Every business, regardless of size, has certain objectives it wants to meet. Whether it’s providing an invaluable service, setting up your retirement, or creating something to pass on to your children, it takes not only good planning but good execution as well.
But how do you go about things like establishing a brand and reaching prospective customers? In today’s world of digital marketplaces and online purchasing, you must have good small business SEO practices. Here are 5 specific benefits of utilizing search engine optimization tools to grow your business:
SEO Goal #1: Direct Marketing and Lead Generation
If you’re a lead-driven business (as most are) your customers most likely will need at least one contact from you before they are converted. No matter what your specific goals may be, the key to any successful small business SEO strategy is increasing your conversion rate. This is known as conversion rate optimization or CRO, for short.
This is usually the first step in creating more leads and filling your pipeline. It’s also very simple to implement changes that can significantly improve your lead flow. A few small changes you can make include:
- Shorten your forms (physical address and multiple phone numbers are unnecessary)
- Offer your prospective customer information on the process after submitting
- Avoid using the word “submit”, “complete” or “finish” is less intimidating
Once you have reached 5% (or preferably much higher) with your on-page conversion rate, the next step is increasing traffic. Creating top-notch customer-focused content will help accomplish this goal.
And never be scared to ask for their business in that content. Offering a quality freebie such as a newsletter is a great way to bring attention to your product or service and create demand for it.
SEO Goal #2: Increase Visibility and Traffic to Your Website
Increasing your traffic is about nothing more than getting as many clicks as possible on your content and keeping your visitors on your site as long as you can. You don’t want to accomplish this before you have optimized your conversion rate (as discussed in the previous section) because you would simply be wasting those valuable clicks.
This is a great small business SEO technique for companies that can profit from their traffic without customers having to complete a financial transaction. Examples include ads, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing to name a few. The main strategy for improving traffic is using target keyword research to market to specific demographics and audiences.
SEO Goal #3: Increase First-Time and Repeat Sales
Once an effective CRO strategy is in place and your SEO practices have increased your traffic, this should result in more sales. While the goal of any small business is to generate those first-time sales, once you have completed the first transaction, it makes converting them into repeat customers much more likely.
SEO Goal #4: Improve Your Branding
The most important component to both your short-term success and long-term viability is your brand. When you have a recognizable name, logo, or slogan that immediately identifies your business, you can position yourself as the go-to choice in your market. Quality small business SEO gets potential customers interacting and participating with your brand online.
SEO Goal #5: Small Business SEO Provides Reputation Management
Once you have built a solid brand, the next step is protecting it. And in today’s world of online reviews and business watchdog groups, it is easy to be compromised unjustly. And in the internet age, those negative impressions can last for years. SEO helps by allowing you to own many of the top search results for your brand and keywords.
Questionable SEO Practices to Avoid
One final point that is worth noting is that certain small business SEO techniques are unscrupulous and can lead to damage to your brand and business. These are known as “black hat” SEO tactics and they are extremely frowned upon by Google and the other search engines.
These practices include things like creating widgets and embedding links, using a private blog network (PBN), buy link farming, hiding keywords in your content, and spinning content. Any one of these tactics can lead to serious consequences, up to and including complete removal from search engine results.