Since the online search has grown from a novelty convenience to the single most significant source of information on a wide variety of topics, search marketing has also increased in importance. There is hardly a business in the world that has not invested in an online presence to some extent.
The common goal shared by all is to have options, products or services posted at the top of the SERPs (Search engine results pages). While the advantages of improving a website’s standings in the SERPS are pretty obvious, not every small business owner is fully aware of how crucial SEO is for increasing the online prominence of their business.
This is unfortunate because it means that many small businesses are stuck applying conventional marketing techniques rather than investing in publicity that can bring some of the highest ROIs available today. Far more advantageous than can be expected from any conventional mass advertising methods like TV, Radio or printed ads.
Following is an overview of some of the most significant advantages SEO can provide for the small business today.
Brand Awareness and Increased Visibility
Do you think you would be receiving better publicity on the first SERP or the 501st SERP? Obviously, the exposure of sites on the first page of the Google search results is far better, and there are several reasons for this.
In addition to, increased numbers of visitors, being on the first SERP page, even if you are not the very first option, has the advantage of association. People looking for products or services rarely do so just once. Customers will invariably search several times for the things they need and want tend like to look around at various options available.
If your brand has made a continuous appearance on the search results for a specific product, you will be making an important association between your brand and this specific product. Because people always prefer to look onto familiar brands, this increases the likelihood that a customer will favor your brand in the near future. The more consistently your brand appears on the first page the greater this likelihood becomes.
Your presence in the results for the services and products your customers are looking for generates a kind of trust between you. Anyone familiar with online marketing knows how essential this trust is to online customers. This takes us to the next reason SEO is beneficial to the small business and its online prominence.
-Read more about the importance of brand awareness in this informative article posted on Chron.com.
SEO Increases Credibility (Trust) in your Brand
The online consumer is constantly taking subconscious notes of the results they receive from their online search. While the customers themselves are not always aware, this tendency controls a good portion of all online sales your brand or biggest competitor will make. Simple as that!
But why? For better or worse, in the eyes of the online consumer the all-knowing, all-seeing Google search engine “knows who has the good products”. If they see a website is consistently associated with the top search results for their given search, they assume it must be the best option around. Hence the preponderance of Wikipedia, for example.
It sounds ridiculous, but is it really. Those who are ancient enough to remember the days of yore, when the “yellow pages” were the go-to directory, should understand the significance of being the first on the list.
It was an invariable tendency for the consumer to select the first option in the list before venturing out to try the others. Which is why “Aarons Plumbing Services” always received more calls than “Zachariah’s Plumbing Services”. Quality service had nothing to do with it. Location, location, LOCATION, as they say in real estate.
The same is true in the online directory, if you have been selected for the first page, your business must be doing well and have the support the search engine and this is good enough for most. But wait there’s more.
SEO Brings in a Crowd
The major search engines will bring a greater amount of traffic to your online presence. While traffic does not mean more conversions, sales or profits, it can sure increase the likelihood of all three.
It’s like setting up an ice cream stand on a busy boardwalk with plenty of passersby, as opposed to setting up shop on a side street in an unpopulated side of town. Just because you have thousands of potential customers walking by on the boardwalk doesn’t mean they are all going to buy, but your chances of making at least a few sales is greatly increased.
It’s the same idea if you are on the first page rather than the fifteenth. You may not make a sale from everyone visiting your site, but if you stay there and stick to your sales campaign, you can rest assured the sales will come.
Additionally, unlike the passers-by on the boardwalk who could be at this location for a great many different reasons, the visitors visiting your website have already expressed an immediate interest in acquiring the services or products you are offering. Why else would they have entered those specific search terms?
Which brings us to the next point, ROIs.
SEO Provides the best ROIs
SEO provides a small business with benefits that can’t be found in any other type of conventional advertising. With TV, billboard or radio ads, the idea is to scatter the word far and wide in hopes that an interested customer will favor the brand that is hollering the loudest. This is inefficient and most would agree it is annoying to be offered products or services that you have no interest in.
When using SEO, you will never have to fear annoying your potential customers with ostentatious advertisements in the middle of their morning paper or favorite TV show. You will not even have to spend time warming them up to your options because these customers and visitors have already made their interest in these products or services apparent.
Interested customers will show up at your site and all you will have to do is prepare an engaging reception that will impress upon them the quality, benefits and preferability of your special brand of products and services.
In conclusion — these are only a few of the many benefits a formidable SEO program can have on for the small business. Other include unprecedented insights into your target demographic that can provide further guidance for SEO efforts and web design features that can make your online presence irresistible to your target audience.
If you are looking to make that perfect connection between your target audience and the options your small business is providing, SEO is that cost-effective solution that can bring you closer to your business goals. For those interested in learning more, iPage posted a terrific article on the subject of SEO for small business that every small business owner could benefit from.