the best service for their users. I mean, who wouldn’t😉? This means search engines are always trying to deliver results on their pages that are not only high quality but also relevant to what the user is looking for.

And, in order to do this, search engines scan or crawl different websites to better understand what the site is about, which helps them deliver more relevant results to the users searching for a certain topic or keyword.

Similarly, the search engines will scan the site to determine how easy it is to navigate and read, rewarding user-friendly sites with higher rankings on the search engine results page.

Why is SEO important for small businesses?

SEO helps small business owners create fast, robust, and user-friendly websites that rank higher in search engines, which in turn helps bring more qualified potential customers to their sites and eventually increases conversion rates.

It also helps build brand awareness for the business as search engine users are more likely to trust a site that’s on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs)

If you’re a small business owner, you should utilize SEO and build a strong web presence and bypass competitors and gin new customers for your business and take it to the next level.

5 major benefits of SEO for small businesses

1. Brand Awareness

One of the benefits of getting higher rankings on SERPs is building brand awareness. When your site appears on the first page of major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, your potential customers are more likely to trust the brand when they search for a particular term rather than the brands with a weaker web presence.

This is why small businesses that want to build better brand awareness must invest in SEO and start gaining top rankings for the KEY terms related to their business. Search engines now play a significant role in making or breaking a brand.

2. User-Friendly Websites

SEO helps business owners create a faster, smoother and more user-friendly website. It is not only about optimizing for the search engines, but it is also about improving user experience too.

A well-structured, clean and uncluttered website compels visitors to stay longer, thereby, decreasing bounce rate and increasing page views. So, SEO is not just about writing good keywords, it’s also about writing good code and designing better UI.

3. More Customers

One of the main reasons for having a website is to stand out from your competition and increase customer base. You wouldn’t want to invest 1000s of dollars on marketing, right? Businesses with a good SEO optimized website are more likely to bring MORE customers and grow as twice as fast than the businesses that don’t have one.

SEO has become one of the most efficient and affordable marketing strategies that exist today. Besides, it has become the only source that brings in reliable and loyal customers who are actively seeking to find your product/service.

SEO will help you bring the “targeted” traffic to your website, and eventually more customers to your business than any other marketing tactics.

4. Higher Conversion Rates

SEO-optimised websites load faster, are easy to read and surf, and are displayed properly in almost all types of devices, including mobile and tablets. Websites that are easy to read and navigate are more likely to grab and hold attention from your readers or visitors – i.e. they’re more likely to become your loyal customers, subscribers, and returning visitors.

5. Bypass Competitions

“If you want to excel in today’s market, an SEO optimized website is key.”

Let’s take an example of two businesses that are in the same industry, selling similar products, at similar prices. One of them has an optimized website while the other has a non-optimized site. Considering everything else is equal, which company do you think will attract more customers to their website from local searches? Which company will likely grow faster and become more successful?

Search engines and SEO are very powerful. If your competitors are doing SEO marketing, simply you must ask yourself why you haven’t invested in such a strategy yet too.

Apart from everything stated in this article, keep in mind that if you don’t have good content to offer on your site, none of these matters. “Content is key”. Without good content, the chances of your business doing good in the market are very less.

Image Courtesy: Unsplash

What Makes a Great Website?

Website is the digital version of your company as it reflects what your business is, your offerings (products/services) and engages customers on a regular basis. So you need to make sure that it’s great! Also, successful businesses usually have strong and powerful websites that acts as a bridge between them and the customers. Not to mention, people constantly want to learn new stuff through Internet.

The content you put in your website should be relevant to your business and the targeted market. This creates a strong reason for the users to keep on visiting your website for updates, new trends, news, etc. Likewise, people want answers to their queries within seconds. An optimized content that has answer to major queries of the customers is already a big win for your business! Make sure these things are well sorted out in the initial stages of website development. A poor website with irrelevant information and unappealing design is equally devastating and is likely to create a bad impression once and for all.

Okay, so I know you’re here to learn about creating an awesome website. Grab a coffee and go through the steps below as this might take a while. Your website needs to be great!

1. Start with Providing Basic Company Information on your website:

A good website has basic information of the company ranging from contact details, information about the business to what it actually does. It should also have a range of features like a pricing page, social media buttons, and a good knowledge base. The site should be easy to navigate and as user-friendly as possible.

2. Add Testimonial Videos: 

Describe to your best customers as to what products you are actually providing. Doing this is proven to be far more effective than any other feature on your website.

3. Be Strategic with your Logo design:

Create some curiosity regarding everything your company does and how your product or service can make customers’ lives more comfortable. Your company’s logo should be an impressive design that constrains them to take a tour of your website. A professionally-designed logo has an imperative use of colors, fonts, etc.—elements that grab your customers. It also gives the appropriate flags to the public about your business. Such a logo aids in creating your brand individuality. 

4. Use a Professional Web Host for your Website:

An efficient website requires a hosting service that will provide it with a place to exist. It’s also essential that you select a service that provides you value for your money.

5. Install a Security Suite to Protect Your Customer’s Data:

Business websites are targeted by hackers, as they manage and control delicate information like card details, payment information, etc. One swift tip to defend your business website is to install a security suite from day one, which would shield your website from online menaces. With a few clicks, you can configure tools such as website file monitoring, blacklist checking, firewall protection, and CMS best practices.

Added important tip is to make your software updated at certain definite intervals and constantly have a full website backup (files and database) on your local computer. 

6. Design a Great Home Page:

In the modern-day, the most systematic organizations and institutions understand the significance of possessing an online website to influence the best customers. Embed more attention and attempt to produce a very attractive company website. The homepage has a very significant role in the website as it is assigned as the primary page that your website traffic will observe.

Building a great homepage layout can simply attract visitors to consume more time examining your business services and commodities. While building a homepage for your business website, you need to make sure the following questions are answered:

  • Who are you? Embedding a corporate video can be an exceptional approach.
  • What will you do for your website visitors/traffic?
  • How are you much better than your competitors in the market?

Additionally, make sure that the homepage very clearly commutes its message to your customers and presents a swift response regarding your company. 

8. Link to Your Social Media Pages and Keep Them Updated:

Another important tip for you can be to stay updated and by that, I mean you should keep on updating your social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. This is because you are trying to embed it on your website with the use of widgets/icons. 

A Facebook page which has not been updated for the past 3 months is very dangerous to your business and does no good. It also makes people think that your business is either falling apart or you are out of the business and this will not generate any interest whatsoever. Your posts on social media platforms should be active, so posting once a week is a good idea. 

9. Post Your Contact Details Properly on Your Website:

Making your customers contact you is very important. All the contact details on the website must be designed and displayed properly. A user who needs to spend a longer amount of time just for gathering the contact details will get turned off for sure. This is another weak aspect of the website which you need to consider improving while building the site. 

10. Make Optimum Use of Online Branding Tools:

A dynamic website must-have features that give tough competition in the industry. So, you should make optimum use of online branding tools that help your business website stand out from the crowd. A Logo can also gather n number of interests if it’s able to make people curious. A Logo with just the name or initials of the company is too obvious, which will gather no such additional interests. This can be one of the branding strategies of your business. Make sure you are doing it today.

11. Make Sure your Messaging is Short and Personal:

Messages that best describe your business should be there on your website. “The company provides the best services and products than anyone in the market” won’t make your business look awesome or unique. This is just a cliché move. Creating emotional connections with the audience that pinpoint their attractions and interests is considered easier and practical.

12. Begin optimizing your website from initial stages:

Basic implementation of SEO on your website can actually save it from failing later on. Whether you’re targeting to create a new website or optimize your current website, SEO should be your topmost focus. You can save your budget and use it for other activities if your website is optimized and has correct SEO recommendations at the time of the development life cycle. A website without a proper SEO design is like a ship without a rudder. 

13. Embed Blogs and Share Valuable Content to the traffic:

Please note that Google wants to see fresh content on a regular basis. Google also ranks pages whose content is optimized as per the SEO requirements. Also, blogging should be a part of every company’s SEO regimen, and the content should be made properly valuable to the readers. This requires proper keyword research and a professional writer who knows interlinking pieces of stuff. 

14. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly:

Although it was not much of an issue in the past, your websites need to be mobile friendly and should be compatible with every range of mobile devices in today’s competitive world. People have shifted towards smartphones. Every single operation ranging from small to big can be mobilized and managed with just the use of smartphones.

This is not costly but will make your business more successful as more users are happy with the dynamic layout of your website. Also, it’s worth mentioning that Google is actually chastening non-mobile-friendly sites at the moment. You need to act now. 

15. Include a Focus Keyword on Your Website’s Main Page:

Proper keywords and niche research lead to better optimization of the content on your website. The team should brainstorm and perform some research that will help gather perfect keywords for the type of business and the products that you are offering to the clients. If your website is live and running, then you might want to consider optimizing the keywords and determine which keywords are suitable for X page and which are suitable for the Y page. However, if you are developing a new website, then you need to do some research and finalize the relevant keywords for each page of your website. 

Also, focusing on the page title, metadata and H1 tags can help you optimize your site. 

16. Dedicate a Page to Share Client Testimonials:

A typical business website should have testimonials ready for fresh and dormant clients to read and to show validation of the products and services they’re providing. The best way to create a testimonials page is to provide reduced or no-cost prices to friends, family members and former colleagues in exchange for a testimonial. You’ll have your first testimonials in no time. This way the customers for your business are assured that your products and services are genuine and are appreciated by customers like them.

Now that you have got some ideas on creating a great website, remember, it also needs to be ranked on the top. This way you will see organic customers flowing in no time. Get to know the strategies here.