I entered the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) world about half a year ago. While progressing at a fast pace in the industry I reached a point when I stopped and wondered if small businesses even understand the benefits of SEO. I follow industry experts’ tweets, I read blogs, and I read industry related magazines on a daily basis and mostly, I realized that everyone in the industry talks about the latest strategies, the love/hate relationships they have with Google and their infamous updates that force them to change their SEO strategies every so often. However, if Moe the Plumber landed on any one of the websites I read on a regular basis, he will probably not understand how SEO can benefit his business.
Well, Moe, this post’s for you.
How can Search Engine Optimization help your business?
1. It will increase traffic to your website.
I know, this is the most basic and obvious benefit of SEO.
There isn’t much to debate over this point except that “more traffic” + “higher quality of traffic” = more sales. If the traffic to your website does not increase after implementing several SEO strategies then you’re doing it all wrong. Keep on reading the web to find the right strategies or hire someone to give you a hand. Chances are that if you’re busy fixing houses, doing paper work, or running a business, you may not have as much time for this whole “SEO thing”. Leave this part to the geeks who read up on SEO on a daily basis and you just worry about all the other aspects of your business.
2. You’ll be able to track your Return On Investment (ROI).
You’ve probably heard the old saying “I know half my marketing works, I just don’t know which half”. Luckily, that statement only applies to Traditional Marketing. With SEO, you can track exactly what your ROI is .
We all know that the first place in Google will get you approximately 40% of the clicks and we can all easily find out the total number of searches for specific terms in a month. If you know your own conversion rate and your average sale price then it will be very easy for you to calculate your own return on investment.
You can also find out who filled out a quote request on your website and what path they took to get to that page so that you can focus most of your energy on high conversion keywords. No more costly trial and errors where you keep advertising in different traditional medias and you have to wait a few weeks to find out what worked and what didn’t.
With SEO, you know ahead of time what keywords you need to target and in order to increase your conversion rate, you can use several tools to test out different landing pages. With enough traffic coming to your website, you can test several landing pages and get your results in a matter of days.
You can also set up call tracking on your website. This is where an SEO company will set up a specific phone number on your website that only those coming through search engines to your website will see. This will help you identify exactly how many leads you get from your SEO campaign and you can easily calculate if it’s worth the investment for you.
These are just some examples of how SEO makes it very easy for you to calculate an ROI.
3. It will increase your brand awareness and improve your brand image.
What do you think of the company or the professional that shows up first in a Search Engine when you’re looking to buy something or to hire someone’s services? You’re probably going to think highly of them and view them as industry leaders, someone that you can trust. Being first in Google will not only increase your awareness in the industry, but it will also bring you many clients as the top spot in Google gets around 40% of all the clicks for any given search.
SEO will allow the corner shops, the small startups, and the small players in an industry to compete with the multinational corporations and the large local companies for the first spot in Google. You may not have the multi-million dollar budgets that some companies do, to compete with them in the traditional media, but spending a few hundred or thousand dollars a month can definitely allow you to compete with them online. After all, 67% of consumers make their purchase decisions online and then proceed to buy off-line.
Food for thought: Being at the right place at the right time is what search engine optimization is about. Capturing the click when a customer is ready to buy is cheaper, easier, and makes a lot more sense than advertising them when you are ready to sell.