One of the biggest challenges small businesses are faced with is attracting qualified leads that convert into sales. Lack of a strategic marketing plan, small budgets, and dependence solely on word of mouth are some of the reasons that small businesses are constantly in search of leads. In a survey conducted by Brightwalk, it was revealed that 75% of small businesses believe Internet marketing is effective at attracting customers. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has consistently been listed as one of the top marketing strategies businesses use to grow their business. If you still need convincing, here are four SEO benefits that can help your business grow:
Once your website is optimized to show up at the top of the search engines, you have a 24/7 advertisement. This allows you to reach your target audience, day or night, weekday or weekend, when they are searching for your services. Imagine, checking your inbox and watching leads roll in any time of the day, any day of the week. With this type of exposure, your main priority is getting the job done.
Build Trust & Credibility
The ability for someone to Google your business services and find you online goes a long way to building trust and credibility. The mere fact that you’re able to show up online in an online search legitimizes your business and strengthens your brand, making your company more recognizable. Psychologically, your target audience has an expectation that successful companies can be found online, giving your company an instant competitive advantage.
Reach Prospects Who Are Ready to Buy
Consumers searching online for businesses like yours have already identified the need for your services and are simply looking for the right provider. Optimizing your website to show up in online searches allows you to reach prospects who are ready to buy. Unlike broadcast media, where you have to convince consumers that they need your products/services, SEO puts you in front of people who already know they need your products/services.
Higher Return on Investment
Another great SEO benefit is that it is relatively affordable, allowing every type of business, from mom and pop shops, entrepreneurs and small businesses to have access to the same marketing tactic that Fortune 500 companies use. Whether you have a small budget or no budget, you can implement SEO, either by outsourcing it or doing it yourself. SEO leads tend to close 14.6% of the time, compared to other lead generation tactics such as direct mail or print advertising which has a close rate of 1.7%.
SEO Provides Increased Brand Awareness
When someone searches for your product or service and you appear at the top of the search engine results page, not only does it boost your credibility, it also increases your brand awareness. Increasing your brand awareness helps you to be known in your industry. When your brand is well known, it makes it easier for people to do business with you, whether as a new client or getting press coverage. You’re the one that people think of first. Brand awareness helps influence choice, causing prospects to ignore your competition and come straight to you, because they know what they can expect, whether it’s your content, your product or your services.
A Proven Marketing Strategy
If you have been up at night wondering how you will get the phone to ring, thinking about ways to generate leads, SEO may be the answer for you. SEO is a proven and tested marketing strategy when done correctly. I have seen it work time and time again in my business as well as my clients’ businesses by helping them generate leads, increase their revenue and grow their business as a result of the exposure they get from a solid, well executed SEO strategy. Furthermore, in a 2015 State of Small Business Report, SEO was listed as one of the top marketing tools small business use.