When Melissa, the owner of a beautiful gift store in the town square, noticed a decline in her business, she grew frustrated. She had a great location near the highway and made a healthy investment in online marketing. Although she regularly updated her website and blog with discount offers, she rarely noticed new customers. What was going on?
While over 90 percent of small businesses plan to increase their digital marketing investment only about a third of these companies have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. If you are a small business owner not using SEO content to your advantage, you are not making the most of your online marketing investment.
To stay relevant in today’s competitive marketplace, a strategic SEO program is no longer an option – it’s a virtual necessity. Here’s why.
What is SEO?
SEO includes commonly searched keywords that customers use in online directories like Google, Bing and Yelp when looking for a business. When you add these keywords to your website content, search engines take notice and your business ranking increases making it easier for customers to find you.
To determine what keywords are best for your business and industry, begin by researching content on your competitors’ websites. For example, if you are a florist, you may see other businesses using terms like “best place for roses” or “affordable floral arrangements.” These are common terms that customers would use in a search directory when looking for your business.
To make things easy for you, Web.com offers Simple SEO, a tool that generates a list of suggested prioritized actions to improve your SEO. Answer a few quick questions and you will receive an action list within 24 to 48 hours. Designed to fit your small business budget, Simple SEO is affordably bundled with the resources included in the Web.com “Marketing” website builder package.
By implementing an SEO plan, your business builds credibility with customers and online search engines. Think of search engines as credit bureaus – you did not build your credit score overnight and building online credibility takes consistent effort as well. Implementing an SEO strategy helps you create and maintain a positive online ranking.
Once you have enhanced your online presence, it is important to monitor and refine your strategy as necessary to maintain your online search rankings. Much like a credit score, your online presence and reputation require your ongoing focus and attention to ensure your business has a positive image with customers and prospects.
Putting an SEO plan into action gives your business a strong online presence and:
Attracts more customers to your website.
93 percent of all online experiences begin with an online search. An SEO program makes it easy for customers to find your website, learn more about your products and services and builds stronger connections with your brand.
Keeps your business competitive.
A strong online presence helps you gain an instant competitive edge on the over 40 percent of small businesses that still do not have a website. A consistent SEO strategy ranks your business higher in online directories so buyers find your business first instead of the competition. It also keeps your business relevant and gives you the same online advantages as your largest competitors.
Builds brand awareness.
Implementing a strong SEO plan will capture the attention of customers who are actively seeking your products and services. It also positions you as an industry thought leader and conveys the unique value proposition (UVP) that only your brand offers.
Enhances your in-store and online revenue.
ver 50 percent of businesses say SEO generates more customer leads than any other marketing initiative. An SEO program helps customers quickly learn more about your products and services and encourages them to make a purchase. It also makes it easy for them to buy, enhances your sales conversion rates and increases your online revenue with eCommerce options.
When you implement an SEO strategy as part of your approach to online marketing, you’ll find it easier to attract new customers, retain existing ones and enhance your revenue. After partnering with over 3 million small businesses, Web.com is here to help you make it happen with tips for creating an SEO strategy and expert support every step of the way.
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