Quality SEO helps small businesses attract new customers

Although many small-business owners have been slow to adapt to Internet marketing methods, employing a search engine optimization strategy can provide them a number of benefits. Attract new customers turn to online channels to find information about products and services, small businesses need to drive traffic to their websites.

According to an infographic from Levelwing, 91 percent of adults use search engines to find information on the Web, so companies that aren’t taking advantage of SEO could be missing out. When searching, 86 percent of people learned something new. In 2012, 29 percent of searchers found what they were looking for on their first try, compared to 17 percent in 2004. The wide acceptance of search engines means more people are utilizing this source to find business information.

How can small businesses improve SEO on a tight budget?

Many small-business owners avoid adding to their SEO strategies because they have limited marketing budgets, but there are a number of ways companies can boost their online visibility to increase website traffic. It is impossible to maintain an Internet presence without a good website, and many small businesses are falling behind when it comes to this important step.

Social media can help potential customers find a small business. Having active profiles on several networks increases visibility and sends positive signals to search engines, making a company’s website appear higher in results. These platforms can be a significant source of traffic to a firm’s website, Business 2 Community stated.

All online channels should be connected to make a small business more visible. The website should have integrated share buttons and social profiles should link back to the site. An integrated online presence can support SEO for better results.

Why small businesses should invest in SEO

Google continuously changes its algorithms, and small businesses that aren’t prepared for these changes have been the most affected, according to an article in Search Engine Watch. Even if companies were employing an SEO strategy, the same techniques that worked in 2008 are no longer relevant, and companies can be penalized in search results for not adhering to Google’s guidelines. Some companies are seeing less traffic on their websites because of Google’s most recent update, indicating that small businesses may need to change their approach.

The algorithm now places greater emphasis on quality of websites in its rankings, so tactics like excessive bookmarks, paid links and duplicate content will hurt results in the long run. This means some small businesses may need website updates as well as an upgrade to their SEO strategies. While many companies are reluctant to switch to Internet marketing, it can be more expensive to recover from bad SEO practices than to invest in a modern website and search engine marketing.

SEO is becoming critical for all forms of marketing, and many companies are missing valuable opportunities to generate more leads and attract new customers. Compared to traditional marketing activities, such as television and radio, SEO has a higher return on investment, Search Engine Watch said. The cost-per-lead for SEO is advantageous for small businesses, and since Google is placing more focus on quality rather than the number of links, it’s becoming more important to conduct SEO properly. Integrated marketing strategies can make the biggest difference for small businesses.

Local companies can establish a cost-effective advantage through Internet marketing by partnering with an SEO provider. Since outdated SEO techniques can hurt results with the updates to Google’s algorithm, small businesses can benefit from partnering with experts.