Running a small business is no mean feat. It comes with many challenges but few as big as finding new clients. Like most small business owners, you probably rely on leads from your existing clients. It’s surely a sustainable way to grow, however, there is another useful avenue that can get your phone ringing frequently – SEO.
SEO can help you get highly relevant visits to your website and map pack listing. You get seen by the people who are looking for the exact services you offer which increases the probability for them to contact you.
There are many advantages of SEO for a small business website. We’ll discuss them all in this blog post.
Here are 10 benefits of SEO for small businesses:
1. It gets your business in front of potential clients.
Google is the go-to place for anyone looking for anything. It makes it the perfect place for people who are looking for the services you provide to find you. So what happens when people think you are a potential business that can do the job for them? They visit your website to learn more about you, or even better – call you.
You need to get your SEO right for people to see your small business website. For example, if you are a property lawyer in Houston, you want to appear at the top of Google search results when people search for property lawyer Houston. Or if you are a real estate agency in Chicago, you must rank at the top for commercial real estate agency chicago. Kiser Group is killing it right now – are you?
Links that feature at the top of Google search results get 33% of all clicks – 33 out of every 100 people looking for the exact services you provide will visit your digital assets. That’s what SEO does for you.
2. Sets you apart from your immediate competition
Standing out in a competitive market can help you scale faster and get new and repeat clients consistently. SEO and local SEO can help you build a brand image that works for you.
Getting SEO right means keeping your website and map pack visitors engaged. When you share valuable information and establish yourself as a thought leader, you attract more eyeballs organically.
Local SEO helps you elevate to the top of the map pack listings – it brings your business forth to the potential clients in your vicinity. Further, you can set up events, make announcements, and conduct many activities that make you look like a more hands-on, a more involved business.
For example, suppose Amelia and Olivia are Zumba trainers in Denver. Amelia has a Google business profile where she announces her free trials, shares photos consistently, and identifies her business as women-led. Olivia too has a profile but that exists just for easy sharing with potential clients. Who would get more traction? Amelia would, because she has used local SEO to her advantage.
And even if your business is non-artsy, you can use many features of the Google Business Profile to stand out from competition. For example, finance consultants might host free webinars on Saturday and announce that on their profile, tour organizers can announce discounts, etc.
3. Gets your phone ringing with new client calls
About 60% of all Google searches are registered through mobile devices. This has compelled Google to come up with features that support mobile users. Once they discover your business, they have an option to find directions to your physical store, place an order directly, or call your mobile phone.
This means, you no longer need to follow-up with new clients, they will initiate the conversation. Assume that a plumber in Louisville, for example, will get a lot more calls from people with leaking pipes in his vicinity if he has a Google business profile. People will see his listing when they search ‘plumber near me’ or ‘plumbing services in louisville’.
4. Costs lesser than paid advertising
One of the key seo benefits for small business is that it costs less than paid advertising. Even though SEO is not free and takes time to show results, it is more stable than advertisements and generates better quality of traffic.
As per recent studies, only 2.5% searches result in clicking on a paid listing and almost 70% clicks are on an organic listing, increasingly fewer people want to click on Ads. This means, you must invest more in getting organic listings than paid Ads.
The difference in the cost for both is more prominent in the long run – SEO generates higher RoI.
5. Opens up alternate sources of income
SEO for your small business is all about getting relevant traffic to your website. This is usually done through blogging.
For example, if you were a recruiting agency, you might write blog posts on topics related to hiring. An article on hiring best practices for startups might get startup owners to your website and eventually become your customer.
But blog posts do more than that. They let you post advertisements, sell affiliate products, and so much more! There are so many ways to monetize a blog that you’re limited only by imagination.
What this means is, even when the business is slow and your services are not selling, you still have some way to make money from your website.
6. Guards you against recession
Recession takes away the ability to spend. Everyone is cutting costs and your clients may want to discontinue the service you provide or move to a provider who charges lesser. You may have to offer discounts or let clients go.
With SEO, however, your small business is constantly in front of a potential audience. You will always get calls and enquiries, and will eventually find a replacement of clients who discontinue your services during recession.
Further, since your website offers multiple ways of monetization, you will have consistent income even if your services don’t sell at the moment. This is useful because recession also impacts your internal functions. If you don’t get clients, you may have to cut costs yourself but you can have your website stretch your resources for longer.
7. Builds trust in potential clients
When people look something up on Google and see a website ranking consistently at the top for many related search terms, they subconsciously assume that the website is of good quality and thus gets featured by Google so often.
This builds trust in your brand. The proclivity of people clicking on your listing increases manyfold when they trust you and so does the probability of them turning into clients.
SEO may even result in people looking up your small business name on Google. Suppose you own a tiling small business named Garrett’s tiling solutions, when people search for how to fix tiles in the kitchen, best non-slip tiles for bathroom, etc. and see you listed at the top often, they will check out your content because it’s helpful.
They would learn that you offer tiling services and the next time they want to change their tiles, they will type Garrett’s tiling into the Google search bar and find you. At that stage, your competition doesn’t exist! SEO can help you get you there.
Increased brand awareness and trust in clients is the biggest advantage of SEO for small businesses.
8. Works even when you are asleep
Google is up 24×7, which means your business is live all day! With your Google business profile, you can set your work timings and be strict with them without losing out on business.
Your clients can send you messages right on your profile for you to read them the next day and content the sender.
This is also applicable on your website. You can set up a form to capture the email and phone number of visitors and reach out to them at your convenience. You would miss out on a lot of leads if you don’t have a well optimized website for your small business.
9. Helps you generate reviews
Social proofing is an important factor when it comes to selling services. People want to see what experience others had while availing your services. If the reviews are positive, the probability of potential clients reaching out to your or placing an order shoots up.
With SEO, you get a free Google business profile where your clients can post reviews. You can ask happy clients to do that as the probability of them giving you a 5-star rating would be higher than a grumpy unsatisfied client.
As your reviews pile up, you rank better on the map pack and the virtuous cycle continues!
10. It is measurable
One of the biggest advantages of SEO is that it is measurable. By using free tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Business Profile, you can track how your digital assets perform.
Often, you can also identify how the content you produce performs and map your efforts to RoI. This means, you will know what efforts didn’t work for you and you can identify which ones did and do more of that.
Getting SEO right can be a big competitive advantage for your small business. From saving acquisition costs to increasing your revenue, SEO helps at every stage of optimizing your RoI.
It also helps you get new clients consistently so you don’t always rely on repeat business. SEO can be advantageous for small businesses who plan on scaling too.