Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is the practice of optimising your website and other online content about your business for search. And, as mentioned previously, the first port of call for today’s shoppers is Google.
Search Engine Land reports that a massive 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. What’s more, 75% of people never scroll further than the first page of Google, says online marketing guru Neil Patel. Consumers want to find your business quickly and easily, and if they can’t, they’ll choose a competitor.
In other words, SEO helps Google (and in turn, your consumers) find your business online. Google and other search engines give preference to websites that have been optimised for search, displaying these businesses on the first few pages. It’s therefore essential that business owners – especially those who are working with limited budgets – make use of SEO to help prospective customers find them as easily and cost-effectively as possible.
If Google can’t find your website, neither can your potential consumers. You may have the most beautifully designed, slick-looking site (and spent a good deal of money on it!), but if it doesn’t show up in search results, it may as well not exist.
SEO helps the right people find your business. And by the right people, we mean people who are in a nearby location, with the intent to buy. This is because Google presents searchers with results that are a) relevant to their search, such as ‘hairdresser for kids’, and b) relevant to their location.
Someone in Sandton will be presented with different results than someone in Bloemfontein. But Google will only list your business if your website and other online content is optimised for search.
In fact, you don’t need to spend any money to get started with SEO. If done properly and consistently, SEO is one of the cheapest, yet most potent marketing tactics out there. Remember, the majority of business transactions begin online, which means your business needs to be as easy as possible for prospective customers to find.
Businesses of all sizes are implementing SEO – and if you want to keep up, you need to follow suit. Forgoing SEO is essentially the same as giving your competitors an advantage; if a prospective consumer can’t find you online, you lose out to the businesses that are found easily.
Succeeding in the online marketing space doesn’t require a big budget. In fact, small businesses who have prioritised their SEO efforts often outrank bigger companies who haven’t. When SEO is done properly, you can convert a new sector of consumers who’d never be aware of your business in the first place, as well as those who previously shopped with larger businesses.
The bottom line: providing Google with SEO-tailored content helps customers find and connect to your business.
SEO tactics, like incorporating the right search terms or keywords on your website, as well as linking to online reviews on third-party websites, gives search engines adequate information to crawl, and acknowledge. What’s more, SEO content like blogs, online reviews and testimonials indicate to Google that your business is credible.
Successfully managing the various aspects of a small or medium business can be difficult – especially when it comes to marketing your business. SEO can be a simple and cost-effective way to attract new consumers, and boost brand awareness.
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