1. Helps you find new clients
Any form of marketing should get you a steady stream of new clients; SEO is no different.
SEO is a broad term that encompasses many facets. However, at its core, it is about improving your visibility and getting on page 1. The running joke among those in the industry is that page two of Google is where you "hide the dead bodies!"
The bottom line is that the better your site ranks in the search engine results pages (SERPs), the more potential visits to your site, which should convert into more leads if your site is set up correctly.
2. Be there for prospects in the discovery phase
When I am asked what I do, I will often answer with a question, that being "what do you do when you want to know the answer to a question?" I will usually get an answer like, "I Google it" or "I go online and search for it." I then have the opportunity to then say, "I help small businesses show up with the answers to those questions online with their website and online presence." By adding content to your website that answers people's questions, you are more likely to be remembered when they are ready to purchase.
3. Educate prospective clients
Content marketing is more about educating and providing information than it is anything else. Producing compelling content will help you rank higher for a variety of topics. Content is and should be an educational tool that helps establish your brand as an authority. A word of caution, even if you have the best content, you still have to follow SEO best practices to ensure that the search engines consider your business and content for the relevant search terms.
4. Quality versus quantity
Every business thinks that they want more visits and traffic to their website. The problem is that not all traffic is created equal. It is about quality versus quantity.
While we want to get traffic to the website, we want to ensure you are getting quality prospects. Simultaneously, Google does an excellent job of showing relevant results based on people's questions, referred to as searcher intent. We still have to make sure that when the user clicks through to your website where we can answer their question and try to keep them there as long as we can.
5. Improved conversion rates
Improving your site's conversion rate is much like having the drinks at the back of a store. When you walk in, you know what you are looking for, but you have to pass by all the other products coming and going that you may be likely to pick up. Your website is no different. The difference is the searcher might get dropped in front of the "drink cooler," but a good digital marketer will try to add elements and links to the snacks (similar content or deeper content) that spans them to stay longer. The longer we can keep a prospect engaged on your website, the more likely they are to convert. Another upside is the longer a user stays on your site without hitting the back button, it helps Google know that this site is authoritative and should be ranked higher.
6. Build Brand Awareness
Increased brand awareness can be a significant benefit of getting higher rankings on the SERPs. When your website shows on the first page of the SERPs, you inherently have some form of brand awareness. If you can get your site to show up multiple times on page 1, then you have hit the jackpot!
You can increase your chances of showing up multiple times to ensure your Google My Business listing is accurate and optimized. Take a look at the blog post 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea: A Deep Dive Into Google My Business for more information.
7. Gain a competitive edge and bypass your competitors
In the US alone, more than 313 million people use the internet every day. 274 million are mobile internet users (Internet usage in the United States - Statistics & Facts). At the same time, it may seem like an impossible task to cut through all the noise for most small businesses. However, using SEO to your advantage can be a very cost cost-effective way to increase exposure and gain a competitive edge over the competition.
To further expand on this, let's use two fishing charter companies as an example. We have Nautilus Nautical Tours and Chaz Charters. They are in the exact same industry, doing the exact same service at similar prices, and they even have the same model of boats. For all intents and purposes, they are exactly the same except for the name. Chaz Charters has an optimized website, while Nautilus Nautical Tours a non-optimized website. Which company will likely grow faster and become more successful? Which company do you think will attract more clients to their website from local searches?
8. Cost-effective marketing
It seems like in every industry, there is an 800lb gorilla. The gorilla will most often be able to throw more money at pay-per-click advertising and other forms of ads than a typical small business. This isn't to say that you can't compete. Your website can be the most cost-effective marketing tool you have at your disposal. With a strategic partner and a well-thought-out SEO and content marketing strategy, you can go toe-to-toe with the 800lb gorilla in the search results.
9. SEO can make your website more user-friendly
According to Google, sometime this month, they plan to start including page experience signals in with their Core Web Vitals (mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines).
Essentially what this means is that your website will have to not only look good but load fast and be easy to use.
SEO can help small businesses to create a smoother, faster, and user-friendlier website and user experience.
10. SEO results are evergreen
Online ads or offline ads are like a drug. Yes, you can get a boost of leads but at what cost? What are the long-term effects? SEO and content marketing can be evergreen, meaning that as long as the content is live on the internet, there is a chance someone can find it. Think about this, the website for the movie "Space Jam" is still on the web and being indexed!
Will SEO work for your small business?
The answer to that question is YES, yes it will. However, SEO is not a silver bullet, nor is it as simple as hitting a button and saying my site is now search engine optimized. The search engines use complex algorithms to deliver the exact results people need, and it changes what seems like daily.
If you, dear reader, take nothing else away from this post, I want you to realize that content has always been king and will remain for the foreseeable future. SEO and content marketing will only play a more prominent role as we move into the future and beyond. Having your website set up to take advantage of this and future updates will ensure you have a steady stream of leads.
If you're interested in creating an SEO and content strategy for your small business but aren't sure how to get started, don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation or to inquire about our packages for small businesses!