Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of increasing the quality and the quantity of website traffic through non-paid (also referred to as “organic”) search results. SEO has many benefits for small businesses and is the most efficient and cost-effective way to gain website traffic.
SEO is about understanding your customers’ needs and what they are searching for online, the answers they seek and the kinds of words or phrases they are using. Ultimately SEO is about understanding your customer’s intentions and creating valuable content that informs and educates them on your services or product.
SEO has many benefits compared to paid advertising platforms like Google Adwords. While paid advertising and social media can gain traffic to your website the majority of website traffic is driven by search engines and organic search results. It is estimated that of all the searches in the US on 2,8% of people click on paid advertisements.
Beat Your Competition
SEO is one of the best ways to even the playing field and can give you the chance to get a step up on your competitors. Unlike paid advertising, organic search engine results are completely unbiased. Search algorithms don’t care how much money you have or how established your business is but rather how valuable your business is and how relevant it is to the user’s search. With a bit of planning and some effort, you can easily outrank your competition. An affordable SEO specialist could assist by analysing your top competitors to determine their most effective keyword and content articles so that you can try to replicate their success.
Passively Generate Leads
Sit back and relax as the work rolls in. Don’t annoy your customers and waste your time on cold calling or mass emails and direct marketing. Rather let them find you! Google search is running 24/7 which means your business is available to your customers at any time. Ranking your website organically does require some extra effort compared to short term options like PPC (pay per click) advertising but the benefits of SEO are long-lasting and don’t have any ongoing advertising costs.
Open Up New Opportunities
You never know who might be looking for you online. The additional traffic you gain from SEO can open doors to business opportunities that you otherwise would have missed. Maybe an awards show is looking for local talent in your field or perhaps another related business might wish to start a partnership. SEO is about more than just generating leads and getting work through the door. It’s about aligning the goals of your clients with the goals of your business to achieve growth in your business.
Brand Trust & Credibility
Trust goes a long way to building a loyal customer base. Having a website that ranks on the first page of Google is a good indication to your customers that your website is a relevant and reliable source that probably deserves their trust. Like any relationship once trust has been broken it is very difficult to get it back. Without trust, a client is less likely to stick around. A large part of SEO is about making a good first impression to your customers with a well-designed and effective brand while displaying testimonials, portfolio or additional sales proof on the website.
Free/Cost Effective Solution
Unlike paid advertising methods SEO can be completely free or at least very low cost if you play your cards right. There are many different technical methods and strategies to improve the SEO of your site one of the most effective methods is through blog and content writing. Customers want to find out as much as they can about a product or service before making a purchase decision. SEO and content marketing is all about creating and promoting valuable content that answers your customer’s questions and that educates your users about your product or service. Blog writing is something any business owner can do themselves for no cost. All you need is a bit of expertise on a subject and some free time.
Long Term Strategy
SEO is one of the only online marketing channels that, when set up correctly, can continue to grow and bring dividends over time. If you create a solid piece of content that deserves to rank for the right keywords, your traffic can snowball over time, whereas advertising needs continuous funding to send traffic to your site. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint! It can take months or even years of effort before you start seeing results from your content writing and SEO efforts but the benefits are worth the wait. At first, you will need some manual promotion to get to content out there but eventually, you will find other websites linking and promoting your content without you even having to ask simply because they find your website to be valuable and a reliable source of information.
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