It’s a truth that’s hard to deny: no matter what kind of business you run, you need to make sure your digital presence is effective if you want to get customers and clients. People are more reliant on the internet than ever for finding the goods and services they want. That’s why SEO is important for business strategy.
Why SEO Is Needed for Small Businesses
Take a moment and think about how you tend to find businesses to work with. You probably open a web browser on your computer or phone, type in what you need, and let the internet deliver you options. Then you browse the items and information a company or brand offers, and make a decision based on what you see and how that business has presented itself.
You may not realize it, but a lot of things had to happen to connect your desire to the best options. The word or service you used to search had to have enough relevance to the businesses that came up in your search results and your search engine had to somehow know that. This is where SEO, or search engine optimization, comes into play.
Reaching Your Audience
You won’t get many clients or sales if no one knows that your business exists. Embracing SEO helps get in front of the right people by making sure you are shown in search engine results pages in the best way possible. Every time someone looks for a service or product you offer, you want your best chance of being delivered as a possible result to their inquiry in an accurate way.
Each time your website or business is shown to customers searching the web, you increase your chances of making a sale and increasing revenue. This is why it pays to reach the biggest interested audience for your market sector. SEO tactics naturally get your offers and name out to the world. This is how SEO helps in marketing and can increase revenue when used the correct way.
Audience reach can be a tricky thing in marketing. Many business owners make it a goal to increase their reach and are happy to see any increase in the number of views and webpage visits. They do this with paid advertising and without regard to whether they are reaching the correct audience. SEO helps you be seen by people who could become customers, making it more useful.
At the heart of SEO strategy is learning how to work with search engines. After all, that’s two-thirds of the name. By far, Google search is the most popular search engine on the planet. It handles more than 80% of the world’s internet searches and is integrated into many websites and apps. That means you need to be able to maximize your exposure on this platform.
Mastering Google’s methods of measuring and responding to SEO tactics can become tricky because the company is constantly innovating. Over the years, Google has changed which aspects of a webpage it evaluates and how it ranks different elements to decide which sites should sit at the top of a search results page or be displayed with extra features such as product details. Don’t let this worry you. The ELK Marketing team can help you navigate the changes as they come.
While Google is on top when it comes to search engines, it is not the only player in the game. Bing and Yahoo are very important search avenues and your business may also need to cater to a few industry-specific platforms. Finding the right balance will be a critical part of your overall SEO strategy so you can get the most out of every search you rank for.
SEO can play a big role in drumming up local business, an important growth point for companies with physical locations that benefit from in-person interactions. Have you ever searched “pizza near me” on Google? You noticed the results were businesses in your city and came with hours and the option to get directions. This is the power of driving local SEO search.
Maybe you noticed that a business you love didn’t pop up very high in the results or didn’t show up at all. There is a chance that the business hasn’t invested enough in its SEO. Google may not have enough details to connect that company with your location and needs so it was left out. This is a missed chance for exposure that could cost sales and revenue. That’s why good SEO is needed. You want your business to have every opportunity for success.
What Is SEO & Its Importance
You may still be wondering “What is SEO and why is it important?” Let’s take some time and look at the different elements that build an SEO strategy so you can see which ones you may already be making good use of and which ones you have never even thought of. You can’t have just one element if you hope to have a robust SEO strategy that delivers increased sales and revenue.
As you look to create an SEO plan for your company, start with keywords. These are the terms that you want people to associate with your brand. More importantly, you want Google to associate these words with your brand. The hope is that someone puts a search query into a search engine with one of your keywords in it and the search engine delivers your website as one of the top results.
Despite the name, a keyword doesn’t have to be just one word. It can be a phrase that Google understands as a unified term for what the user is looking for and what the business delivers. “Shirts for women” could be one keyword that a business decides to try to become a top result for if they sell clothing for women. It’s best to have multiple keywords for your business to get the most website traffic.
Picking keywords is an art because you are balancing competition with the needs of a user. If you have a keyword that is too general or is closely associated with another brand, it will be hard to beat other companies in search results. An independent shoe store that tries to make “tennis shoes” one of its top keywords will probably still rank behind Nike or shoe store chains when people search.
It may be better to add extra words or locations, such as “tennis shoes in Des Moines.” The search engine is more likely to look for results that are more specific and deliver those to the user, improving the chances of your business getting seen. Finding the right keywords is something the crew at ELK Marketing excels at so you don’t have to stress over SEO trends.
The heart of your SEO strategy is likely going to be content. Google and other internet search companies are constantly crawling the web, evaluating different types of websites and content to fulfill users’ searches. That means you need something for the search engines to see and present if you want to stay competitive. This is why SEO is needed; you’ll learn how to get the right content for your needs.
There are many different kinds of content you can use. The right choices will depend on your business type. Blog posts are some of the most common types of content for a website or business. They give you a chance to present new information to a customer. You can share educational information about your industry or product or profile your brand to create a relationship.
Some entrepreneurs think blogs don’t make sense for their businesses because they operate in a technical or industrial space. In reality, blogs can make what you do and offer more relatable to a wider range of potential consumers who may not have known that they needed your products or services. Once your content explains that they do, you could have a new customer.
Your content is also the vehicle for your keywords. You probably wondered how Google is supposed to find keywords on your website. It’s through your content. Your blogs, infographics, video descriptions, website titles, product descriptions, and more should feature your keywords. As the search engines look through your site and find certain keywords throughout different pages, you can rank more highly.
This is another example of how SEO helps in marketing. As you produce content to enhance your keyword standing to improve search results, you also give yourself items to market to the public. Videos and blogs can be shared on social media and infographics can be used to show your expertise in your field. All of this improves your standing in your market sector and can help grow your business.
Something that many business owners may not be familiar with is the concept of getting backlinks. A backlink is a link that points back to a page on your website that is shared on another website. Whenever someone else links to your site you get a backlink.
As you consider why SEO is needed, you have to find a way to get backlinks. Search engines such as Google regularly evaluate how many other sites have linked to yours. This indicates how popular and authoritative your website is. The idea is that if other sites trust you and your information enough to share it, it is useful and is likely a good choice to present to someone during a search.
Getting backlinks can take some practice. Sometimes it happens organically. Another company comes across your content (which is why it’s important to have great content that’s relevant to your chosen keywords) and decides to link to it without being asked. This is the best-case scenario because it doesn’t take any work on your part and you get a confidence boost for yourself.
More likely, you will need to build relationships to get quality backlinks. By reaching out to other companies that are authorities in their fields and asking them to share your work and products, you can gain access to their audience while also improving Google’s impression of you.
This process can feel intimidating, especially if you are just starting your business or website. You are basically asking a stranger to endorse you. For this process, it’s best to get help from professionals at an SEO agency that can present you with the best way to these potential connections for more success.
The actual structure and coding of your website play parts in the effectiveness of your SEO and ranking among search engines. As we mentioned, search engines regularly read the content of your website in a process called crawling. They can only do this if your site allows it, which will depend on the settings put in place when the website was built.
Your web developer can help you make sure that your site is readable by search engines. The site should also be laid out logically so Google can see what web pages link to each other and how they are connected. This will help deliver relevant similar results with each search query, giving you a better chance of getting more of your web pages seen.
Increasing sales is one of the big reasons why SEO is needed and more business happens on mobile devices than ever before. Google even gives mobile sites more priority in some cases. This means your website also needs to perform well on cell phones and tablets. If it displays perfectly fine on a desktop but is hard to see or use on mobile, your site may rank lower in search results than if it were optimized for every platform.
That optimization will also include housekeeping for the elements on your website. Are picture files the right size and do they display well? Are there duplicate pages throughout the site? Do you have broken links that don’t lead to anything? All of these will hurt your SEO, so get a professional to search for these problems and clean up your company’s official site to improve your results.
Why Is SEO Strategy Important?
Once you start to put together the important aspects of your SEO strategy you will start to see exactly why SEO is needed for your success. You can get a plan that yields results. There are several different areas you should measure to make sure you’re getting the most from your strategy:
When you start your SEO journey, set some key goals and metrics for improvements you want to see for your business. These will be your way to determine growth and make sure that your SEO is working for you and that you are benefiting from your investment.
Organic traffic is one of the best things to look for when you consider what SEO is and why it is so important. This is a look at how many people end up on your site without the help of a paid advertisement or post. You can see how many people search your keywords and click through to your site based on the results they are shown.
This is an important way to see how SEO helps you. Most users will click on one of the top three search results after they perform a search. If your website displays in that top tier and you have optimized your site to look useful right from the search page, you greatly increase your chances of getting a customer who is looking for the need that you fill.
By increasing your connection with new customers, you get access to a wider share of the market and can grow your company. Improving SEO can have a direct impact on growing your reputation and status among your competitors, which allows you to do more business and grow your company over time.
Sales & Revenue
Most businesses are trying to improve their bottom line and SEO can help you do that in multiple ways. By getting more customers through search engine traffic you make the most of your digital marketing dollars, improving the operating budget. You can spend more strategically on paid search efforts when your organic search improves, allowing more money to go to profits.
Getting in front of more customers who are looking for what you offer also improves your sales, which is probably one of the reasons you took the time to work on improving SEO. By building a website on SEO principles, you can get people to the information and products they need more quickly, improving the likelihood of making a sale and helping your business.
Set sales and growth goals with specific milestones so you can see exactly what SEO is and why it is important. When you start tracking how many customers find you through search results and then make purchases, you’ll be able to see how combining the right keywords with the right content drives people to your company and creates revenue.
How Can You Improve Your SEO?
Knowing why SEO is needed is nice but it won’t mean much if you can’t implement it. Chances are you don’t have much experience in SEO or digital marketing. That’s okay. Very few entrepreneurs are masters at every aspect of running a business. You may be great at product design but less savvy at manufacturing.
This is why you outsource the things you can’t do on your own. It makes more sense to find the right partner for your company than to try to do everything yourself. You’ll just bog yourself down with extra work while still not accomplishing everything you want. Letting ELK Marketing maximize your SEO potential makes more sense in the long run.
Get Professional SEO Analysis
The first thing ELK Marketing will do for you is an evaluation of what is working well for you already and what is not. There is no one-plan-fits-all approach to SEO. Every company is starting from a different place with different goals and that has to be considered when coming up with a new strategy to move your business forward.
We’re going to look at who your target audience is, what types of search terms they use, how they typically find their products, and more. Then we’ll compare that to what you are already doing to see if you are focusing on the right keywords and platforms for the customers you want.
The benefit of letting an agency do this for you is that you get multiple experts in one package. An in-house SEO staffer may be able to complete parts of the process, but he or she is probably a specialist in their area of expertise who can only take you part of the way. An agency team can carry you the whole way through the process from analysis to improvement to results.
Create Content That Ranks
Once ELK has looked at what keywords and strategies would work well for your SEO needs, we start to focus on content. First, any existing content is optimized for keyword placement and relevance. There is a chance that you already have some things on your site that would help your growth and establish you as an expert in your market.
Next, it’s time to create new content that will add to the experience users have when they visit you and help you get found. This could mean starting a blog, but it could also mean investing in better infographics, creating a video library that helps potential customers understand your product, or writing eBooks that lend more credibility to what you are saying and selling.
This content will then be placed on your site at strategic times and in the right places to get noticed. You will want posts to go out at optimized times for your target audience so they have the most impact. Creating a schedule that enhances engagement is a lot easier when you can rely on the expert research that ELK Marketing can provide.
During your time working with us, it will also be easier to be consistent with content. Too many companies have a hard time keeping up with content creation and are not able to sustain their momentum. That defeats the purpose of why SEO is needed since you could start to lose some of your rankings as time goes on. Having the right support makes a big difference.
Optimize Your Website
A big issue that could be holding you back is your website and you may not even realize it. As we discussed, the technical aspects of your website impact how well search engines understand it and how they rank it. If it’s not set up correctly, the algorithms that analyze websites may not make the right judgment about how relevant your site is to a user’s search term.
Many people start their business websites on their own. Many services make it easy to set up and maintain a simple website without extensive coding or technical knowledge. However, many of those services only offer simple options during the site-building stage and you may not know which options are needed to allow search engines to properly crawl your site.
You need a web developer who can look at the inner workings of your webpage and make sure it is SEO ready. This includes making sure it can be properly indexed and that any links connect to the pages you intend. A web developer can also help you improve loading times and minimize image sizes to improve user experience.
Search engines don’t like to serve users with websites that don’t function well, so having the best loading times and minimal errors on your site will go a long way in improving your SEO ranking and help you get higher placement on search results pages.
Organize Your Website
There is also a less technical aspect to your website and that is how it is organized. If your site is a single page, it won’t make much of an impression on Google. This is why SEO is needed when you plan your online presence. You need a layered and logical site that shows you have something valuable to offer anyone who visits.
It’s best to have a homepage that offers value immediately and integrates some of your important keywords, along with pillar pages that expand on your specific areas of expertise. The pillar pages should host a variety of relevant content. That content should contain links to products or services you have for sale as well as other quality content.
With this setup, you can move a visitor through different parts of your website and toward your sales page. Not only will this increase the chance of getting someone to make a purchase, but it also keeps them on your website longer. Google measures this and factors it into your SEO. A website where people click through and immediately leave will rank lower than a site where visitors stay and check out multiple pages.
We told you about the need for backlinks earlier in looking at what SEO is and why it is important. A critical part of getting the most out of backlinks is making sure the right people are doing the linking. You’ll get a bigger boost if a national brand or established thought leader links to your site than if a new voice in your market does.
ELK Marketing makes it a priority to reach out to the right people to get backlinks from. We can cultivate the relationships that will value you so you don’t have to. By being proactive, we can also make sure other companies are linking to your best content and products. It may benefit you more if certain products are shared and sold so we’ll make sure to prioritize those.
When dealing with backlinks, you’ll also want to make sure other sites present your link in the right light. We review the text used to display the link as well as the surrounding content so that your company is presented in the best way for the best impact on new potential customers. You can also find the best links from other companies to share on your site to create a reciprocal relationship.
Understand Why SEO Is Needed & Invest Today
Every successful business needs to make growth a goal and in today’s digital world, that means making sure you are maximizing every opportunity to connect with customers. Those consumers are searching for you online.
That’s why SEO is needed: so you can make sure they find you. Start improving your SEO by Contacting Us at ELK Marketing for SEO analysis.