Do you have a small business, or you look forward to starting one soon? If you do, you are probably wondering what search engine optimization (SEO) has to do with anything? I understand you completely, and that is why I wrote this, because I used to think like that too.
You see, a few years ago, the concept of owning a website for your small business would have been laughable. It just didn’t make sense. Owning and running a website was too expensive as far as many small business owners were concerned. It was one of those things they left for the big players.
But years later, some few smart small business owners joined the trend. They started owning websites and running blogs. Before anyone could say “Jack”, majority of them dominated their markets and became thought leaders in their respective industries.
Humorously, other small businesses saw the tsunami of successes these companies above were getting. They saw that the cost of owning and running a website was made cheaper all of a sudden. They equally saw the internet get filled with a lot of free resources and tips on how a business can go online. Just like expected, they literally flooded the internet with their businesses.
And before you know it, starting a website for small companies became a lucrative business.
But the sad fact was, these small business owners built websites for their businesses and went to sleep believing that just doing that was enough.
I tell you, it’s not enough to have a website. You’ll need your website to be found online, and investing in SEO is the only way to make that happen.
A few days ago for instance, I thought of purchasing a new tablet. I knew that there were a couple of retail stores that deal on what I had in mind, but I just couldn’t help consulting Google first before making the purchase.
Just like me, there are millions of people out there who won’t make a purchase until they research those products on search engines. Smart small business owners know about this, and that is why they have started investing heavily in SEO so they can be found. If you are a small business owner and you are still considering whether you should or should not, then this is for you.
Here are four reasons you should invest in SEO:
- SEO is the future for business in the 21st century
Google recently recorded a 59 billion search every month, and that figure is bound to increase with time. More and more people are online these days. Most people who don’t use smart phones still boast of having internet access in their phones. As for the rest of the people who use tablets and laptops, everybody finds a way to get to the internet from time to time.
For some people, going online is just to communicate. For others however, it is for business. But no matter what people do online, note that most people search for something online every day.
It could be like I did to look for a good tablet to buy or it could even be for something silly. But the important thing is that once such searches are made, Google and other search engines find a way to bring out what they believe is the best result for the search. And when it does, most people will not go beyond the first page.
Just imagine what your business will be like if it gets listed on first page when someone searches for a product or service that you offer.
- SEO gets you better Referral and greater leads
It is obvious that generating leads is a non-negotiable factor to consider when you need to make sales. Note however that the leads SEO bring to the table are way better than those from the TV and other conventional ways of advertising.
Yes, it may look like an expense, but SEO is an investment.
For instance I have seen a lot of adverts on the TV and heard a lot more over the radio about “phones and tablets”. However when I thought of buying a tablet, my first action was to perform a Google search. Similarly, there are greater chances that someone who types in, “best real estate dealer in Chicago” and finds your website, will call you instead of calling the numbers she saw on a TV advert.
- SEO is more affordable.
It is said that doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. That means you can’t do without advertising if you want your business to stay on top of the competition.
If you have done any form of advert on the TV, radio or even in the local tabloid, you will know how expensive they can be. If you invest a few hours a day on running SEO campaigns however, you could start getting a lot of positive results in less than 3 days.
All you need is a team to draw up a concrete plan and develop series of engaging content that’ll prove to prospective customers that you genuinely want to offer them quality services that others can’t.
And the added beauty of starting these SEO campaigns is that you can start with as little as $10-$500 to jumpstart your campaigns.
- Your competition is ahead of you because of it
Beating the competition in most business ventures depends a lot on knowing and doing something that other people don’t know or do. The truth is that this could be the major reason you are still behind the competition.
All you need to do to confirm this is to perform a search of the product or service you offer. You will be surprised to see your competition’s websites coming up on the first page. Guess what, that is the reason they are ahead. Yes, your competitors are on top of the game because they got smart early enough to start investing in SEO.
In the same vein, you need to invest in it as soon as possible before your competitors dominate the market completely.
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I previously published this post on Huffington Post