The importance of SEO for small businesses

The importance of SEO for small businesses

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about making your website more discoverable online. It involves optimizing various aspects of your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant searches. This translates to more organic traffic, meaning users who find your website naturally without you needing to pay for ads.

To achieve this, SEO involves understanding how search engines work and what factors they consider valuable when ranking websites. By strategically using relevant keywords throughout your website’s content, ensuring a user-friendly and mobile-friendly experience, and building backlinks from high-quality websites, you can increase your website’s search engine ranking.

Ultimately, SEO is an ongoing process of making your website more relevant and user-friendly for both search engines and human visitors. By implementing effective SEO strategies, you can significantly boost your website’s visibility, attract more qualified leads, and grow your online presence.

To better understand the benefits of SEO for your business, we would do a deep dive into some specific problems that most businesses don’t know are the reason for their slow growth or outright lack of growth.

The Unseen Growth Inhibitors of a Business

As a small business owner, you may face several obstacles that hinder your growth. However, identifying these hindrances can be challenging, which is why we, at Advocate Digital, exist. Our primary goal is to create personalized strategies that address your business’s specific needs. We begin this process by familiarizing ourselves with your business and understanding the underlying issues.

Our years of experience as digital marketing experts in London, have allowed us to recognize four common growth inhibitors that small businesses often encounter. By identifying these issues, we can help you overcome them and achieve your desired growth. Four of the major problems are:

  1. Customers Can’t Find You: This is a visibility crisis. Imagine that you have opened a wonderful new restaurant that serves delicious food and provides impeccable service. However, there is one major issue – there is no signage! People walk by searching for a place to eat, but they never notice your hidden gem. This is the crux of the problem for businesses with poor online visibility. Potential customers are searching for the products or services you offer, but your website does not rank high enough in search engine results for them to find you. They might be using slightly different keywords than you had anticipated, or searching on niche online platforms that you have not yet considered.

  2. Misunderstanding Customer Needs: You might have a clear picture of your ideal customer: their demographics, interests, and maybe even their favorite coffee order. But how well do you understand their online behavior? What search terms do they use when looking for businesses like yours? Are there specific online forums or communities they frequent where they might be searching for solutions you provide? Without a deeper understanding of their online journey, you might be missing valuable opportunities to connect with them.

  3. Untapped Potential: Think of your website as a treasure chest filled with valuable information and resources – detailed product guides, insightful blog posts, or informative articles. But what good is a treasure chest buried deep underground? If no one knows your website exists, all that valuable content remains unseen. There could be a whole audience out there desperately seeking the information you provide, but they simply haven’t encountered your website yet.

  4. Lost in the Crowd: The online marketplace can be a fierce battleground, especially for smaller businesses. Established companies with significant marketing budgets can easily dominate search results, pushing smaller players further down the rankings. Without a strategic approach to online visibility, smaller businesses risk getting lost in the noise, unable to compete for a slice of the online market share.

These four inhibitors often stand as gatekeepers of the doors to growth, keeping small business at bay. Luckily, with the right information and the right help, you can overcome these challenges with an effective SEO strategy.

Local SEO: The Ultimate SME weapon

As a Small-Medium size Enterprise (SME), understanding the layout of your local context plays a huge role maximizing the productivity of your SEO effort.

Businesses that rely on attracting customers from a specific geographical area are prime candidates to benefit from local SEO practices. Here are some specific examples:

  • Brick-and-Mortar Businesses: Any business with a physical location, like restaurants, cafes, shops, salons, or repair services, can significantly benefit from local SEO. When people search for “restaurants near me” or “best plumber in [city],” local SEO helps ensure your business shows up in the search results.

  • Service Professionals: Local service providers like plumbers, electricians, cleaners, or landscapers can leverage local SEO to target customers in their service area. By optimizing their website and online presence for relevant local searches, they can attract customers who need their services right away.

  • Healthcare Providers: Doctors, dentists, therapists, and other healthcare professionals can benefit from local SEO. When people search for “urgent care near me” or “[specialist type] in [city],” local SEO increases the chances of their practice appearing in the results.

  • Home Improvement Businesses: Contractors, roofers, painters, or other home improvement specialists can leverage local SEO to target potential customers in their service area. Optimizing their website for local searches like “kitchen remodeling [city]” can connect them with customers looking for renovation services.

  • Local Events and Attractions: Museums, theaters, concert venues, or other local attractions can benefit from local SEO. By optimizing their website and online presence for relevant keywords like “[event type] in [city],” they can attract more visitors searching for local activities.

Overall, any business that wants to attract customers searching online within a specific geographic location can see significant advantages from implementing local SEO strategies and the truth is, most SMEs start out from within a local context.

SEO website development no-nos

Now you’re well on your way into navigating the world of SEO and that’s great. But like every business endeavor, there are certain do’s and don’ts that serve as guides when implementing SEO for your business.

Here’s a list of what you should avoid when developing a search-optimized website:

  • Don’t cheat: Black hat SEO tricks can backfire.
  • No duplicate content. Offer unique value: Search engines love fresh, informative content.
  • Keyword Cannibalization: Target strategically Don’t have pages compete for the same keywords.
  • Do not neglect users. Prioritize users: A frustrating website hurts SEO and users.
  • Go mobile-friendly: People search on phones, make sure your site works there.
  • Think long-term: SEO takes time and consistent effort.
  • Track and adapt: Use data to see what’s working and adjust your strategy.
  • Build good links: Focus on quality backlinks from relevant sites.

Beyond this guide, SEO is all about positioning yourself rightly to maximize value returns. At Advocate Digital, we are digital marketing experts in Stevenage. And we are more than ready to take you by the hand and lead your business into more visibility, more reach, more sales and more growth! Give us a call today and let’s talk.