SEO might not be fast or easy, but it’s still necessary in today’s business world. And if you’re just starting your business, it’s definitely worth your time.
It will allow you to generate new leads, attract new customers and ultimately, increase sales by boosting your visibility in search engines. But let’s start from the beginning.
What exactly is SEO?
In short, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and many people consider it the main digital tactic companies use to attract new customers online.
The first thing you need to know about SEO is that it isn’t a short-term tactic. It’s better described as a “collection of tactics” that you can use to improve your presence on the Internet.
Search engines – we’ll mostly be taking about Google, since it holds more than 90% of search market share – rank sites based on their relevance and quality.
You can use SEO to improve your rankings by optimizing your site and using certain tactics that Google deems useful for users. Now let’s take a look at how SEO can help small businesses attract new audiences.
SEO for small-to-mid-size businesses
If you opt for SEO, your main goal should be to use a number of different tactics to improve your rankings. Search engine visibility is crucial for your success, since most customers research their purchases on the Internet before they make a decision.
As we said, SEO is a collection of strategies and techniques that work together as a part of your overall marketing strategy. Its main aim is to improve your position in organic search results – not paid results, that’s a completely different thing – and some of the most important SEO strategies include:
- UX and site architecture
- Content creating and marketing
- Social media marketing
- Analytics and keyword research
- Link building and outreach
Before we start talking about these tactics in more detail, let’s see why this is so important for your business and what results you can expect from a successful SEO strategy.
Why is SEO important for your site?
In this day and age, a small business lives and dies by its marketing efforts and as we established before, SEO is an important part of online marketing efforts.
Look at it like this, if a potential customer can’t find your site on Google, you practically don’t exist to that customer. And if you think SEO is only important at the moment, you’re terribly wrong.
The practice has been around for more than two decades at this point and according to Market Dive research, more than 80% of marketers see SEO as becoming even more effective in the future.
How to create a successful SEO strategy
The main goal of any SEO strategy is to generate more leads and increase your customer base in the process, not just increase your rank in Google. If you want to do things properly, it would be smart to hire an SEO consultant company. Preferably a reputable one, like this New York based SEO company.
If not, you can actually try do everything on your own. However, you have to be prepared for a ton of work and mistakes along the way.
- On-site SEO tactics: Every piece of content on your website, from blog posts to images, needs to be properly optimized for Google, or any other search engine you plan on focusing on.
- Off-site SEO tactics: Link building is one of the main aspects of off-page SEO and it includes reaching out to various sites and influencers who might find your site and content useful.
- Mobile-friendliness: A vast majority of people today browse the Internet on their mobile devices. That’s why you need to optimize your site for mobile and make sure that everything works perfectly on all devices.
Of course, tracking your SEO campaigns is always time-consuming and at times, it can be quite stressful. So, if you want to track the performance of your SEO activities, you should try using a professional digital marketing dashboard that will give you a view of how all your marketing activities are performing.
In the end, you’re probably wondering how much all of this will cost you. This is a tricky question, because the line between digital marketing and SEO is pretty thin. Some companies out there are even combing their marketing budgets with their SEO budgets.
In order to determine how much you should spend on search engine optimization, here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:
- How much do you expect to make this year?
- What’s your chosen industry?
- How many competitors do you really have?
If you’re able to set aside around five percent of your overall revenue for long-term SEO efforts, you’ll definitely be able to see an increase in sales during the first year of your business venture.