Your online presence impacts the success of your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a big part in the process. You can do a lot on your own to OPTIMIZE your site. Check out my slides from the talk at the Harrisburg WordPress MeetUp about SEO: SEO Past Yoast
Mickey Welser is my business partner and an SEO Wizzard! Here’s what she has to say about SEO and what real professionals can do for you.
Why should a small business owner be concerned about search engine optimization (SEO)?
There are many reasons. Here are just two:
- Because you want to provide search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo critical information so they will place your site in a favorable place in their search results.
- Because you want to provide visitors to your website with a fantastic user experience. That means visitors can actually FIND what they are looking for and what you told search engines they could find.
But here are some reasons to you should consider an SEO expert to help you structure your online presence to reach its potential.
The job of a search engine is to take the information typed in by the user and locate the most relevant websites using those keywords. Simply put, if you are not engaging in SEO – the other guy is!
By investing in search engine marketing, you are staying competitive with those other guys while giving your brand name exposure 24 hours, 7 days a week – even while you sleep.
Let’s take a look at what a good SEO service can do for you while you take a snooze…
Optimal User Experience
SEO is ultimately about providing the user with the friendliest, fastest, best experience possible. A search engine wants to provide the user with what they are looking for, and when it can do that, both parties are happy. A happy visitor will become a returning visitor, or give you a better chance at converting the visitor to a buyer.
People unconsciously trust search engine results.
If Google places 123 Awnings in the top spot of a search, then it must have earned that place and it must be good. User then tells all his or her friends on Facebook that they are going to see the awnings that will reduce the UV rays. That user tells friends how awnings help prevent skin cancer, leaving the link for them to click as well.
The laws of multiplication can work pretty fast, and before you know it, a group of people with sensitive skin are showing up at 123’s showroom or calling. Why? Because the search engine matched everything perfectly, and it all pointed to 123Awning’s site.
Optimal Potential for Conversion
Internet marketing, including SEO, attracts people who are already looking for your product or service.
You don’t have to scream, dance, or wear cool clothes to gain an audience; they are already convinced of their need which is why they went searching in the first place. They were looking for you and you showed up right on time!
You still have to convince them that you are the better company to purchase from, but half the battle is over.
Once they come to your website, if you have invested the same tedious work to optimize the user’s experience with you by providing the content they seek, then you are well on your way to gaining a new customer.
Optimal Exposure for Brand Awareness
We said before: people unconsciously trust search engine results. The viewer may not call or run to your showroom right away. But they do use bookmarks, Pinterest, and Evernote. They go clicking around the world numerous times before making a final decision.
If your website is employing SEO services, you increase the number of times your company name pops up during their search? What if your company came up 3 of the 5 times they searched for that desired product? Next thing you know, they have clicked through to your website.
Optimal Insight into Your Customers
If your website is properly optimized, it will increase your search engine visibility, usability, and credibility, all of which increase traffic to your site. Your SEO professional will be using Google Analytics to can track valuable information about your visitors.
Find out what browser they use, what key words (this information is not as readily available due to privacy policies), the technology they use, their geographical location, the days and times they are most active, how much time they spent on a page…on and on.
This information will help to discover your target market, hone your advertising, and determine strategies based on facts rather than just educated guesses. The better you know your customers, the better product or service you can provide, the higher the ROI.
Search engine optimization is no longer an option for businesses that want to be competitive and grow. But it is only one piece of the puzzle.
If your website does not contain viable content, then no matter how much money or time you spend on SEO, it is wasted.
Content will always be king. But when used in conjunction with other important marketing tools, SEO will provide visibility, traffic, credibility, branding and help you gain valuable insight into customer behavior.