Every day, potential customers turn to search engines such as Google to find what they need online – we call these ‘micro moments’. From retail therapy, getaway deals and household solutions, to cute videos of cats playing piano; it’s all there. Consumers currently have access to these products, services, and online endorphin hits at the tips of their fingers and from the comfort of their beds. The human default setting is to indulge in the least energy-demanding process – period – and with our evolving ability to create ‘shortcuts on top of shortcuts’, Google has refined its processes to match this need for efficiency.
Although Google provides the customer with an endless selection of products and services to choose from, statistics show that more than 90% of users are satisfied with what they find on the first page and thus have no reason to proceed any further. This statistic alone outlines our humanistic inclination to choose convenience over search for quality. Quality is no longer the benchmark when it comes to choosing a product or service online. Quality, paired with affordability, coupled with convenience, is the combination of attributes that consumers are looking for online, 90% of the time. Because of this, the goal for most businesses online is to be convenient and visible to a perspective customer when their product or service is in demand.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the answer to being convenient online, especially for small businesses competing in the market. SEO will increase the likelihood that your local outfit is one of the “convenient” options in the search results, when customers use Google to find what they need.
Here are some great reasons why (as a small business owner) you need to employ an SEO strategy for your business.
- Increase Exposure
Every business is now online with their own website built by Tom, Dick and Harry. But just being on the internet is simply not enough anymore. This is a very common misconception by businesses, who think that by having a website, it will directly lead people to find them. Your website is like your online shop-front. Without appearing on page 1, your shop-front might as well be in Eketahuna – no one is going to find it.
SEO allows your website to be strategically positioned online so the right people can find you without having to sieve through the entire World Wide Web. Together with other digital marketing strategies, SEO is a powerful tool to use if you are to secure future success for your business.
- Capture New Clientele
With increased online visibility, your business will have the opportunity to grow its customer or client base from organic traffic. Research has found that with the right online marketing strategies, a well optimised website can help grow a small business twice as fast.
Organic rankings can be more cost-effective than other online marketing streams, such as pay-per-click services. Admin fees are monthly and you don’t have to pay a search engine or social media outlet every time someone clicks on your ads.
- Better Rankings Help Build Brand Awareness
As SEO starts to provide your website with improved Google rankings that translate to organic traffic, it not only drives sales, but also translates to consumers becoming aware and familiar with your brand name.
- Attract Qualified Traffic
SEO is a highly targeted process because it’s a ‘pull’ form of marketing. Users are actively looking for your product or service so conversion rates are usually higher than streams that passively ‘push’ your message out there online.
- Your Competitors are Already Implementing Doing It
Your competitors may already be implementing SEO, as organic traffic become increasingly valuable to online businesses. Your business deserves to have a fighting chance, regardless of the industry you are in – and without a website and a quality SEO campaign, you are simply not doing everything you can to succeed in your target market.
SEO is essential for long-term success of small businesses. The research and initial labour required to start a SEO campaign may appear daunting at first, but the benefits will far outweigh any drawback. Patience is definitely a virtue in this case, and whether you are an owner of a small business or a fully established outfit, SEO is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.