What Is SEO and 9 of Its Top Benefits
You may have heard the term buzzing around in the office during discussions on how to get more traffic to your business, or perhaps you’ve seen it online, but you’ve never fully understood what it meant and what it could mean for a business. What is SEO and its benefits to small businesses? Well to answer the primary question, SEO or search engine optimization is just that. It is when you optimize a webpage for the search engine. This is mostly done on websites and focused towards Google because they are the top search engine and everything that is done to optimize with Google will simultaneously help you optimize for search engines alike, such as Yahoo, Bing and Yandex. However, SEO can also be done with other search engines such as Youtube as you optimize your youtube channel. That sound a bit too jargony? Don’t worry, I’m going to strip down SEO to the basics so let’s get into it!
What Is SEO?
We all know that when we search for something it is rare that we find ourselves on the second page, let alone the third. So within an seo strategy for a small business it is important to not only achieve first page ranking but maintaining it as well. This means that your sitelinks must show up on Google within the top ten. Out of all the webpages on the internet, you have to be relevant, reliable and helpful enough to earn a spot in the top ten to be seen by the searcher and get a chance for them to click through. This doesn’t mean if you are in the 20s or 30s you won’t ever be seen, but we know the reality shows us the likelihood is slim as 75% of searchers don’t click through to page two. We are optimizing afterall and if you’re looking for an answer on how to get more traffic to your business the answers are always on page one. It is also a digital marketing method that is completely free as opposed to using pay-per-click ads to gain traffic. By using SEO you are going to gain traffic from customers organically which is great because searchers tend to trust organic sitelinks more than ads.
Not sold on the idea of SEO for your small business yet? Well here are 9 benefits of SEO to help you make your decision.
Table Of Contents
- Benefits of On-Page SEO
a) What Is On-Page Optimization?
b) What Are On-Page SEO Factors?
- Benefits of Technical SEO
a) How To Boost Website Traffic
- Benefits of SEO Content Writing
- Benefits of Off Page SEO
- Benefits of Local SEO
- Benefits of Getting An SEO Audit
a) What Is an SEO Audit?
- Benefits of Working With an SEO Company
- Is SEO Worth It for Small Business?
a) List of SEO Benefits
Benefits of On-Page SEO
When people think of SEO, on-page tends to be the primary area of focus. It may appear as though all that’s needed is to slap on a couple of keywords to the page and voilà! However it’s not as simple as that. There are tons of benefits to on-page SEO and understanding it a bit better will help you see its value.
To start you need to understand the importance of SEO keywords, so let’s define it. Keywords, queries, search terms…they’re all in the same boat. Simply put, the string of words people use to search online are keywords and each variation differs in regards to how often someone uses that exact same keyword. For example: “what is seo” and “what is search engine optimization” are the same question but two very different keywords. With different keywords you will also find varying intent which will allow you to target your audience and bring in quality traffic that will lead to increased conversions. When it comes to keywords you often want to find ones that a lot of people are using because this means you could generate even more traffic to your website. You also want to look at how difficult it would be for you to get on the first page of Google with that keyword. If lots of other businesses, or bigger businesses are using that keyword you may struggle to land in the top ten and so it’s more beneficial to find a keyword with a lower search volume but easier to rank in the top spots.
What Is On-page Optimization?
Keyword research is only step one when it comes to on page seo. On-page optimization is when you use the information above to help you create a strategy to gain more traffic to your website. Creating a system in which your keywords are highly relevant to the webpage and supports the main keyword of that page is what’s really going to prove beneficial with your on page optimization. This means properly allocating your H1, H2, H3 and H4 tags.
TIP: There should only ever be one H1 tag on every webpage. That may seem like a given, but I have seen the mistake made more than once.
What Are On-page Factors?
Here are 5 on-page factors that you can work on optimizing right now.
- Title Tag
- Anchor Text
- Anchor Links
- Keywords in Content
FAQ’s? Are FAQs good for SEO? They work wonders for SEO, not only because you are helping the searcher come to a solution with their problem, but they often get featured on Google differently and will allow your sitelinks to take up more space on the results pages and generate more traffic.
Benefits of Technical SEO
Working to increase your site speed, responsiveness and enhancing your website optimization overall will show Google that you put in effort to rank your site and improve your website usability. Your business will benefit from tech SEO because the search engine will pick up on the various elements implemented to determine whether or not this site is not only relevant but shows it’s a smooth running site with little to no issues. If your website is a hot mess Google will not want to use your site on the results pages because the searchers won’t be happy. There is something called the bounce rate. This is when someone clicks through to your page, but quickly realizes it is not what they want, isn’t loading quick enough or for any reason isn’t pleased and they return to the google search engine results pages. The more people do this with your site, the higher your bounce rate will be and the less likely Google will then show your link as a result to searchers. It really affects your ranking. Ensuring that your website is good to go when it comes to its tech elements is a must.
How To Boost Website Traffic
You can also use tech SEO elements such as schema markup data to boost website traffic. Schema is code that is implemented on the backend of your website that has proven to show quicker results than most seo factors. It is like talking to the search engine in their language so that they can get more context behind the content on the page. This helps them send your webpages to your ideal audience at a higher rate and increases your click through rate. For more information on Schema markup and its benefits for small businesses read this blog.
Benefits of SEO Content Writing
There is such a wide range when it comes to content. People are always looking for information and your content can be the answer they are looking for. One of the benefits of learning SEO is that you will be able to create amazing content that will capture the attention of both people and Google. If you want to know how to increase the visibility of your business then SEO content writing should definitely be a strong contender. Your keyword strategy will slightly differ for your content then your main web pages, the key thing to remember is that your content can be evergreen, lasting and growing through the ages.
There is tons of content out there, and the majority of it doesn’t stay relevant as trends come and go. People may have a passion for writing and perhaps their goal isn’t to generate traffic, but to let it land at chance with people who will feel connected to their words like poetry. With SEO content writing you have a chance to control your traffic. Who will receive it, how many people will read it and the exact problem you will help them solve. Whether it be ideas for a bedroom renovation, fun activities to do in new york or answering tax questions. The power is in your hands but by using SEO content you are definitely going to improve your website visibility on Google as it is a long term strategy to promote your website 24/7 that will help you rank better in search results.
Benefits of Off Page SEO
Not only is using search engine optimization in your content great for your website traffic directly, but it will also benefit you with your off page seo as well. Now you will have content that businesses may want to link to and share with their audiences as well. It can be a great way to start partnerships and that will expand your reach to a wider audience.
Off page SEO is primarily acquiring backlinks to your website. This means having your links added to other websites. I won’t lie to you, this is harder than it seems, however having your links on other reliable, trustworthy sites shows Google that you are also trustworthy. It allows them to see you as more authoritative if other people want to share your ideas and thoughts with their own audiences. This increases what we call your domain authority. Different tools calculate this number slightly differently, however it is essentially a number between 0 to 100 and the higher up you are the more authoritative Google sees you and that will help you rank higher on the search engine results page especially for keywords that have a higher rank difficulty (these are the ones we eventually want to aim for because the search volume is the highest).
Benefits of Local SEO
Small local businesses are great because it presents a unique opportunity to really connect with your community. The difficulty is that the audience then becomes so specific that you really need to do everything you can in order to capture the attention of that community and make sure that your brand has great visibility online. You need to stay competitive in your field by knowing how to gain more traffic to your website than your competitors because approximately 80% of mobile local searches lead to conversions.
SEO is an amazing marketing method to use when it comes to local businesses. There are so many seo factors that you can implement locality and let Google know that you are specific about where your business is located, the area it serves geographically, the type of business that you are etc. For example adding detailed schema markup is extremely beneficial for local seo and will help small businesses improve their click through rate. By also adding and improving local seo factors on your website Google is able to have a clearer understanding about your business and will rank you higher in local searches. You can cover so much ground with your on page seo and site layout that you won’t leave room for Google to ignore your relevance.
I know…I’ve mentioned relevance a lot but let me quickly explain why. Google’s primary objective is to answer their audience’s queries as quickly and as correctly as possible. When someone asks them a question, they need to provide the right answer and provide it with super speed. Our job as businesses, blogs, organizations etc. is to help Google do their job effectively by showing them that we are a reliable (website runs quickly), relatable (provide the exact information from the query) and trustworthy (provide correct information) website.
Benefits of SEO Audit
SEO audits are imperative for any and all websites, but especially for small businesses. If you haven’t gotten a website audit before or your business is feeling stuck and is no longer making any progress in regards to web traffic, then that is a sure sign that it’s time to get one done. If you need to know how to improve SEO for your small business then you will find an SEO audit to be tremendously beneficial. Your SEO efforts should always start out with an SEO audit because they lay down the path for strategies to drive traffic to your website.
What Is an SEO Audit?
A site audit will show you data of your site in relation to best practices and that data is what you will be using to formulate the strategies to drive traffic to your website. The numbers don’t lie and so it’s always best to make a plan based off of something tangible in the sense that you can measure your results and the effects of the strategy implemented afterwards. By receiving an audit you will be able to track changes in web traffic, conversions and rankings with tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Simply put, by creating a high-quality strategy through an SEO audit you will see quantifiable results with an increased ROI. As we’ve discussed, SEO is playing the long game, it does take time…but the data shows that leads from search engines have a close rate of 14.6% which is much higher than the 1.7% of outbound leads.
Benefits of Working With an SEO Company
Now you have the answers to what is SEO and how it works for small businesses. You see the importance of SEO in digital marketing as a whole and need to decipher whether or not it is something that your business can handle internally, or if it would prove more beneficial to outsource and work with an SEO company. Well as much as using SEO within your marketing strategy is important, you will find there are also benefits of working with an SEO company.
There are many reasons why outsourcing can benefit small businesses. For starters, running a small business is hard enough as it is. There are a plethora of tasks that need to be done focused on the business itself that marketing can easily get pushed to the side and get neglected or keep you up all night trying to figure out the right moves to make. Working with an SEO company will save you time and energy and ensure that you are spending your time on what makes you happy, while also getting the job done. Some businesses may love the idea of working on SEO but don’t quite have the tools or understanding to make the right improvements and get the results they want. This is something that outsourcing to a search engine optimization company will also help you with. They are working within their zone of genius and will help your business thrive online and increase your website traffic and boost your credibility.
Another benefit of working with an SEO company means that you are given the opportunity to learn more about search engine optimization along the way. You will start to pick things up as things progress and in some cases can be taught directly. For instance with my SEO Strategy Sessions I provide: thorough audits with actionable steps for their custom strategy, the inclusion of tips, tools, a 1hr consultation and video. I do this so that my clients are well prepared, equipped and informed on what their website problem areas are and can fix their issues with confidence that they will see improvements within their data.
So what is a website audit? It is an invaluable process that will ensure that your search engine optimization efforts do not go to waste and pinpoint the areas that your strategies should be focused on in order to improve your website visibility and increase your website traffic.
Is SEO Worth It for Small Business?
After all that, is SEO necessary for small businesses? Is SEO effective? I believe that the benefits of using SEO are clear. You stand more to lose when you don’t implement a search engine optimization strategy. Especially because your competitors will likely have some sort of SEO in their marketing, and those who invest more heavily with a stronger all around SEO strategy will be more competitive and outrank the competition in the search engine results pages. This occurs because SEO creates more visibility and that strengthens your brand identity which is crucial for a thriving small business. The list of advantages of SEO for your business is never ending but in the end the decision lies with you.
List of SEO Benefits
- Zero Cost Digital Marketing Method
- Reach Targeted Audiences Through Quality Traffic
- Improve Your Web Usability
- Rank Better In Search Results
- Expand Your Reach To A Wider Audience
- Rank Higher In Local Searches
- Quantifiable Results With An Increased ROI
- Boost Business Credibility
- Maintain A Competitive Advantage