Having a website for your small business is just a starting point, but to get traffic (i.e. customers) you need SEO. To put it bluntly, your customers must be able to find you!
Your website simply a place for your targeted customer base can go to in order to find more information about you and your business. Ultimately, the goal is to increase your sales.
These days, anyone can have a website, but can people find it? That’s the tricky part, but don’t worry because we cover all of that for you.
How do you get customers to find your website on Google, Bing, and Yahoo?
There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google each day. That’s a lot, and that’s global.
Obviously you want your slice of that because more visitors equals more customers (generally speaking).
There’s really two different ways to get your website to the top or even noticed by the search engines: Pay per click advertising (PPC) or organic search. For now, we’ll focus on the organic search.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the strategy employed to get your website at the top of the organic search results. It is a long-term, more concrete strategy to gaining more localized customers. It involves several efforts to include creating content and convincing the search engines (i.e. Google) to display your website higher up on search results.
Sure, there are other ways to get to the top such as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising; however, that’s a very short-sided approach. Once you stop funding the ads the traffic will stop coming in. However, SEO is the traffic that keeps coming if implemented correctly.
Why do you want to move higher up on the search engine result pages (SERPs)?
Around 92% of all searches (there’s billions of searches a day) result in a potential customer clicking on the first page. 37% of all searches the user only clicks on the first result of the first page.
Easy to see why you want your website higher up on the SERPs, right?
There’s no point in having a website if your customers can’t find you!
Higher up on the SERPs = more customer visits to your site = more customers = more sales!
It’s a simply equation, but unfortunately achieving higher rankings on the SERPs is easier said than done.
So, exactly how do you do SEO?
SEO for small businesses can be fairly complex, in fact SEO is it’s own industry of it’s own.
In short, you need to have the right content, make your website extremely user friendly, and have the backlinks from other sites – all of this lets the search engines know who you are and that you’re a credible source.
You have to have the right content to let the search engines know what you do. For example, if you’re a landscaper in Omaha, you need to talk about landscaping and Omaha and have photos of landscaping on your page.
Content typically comes in the form of a blog or pages dedicated to your services. Case in point, you’re currently reading content on my website.
All of this content is created while targeting (using) specific keywords.
Keywords are ideas or topics of what your content is about such as, “landscapers in Omaha, Nebraska.” That entire phrase is a keyword – in other words – something someone would search for, such as a search query.
See where we’re going with this?
Once Google knows who you are and what you do based on your content and keywords, they need to know that you’re a credible source. They need a reason to put you near the top. After all, getting to the top is means to our goal – more customers. Backlinks achieve this.
Backlinks are links to your site from other credible sites. These tell Google and other search engines that you must be an authority in your industry. This is how they determine if you’re a fly-by-night business or an established authority. So instead of ranking 82nd on the SERPs, you’re ranking 8th.
The strategy is, you create great, relevant content that other website owners find interesting or inspiring, they’ll naturally link to it. They want their website visitors to know what they’ve found. Google sees this link as trust.
There are other methods for acquiring backlinks, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll just leave it at that. That subject is a bit too advanced for this.
That is a lot to discuss in such a short post, but that’s SEO for small businesses in a nutshell. I could honestly sit and talk with you for hours on how your small business could benefit from SEO.
Just remember, you need a website, content, and backlinks to start ranking on the search engines. There a few more technical details associated with SEO but we handle all of that.
I’m here to help small businesses get on their feet online, so I hope you found this article helpful. If you’d like to discuss SEO or any other services to get more customers, please feel free to give me a call or text anytime!