We are here to discuss SEO for small businesses, exploring the 3 main reasons – why small businesses desperately need search engine optimization!
But first, we need some background information on how the interaction between small businesses and consumers evolved.
Back in the day, consumers know their local stores personally. For that reason, small businesses needed to keep good relations with people in their neighbourhoods.
But now, things have changed dramatically; having a fancy physical store on a popular spot might not get you the trophy!
Today, consumers (especially gen Z) do a quick research online to check the reputation of small businesses before buying anything.
If they heard about a brand through referral, they still visit a search engine and initiate a brand name search.
This way, they get to see the brand’s business page, such as Google My Business or Bing Places, where they have access to customer reviews.
Also, they get to see the small businesses official website (if there is one!) and social media presence.
Additionally, consumers search for local terms such as dry cleaning near me or car wash Connecticut.
In that case, search engines return with the most relevant search results.
We call this local SEO, and here is a related article if you want to explore the topic further.
Now let’s dive into our leading subject since we laid some foundation on the topic.
SEO for Small Businesses – 3 Reasons Why They Need It?
Small business SEO refers to ranking a small businesses website for the desired local search terms.
In my opinion, especially due to low competition, small business SEO is a low hanging fruit.
Nevertheless, most small business owners are busy operating their businesses and may not want to invest in technical marketing activities such as search engine optimization.
The only quick fix is educating our clients, teaching them how small businesses can significantly benefit from SEO as experts.
We need to get their attention, so let’s discuss a few crucial reasons to do so.
1- Consumers Search Online & Buy Offline
Also called research online, purchase offline – this is a typical buyer behaviour where consumers do a quick research online before purchasing from physical stores.
What’s happening is that consumers intend to get more information on the product without rushing. The main goal is to check the technical aspects of the products thoroughly.
Let’s say that the consumer is planning to buy some fishing equipment. They will go to their local fishing shop, but still, they do research, make a few notes.
So the initial search for the fishing equipment prospect would be something like “WTD action bass lure”.
Once the initial research is completed, prospects might go to their mobile and do a local search “BassPro Fishing Shop”.
Maybe they want to call the local store for stock availability or use the directions tab on the GMB page.
I’m trying to say that consumers are likely to use search engines multiple times before physical store purchases.
Wouldn’t it make sense to invest in SEO for small businesses then?
2- There is Still Low Competition in SEO Among Local Businesses
As SEO experts, we are often asked how easy it is to rank our target page for certain terms.
I always prefer not to sound very promising with new SEO projects.
Because even if we do everything by the book, we don’t own the search engines and their algorithms.
Building backlinks, creating content and optimizing on-page alone may not just do the trick since user behaviour is a key ranking factor.
But! There is a big but here. When it comes to SEO for small businesses, it’s a whole different scenario.
I’m somewhat hopeful when it comes to ranking small businesses for desired terms in a short time.
The reason is low competition. Let’s take a local pizzeria as a sample.
Even if there are 100s of them in a given location, the most authoritative website often won’t have more than 100 referring domains.
Also, most pages are not on-page optimized, and there is usually very little content on the official websites.
Therefore, once you put in the needed SEO work for a small business, getting a great ROI is unavoidable, bringing us to the next topic.
3- Cost Efficiency & High ROI
When you think about it, SEO might be one of the most cost-effective and high ROI marketing activities for small businesses.
Moreover, unlike some other digital marketing activities, SEO is evergreen.
That means the majority of the SEO work will have a lifelong marketing impact, making SEO for small businesses highly cost-efficient.
Also, when you think about how well the organic traffic converts, SEO has potentially the best ROI among other digital marketing activities.
In simple terms, if consumers search for you and find you, they might as well buy from you.
There are a dozen of reasons why small businesses must take SEO seriously, but today, we have discussed the essential three:
- Consumer behaviour (search online, but offline),
- Low Competition in SEO Among Local Businesses,
- Cost-effectiveness and high ROI.
If you are a small business owner, I strongly recommend finding a trustworthy SEO agency and investing in your desired search terms.
This will allow you to outrank your competition and play by the rules of today!