Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website on organic search engine result pages , by incorporating search engine friendly elements into a website. A successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully select, relevant, keywords which the on-page optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms. Search engine optimization is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization. On-page optimization refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images. Off-page optimization refers, predominantly, to backlinks.
Benefits of SEO for small businesses
Create a better and more user friendly website
For starters, SEO will help you create a better, faster and friendlier website for users. Despite the name, search engine optimization is not only about search engines but the focus is on the user. When your users are happy, search engines are happy as well.
Find new customers and assist growth
If you think about it, one of the main reasons you have a website is to increase and differentiate your customer base. It is a fact that businesses that have a website grow twice as fast as businesses that don’t have a website.
SEO will help you gain better rankings in search engine result pages and this translates to more targeted visits and essentially to more customers.
Explore new markets
The web is definitely one of fastest growing markets in World economy but it is not the only one. A successful SEO will help you find new markets and explore new economies. Social media platforms and mobile marketplaces can take your traffic levels to a whole new stage by boosting your SEO performance.
Achieve better conversion rates
An SEO optimized website is fast, easy to use and compatible with mobile and tablet devices. This also translates to better conversions i.e. visitors coming to your website are more likely to become customers, subscribers or loyal visitors.
Build brand awareness through better rankings
One of the hidden advantages of ranking in the top positions of the SERPs is brand awareness. Users are more likely to trust a brand when it appears in the first places when they search for a term rather than brands that don’t have a good web presence.
Small businesses that need to build brand awareness (either for local purposes or for expanding nationally) need to invest in SEO and gain top positions for the terms related to their business. This is not the 90’s anymore and search engines play a very important role in building or destroying a brand.
Build a dedicated fan base via newsletter
A good SEO approach means more traffic and a great way to build a dedicated fan base through RSS feeds and newsletter. These two services existed before social media and they are still very important sources of traffic. In fact many successful bloggers claim that most of their money comes from their email lists and not from social media or other medium.
So, even if you are working on your social media marketing it is necessary to make it easy for your users to subscribe to your feed and newsletter. What happens in many cases is that websites do have a newsletter box, people enter their emails to subscribe but the website never sends a newsletter out.
Stay in-synch with latest developments
The search engine industry is one of the fastest changing industries in the World. Rules and practices change all the time and if you can stay in-synch with the latest developments then it’s for your benefit.
Imagine two businesses in the same niche, selling similar products at similar prices. One of them has a search engine optimized website and the other one has a non-optimized web presence. Other things being equal, which company do you think is more successful? Which company will gain more customers from local SEO and which company is likely to grow faster?
Open your business 24×7
A business that gets organic traffic is like it is open for 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. That’s the magic of the Internet and SEO. Invest time and money to get your website on top of the SERPs and gain new customers while your business is closed!
SEO is good for social media
A webpage with high rankings will also gain more social media exposure. The relationship between SEO and social media is by-directional. Social media popularity is good for SEO purposes and SEO brings more social media visibility. In simple words, searches are more likely to LIKE / Tweet / +1 a page when it is found in the first positions of the search engine results than a page that does not have good rankings.