Why Small Businesses Need SEO
For a small business, every single penny has to be pinched. Larger companies tend to make enough in profits that they can make some risky investments. But for a small business, the risk level has to stay low. Otherwise, one bad move could destroy the whole company.
This is why so many small businesses lose out on all the benefits of SEO. If you’re unfamiliar with how it works, or even just have a vague idea, it sounds like something that you wouldn’t need. Not that it wouldn’t help, but the question is whether or not it would help enough to merit the cost. And of course, with a small business there’s absolutely no room for error. This causes many small business owners to skip out on SEO.
That’s one of the worst business decisions they could make.
A Quick Run-Down On SEO
By now, most people know what Search Engine Optimization is. If you’re considering the idea at all, then you’ve found dozens of articles giving you the basic run down. So there’s no need to go into too much detail. But as a refresher, SEO is a group of tactics that allow a company to get their website noticed on as many different Google searches as possible. These include, but are not limited to, keyword usage, social media, and regular updates.
So since you already have an idea of what SEO actually is, the question becomes why it can be so beneficial to a small business. What about SEO makes it worth the risks? Since it’s obviously a risk (any marketing idea is), what are the rewards that come from a successful use of SEO?
SEO For Small Businesses
Small businesses depend on local traffic and local customers. No one is driving across state lines for a cup of coffee or a comic book, unless “across state lines” is the same as “next town over”. Even then, it’s questionable.
For many people, this means there’s no sense in a local business trying to make use of the internet. Online marketing is for large companies, companies that do some amount of business online. Or if not online, then companies that have stores in multiple locations. Either way, people from across a large area, state or country or province, might be customers. For them, online marketing makes sense.
This might have been the case five or ten years ago, but these days it’s just not true. The smart phone completely changed the way people interacted with the world. Thanks to smartphones, people could check the internet from anywhere, at any time. The technology had finally gotten advanced enough that being able to surf the internet simply became part of the same texting data plan that cell phone companies already had.
Because of this, people no longer look up local businesses the way they used to. The yellow pages may as well not exist, if it even does any more. Instead, people will look up businesses on the internet. They’ll simply pull out their phone, head to Google, and type in “Minneapolis Chinese Takeout”, and check the first couple of links that pop up.
And make no mistake, studies have shown that people don’t browse past the first few links. Going to the second page is almost unheard of. Google searches have gotten good enough that if a person doesn’t see what they want in the first few links, they need to adjust the search terms. Since people are using Google to look for local businesses, and Google is good enough to give them a local business within the first few links, it’s highly beneficial to you to ensure your website is at the top of the list.
SEO Tactics For Small Businesses
Since SEO is a blanket term, there’s no “generic SEO” that works for all businesses. Every company has to use SEO tactics that make sense for their line of work, and the size of their business. Sure, some things are going to be more generally useful than others. Keyword use, for example, is going to be something that any company can use. And any company can make use of Twitter, as well, to spread the word about their business.
But beyond that, it starts getting specific. Facebook is designed to create a community, allowing you to build a sense of brand loyalty. This might not be suitable for every business. Similarly, Instagram is all about the pictures. It’s possible your business doesn’t do well with still images.
This is why SEO for healthcare providers can be such a tricky tactic, and why it’s worth it for a small business to spend money. Hiring a professional SEO company will allow your small business to get to the top of the Google ranks. If you’re not convinced by now that SEO for small businesses is exactly what the doctor ordered, then get used to seeing your profits dwindle.