Small businesses will often come across articles about the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but if you don’t sell online, then you might think that this doesn’t apply to you. However, with the internet becoming a bigger and bigger part of everyone’s lives, the lines between on and offline are becoming blurred, which means you should still think about your web presence.
Here are some reasons why SEO is important to your business, even if you’re running a small, local firm.
- People research online and buy offline
Not everyone who searches for products clicks the ‘add to basket’ button. It’s quite common for people to do an online search before they buy something in a store, with around $5 spend offline for every dollar spent online after doing some online research. This can vary from reading reviews to looking up technical details or finding the best price locally. In these situations, SEO is important, as you want local people to come across your store first.
- SEO helps boost your brand
If you’re looking for a certain product or service, your first port of call is often a Google search. Rightly or wrongly, you’re more likely to trust the companies at the top of this search, so SEO can help boost your company’s profile offline. It’s important to work with an agency such as SERPs who can explain the differences between local and national SEO, allowing you to make an impact in the areas you need to target.
- You need to attract people searching ‘near me’
Nearly 90% of people search Google using the term ‘near me’, which means they’re looking for a specific business in their local area. For example, they may search for ‘hairdressers near me’ or ‘grocery stores near me’ because they’re new to town, visiting an unfamiliar area, or just want to try something different to their usual destination. These searches are valuable because there’s a high chance that the people making them will visit the physical location for a product or service, so ideally, you want to be at the top. You can make this more likely by:
- Register with Google My Business
- Ensure you use local keywords on your website
- Ensure all your sites have the right address, phone number and opening times
- Get reviews – they don’t have to all be 5-star, in fact, people trust mixed reviews more
This will ensure that when people look on a map for your business, you’re as close to the top as possible.
- It’s not expensive
Compared to traditional methods of advertising and marketing such as print advertising, SEO is fairly cheap. When you compare the cost of each customer who comes through your door due to an internet search, versus one you’ve targeted via a flyer, you’ll no doubt find it’s cheaper to get customers through online channels.
SEO is important to any modern business, no matter how large or small or what they’re offering. Luckily, for local businesses, it’s fairly easy and inexpensive, yet it can open up your market and possibilities.