If you’ve never considered Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your Small Business, then consider these most recent statistics relating to this Digital Marketing Powerhouse. On average Google now processes more than 40,000 search queries per second. This equates to a whopping 3.5 billion searches per day and an astronomical 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.
It’s figures like this which make it apparent why having a carefully planned, highly effective SEO marketing strategy is absolutely vital when it comes to ranking well in Search Engine results and getting ahead of your competition.
Unfortunately, the notion of SEO can be quite foreign and even frightening if you’re new to the Online World of Digital Marketing Strategies. It’s likely that as a Small Business Owner, you may not be 100% clear how SEO helps to improve search rankings, increase brand awareness and more importantly, how effective it is in driving user traffic to your Website and away from competitors.
For those Small Business Owners who might be confused or have reservations about using SEO, here is a crash course on what SEO is and why it’s so important for your Small Business.
So, What is SEO?
SEO is a technique used to increase the number of visitors to a Website by gaining a high-ranking placement near the top of the search results page of a Search Engine, such as Google or Yahoo.
For example, if a user types the word ‘Chocolate’ into Google’s search bar, Google will display links to Websites it considers most relevant and useful to the user’s search. In the case of Chocolate, the links could be anything from a definition, through to different chocolate brands, or chocolate recipes.
SEO is a free strategy that optimizes your Website and its content in a way that helps potential customers find your products and services faster. If utilized correctly, SEO also increases your chances of Google viewing your Small Business’s Website as a reliable and trustworthy source of information that will be valuable to the searcher.
There are many elements of SEO, from the words on your homepage and how many Websites link to yours, as well as ‘back end’ factors, such as meta tags and descriptions, all of which aid in increasing your rankings. Sometimes SEO is simply a matter of making sure your site is structured in such a way that Search Engines like Google will understand.
How SEO Works
Search Engines like Google have two major functions: Crawling and Building an Index. Once a word is entered into Google, within seconds Google will sift through every corner of the Internet to find the key terms that relates to the searched word and, in doing so, will list the best Links available. Links allow Google’s automated robots, referred to as ‘Crawlers’ to reach the many billions of interconnected documents on the Web.
Once Google finds these pages, it deciphers the codes from them and stores selected pieces into massive databases, to be recalled later when needed for a search query. To accomplish the monumental task of operating billions of Web pages, Google has its own segment of data storage facilities worldwide that houses thousands of machines, all designed to process large bundles of information in a split second.
What Will SEO Cost Me?
For most Businesses (whether small or large), there’s only one question that matters when running a service – how much is it going to cost me and will I get any value from it?
Thankfully, SEO is free and doesn’t necessarily require any money, however if you choose to hire a professional SEO Marketer for a highly effective strategy, this will come with a fee. Most Small Business Owners opt for this path, as SEO is a process that takes a lot of time, effort, patience and, above all, skill and experience. An SEO campaign will not lead to instant high search rankings and can take months to achieve the desired result. It needs constant monitoring, tinkering and testing to achieve the very best outcome, which can be hugely significant in the long run.
Why You Should Care About SEO
Although there have been several enhancements to the way Google operates, the Search Engine still can't see and understand a Webpage the same way we can. That’s where SEO steps in. It helps Google to figure out what each page is about, and how it may be useful for users. SEO relies heavily on ‘Keywords’ to build and rank lists of all relevant Websites associated with that keyword or keywords.
If your Small Business sells chocolate and the Business name is ‘Chocolate Land’, then that is the main Keyword for your Website. That Keyword should be prevalent across all your Webpages, including the Meta titles and tags, which are the page descriptors that Google reads and uses to work out what your page is about; URLs or web address, the Site’s Content, Page titles and the title for the images that are on the Website. Meta titles and tags are important because Google may use them as snippets for your pages when the search query is complete.
If your head is reeling from some of this terminology, don’t worry, we don’t expect you to know it all! This is why it pays to hire a professional, who can take of all these nitty gritty details for you.
For Small Business Owners, putting time into keyword research is one of the most important steps to take when implementing a SEO strategy. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your Website. By researching your market's keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.
No matter how scary SEO appears, it really is one of the best and simplest ways to effectively boost your Website’s traffic and get noticed Online. If the prospect of creating your own SEO campaign is daunting, then it will be extremely beneficial for your Business to hire an SEO professional. Here at Sites n Stores we have a team of experts who will create a tailored SEO Campaign that suits your Business’s needs, objectives and target audience. So, to start your Digital Marketing Strategy off on the right foot, give us a call today!