Unusual times shouldn’t spell the end for small businesses. Even the pandemic shouldn’t dissuade small business owners from pursuing digital marketing.

If your business isn’t on the internet yet, there is a good chance that your competition is taking a generous portion of the market without you knowing it. Search engine optimization will give your business an edge over your competition. Here’s how.

Effective SEO is Cost-Effective

Good SEO that uses industry best practices and not shady tactics will pay for itself in the long-term. There is no substitute for being highly visible when a customer types your main keyword/s. SEO is highly viable, and if you can implement the right changes site-wide, you will see results.

The results of SEO are also measurable, and you have analytics and data on your side. If something isn’t working, you can start a process that can help you identify what’s going on. SEO is not primarily about pleasing search engines. Strategies that bring the most satisfaction to users can be considered as SEO best practices.

This value is especially true in 2021 because Google and all the other search engines want to make every search super relevant and useful to people. Google has provided the basic blueprint for a successful website: provide relevant content on a site that runs efficiently on all devices, and you can have a winning business this 2021.

 SEO Builds Better Visibility and Branding

Visibility is everything on the internet. You can build your business all you want, but if your customers don’t know your business exists, they won’t come to you.

It’s no longer enough to have the goods – you have to sell them to your target audience and make the experience pleasant for them, too.

Any business can provide a better page experience and customer experience (CX) through the following steps:

  1.   Pay closer attention to how site design affects users.
  2.   Optimize on-page and off-page.
  3.   Follow the best practices in digital marketing.
  4.   Apply Google webmaster guidelines when posting content, designing your site, and implementing advertising.
  5.   Provide relevant and useful content that your audience needs.
  6.   Being a problem solver for your customers, so they’d come back to your site and share it with their networks.
  7.   Offer personalized experiences while customers interact with your site.

Customer experience is number one. Nothing beats friction-less transactions, easy-to-use sites that work best on mobile, and with highly functional navigation.

If your site can provide these things, customer experience and customer trust will steadily rise and even swell if you know how to provide the best experience compared to your competitors.

 Generate More Traffic – Organically

Generating enough traffic to make a business sustainable is the number one problem of newly established small businesses. Whether you’re selling vegan lunchboxes or teak furniture, it’s organic traffic that makes it easier for the business to pull through.

Combining the sound principles of SEO and professional copywriting will greatly improve your site’s visibility. Here’s an essential checklist to get you started on great content for your site:

  1.   Perform some keyword research first and then identify your ideal audience. Your ideal audience represents potential customers who are ready to buy from your site.

It’s still a good idea, however, to get the attention of people interested in buying in the future too, but the main focus of content efforts are the ones who are ready to buy.

  1.   Brainstorm to create the foundation of your site’s content. Foundation or pillar articles are comprehensive and usually longer than your average content.

These pillar articles establish the network of topics that will ‘grow’ in your blog as you generate more content. Think of the process as creating a tree of knowledge. A blog can have any number of pillar articles.

  1.   Once the pillar articles are set, it’s time to widen the net. You can now start creating more content derived from specific topics mentioned in the pillar articles. Your content becomes more specific in scope, and you can use this content to truly pull in more readers and make them want to read more from your site.
  2.   Don’t forget to make your content useful. A good benchmark would be to ask others to read your content first and get feedback from people. You can always adjust the writing as you go along.
  3.   Aim to create evergreen articles. Evergreen articles will always be relevant, and no matter how the content ages, the writing will continue to be relevant to your audience.

 Good SEO is Local SEO

We cannot emphasize this enough: local marketing is essential to small businesses. Your site needs to be where your customers are (virtually, that is). Remember to bulk up on your local citations on different sites, and all the backlinks you are getting should at least be relevant to what your business is about.

For example, if your business is kitchen remodeling in New York, backlinks about remodeling or DIY that are tagged “Florida” don’t make sense. Local business directories and similar sites are a boon to small businesses because they allow for almost instant surfacing on various search engines, not just Google.

A word of caution on business directories: search engines do not favor all business directories. Search engines have long struck off link farms and private blog networks. If you feel that you have submitted to a more spam site than useful, it’s best to pull your site out as the listing can hurt your site’s trust rating.

Don’t submit to every business directory that you can find. Examine how current the site is, especially the design. Old directories that seem to have last been modified in 2010 are bad news.

And finally, don’t forget to perform reputation management. Should anyone complain about your business online or reviews it badly, you should be there quickly to put out the fire and resolve any conflicts or complaints. Google scores businesses/sites based on online customer reviews, and if you have too many unresolved complaints, those complaints will reduce the trust rating of your business.