How Do Small and Local Businesses Benefit from Search Engine Optimization
All businesses can greatly increase their web traffic by using search engine optimization (SEO). Doing so will make your business show up in the first page of search engine queries and help your business peak the interest of customers. This typically leads to more revenues.
While big businesses can benefit from SEO, it is small and local firms that benefit the most particularly as they don’t have the marketing budgets that big and more established firms have.
Just how SEO benefits local and small businesses is made more obvious from an example.
When a customer looks for a product or a service they often do a quick web search. Think of a family on vacation in a strange place. They will need to eat and find lodging while in town. This family will likely be aware of the large businesses that are present in the town, such as a Hilton hotel or a McDonald’s, and will understand what options are available at these businesses as well as the relative cost from their experience. The brand name recognition and reputation for these businesses is already well established and widespread.
Small businesses don’t have the same luxury. In some ways this may be an advantage As they don’t have any negative connotation associated with their business. They are operating with a blank slate and the results from a search engine will dictate the perception of the business. Travelers may not want to have their vacation defined by McDonald’s or Hilton and can be looking for an more authentic and local experience. To find the local specialties they will often perform some research on local options for food and lodging and make their choices from what they find in the search results.
The time that people spend researching for products and services is often limited and many people think that the products and services that are popular and show up in the front of web search results are therefore the better products and services that are out there. People generally aren’t willing to invest hours of time to consider every option out there, particularly as there is a lot of misinformation online about every industry and business. As such, they are more likely to purchase from these results and will often not move beyond the first few pages. It is therefore essential for a business wanting to get these customers to buy from them to have their web page and business prominently featured here.
One way to do so is to pay a search engine to display their business on the first few pages by buying keywords or a sponsoring option. Some customers are skeptical of the companies that pay for these ads and many companies simply do not have the resources to pay a search engine for a sponsored page. Doing so can cut significantly into their profit margin and be self defeating. Instead, to get their business more prominently displayed in a search engine’s results they use SEO to get an advantage.
Basically SEO uses the search engine formula for ranking results to a businesses benefit by understanding how they rate websites for display and using this to be displayed more effectively in the web results. There are many tips and tricks used in this process that a business can use to expand its web presence.
SEO can be done internally or with a consultant but the goal is to make your business be more prominently featured in a search engine’s results. For small and local businesses SEO plays a greater role than for large businesses and can make the difference between success and failure.