When you start a new business, there are a lot of different matters to consider. You’ve probably set aside some money to use as a marketing budget, but have you established how your marketing dollars will be spent? Nearly 70% of US consumers search the internet when they are looking for locally produced goods and services. That means that if you’re neglecting your online presence when you start advertising your new business, it’s going to take a lot longer for you to catch up with your competition.
We’ve put together this list to explain why SEO can make or break your new venture. There are many more reasons why SEO is important to any business endeavor, but we hope that these five are big enough to pique your interest and peak your new business’ success.
There are definitely benefits to having your site optimized and ranking well, and it’s important to pay attention to how you go about the process. If you’re starting with a pre-existing website, you’ll be working backwards until you end up with an optimized site. But if you begin your website design process with SEO in mind, you will learn how to craft legitimate, quality content while applying SEO techniques, resulting in a website that not only holds information applicable to what your customer is searching, but is highly likely to provide additional applicable content, gaining further trust from search engines.
If you’re trying out SEO on your own, then you’ve most likely heard of local listings. These are citations for your business on a local search-geared website, whether it’s aimed at a specific goal, like gathering reviews (Yelp), or a specific industry, like Home Improvement service providers (Porch.com). There are hundreds of local listing sites, and information is populated throughout these sites via their own networking connections and methods of gathering data from other sources. SEO includes the process of local listing optimization, or claiming and correcting inaccurate data about your business and adding your business listing to sites that are missing it. If you’re acquiring an existing business, this task is especially important, as there will most likely be a change in contact information when you take over the business.
Have you ever visited a website that has a cookie cutter layout, without any customization to the original template? That lack of customization in your layout is just as visible as a lack of SEO. I see websites like this and think: You didn’t purposely put “Site Title” in a title tag for your homepage, so you’re either lacking an understanding of SEO, or you don’t consider SEO valuable enough to pay someone to do it for you. Cheap and lazy are unattractive qualities in both potential soulmates and business. Show that you’ve invested time and energy to attract website visitors by doing a thorough check of your website with an SEO audit or checklist.
A website fully optimized for SEO acts as a courier of information from you to your customers. When your website has all the right tags and keywords to attract users just from their search query, you are spending $0 for that acquisition. Normally, you’d be paying advertisers and marketing agencies to put your name in front of potential customers, but with SEO, you can invest that money into other aspects of your marketing budget, like PPC or Social Media. Your customers can find you on a myriad of local listings in addition to search engine results, so your reach extends further than you’d imagine after your initial investment of time and energy into SEO.
Having an understanding of SEO and the techniques required to rank in organic search results helps you better grasp other online marketing concepts. For example, you can gauge your involvement in PPC based on how well you rank naturally, without the paid ads. You can acknowledge how your social media presence is affecting your rankings and use them as a stepping stone to gain even more followers and traffic to your social pages. Also, understanding the core concepts of SEO will guide you when deciding future content for your website. Adding a new picture? Include an alt-tag. Targeting a new service area? Create some landing pages for that area, complete with high-quality videos and images.
SEO really is the foundation for other internet marketing services, and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to grow your business, especially as your first start out. Learn more about SEO here and here, or Contact Us to ask specific questions about our SEO service.