If you haven't given much thought to search engine optimization (SEO), now is the time to start. However, maybe you don’t understand how SEO helps small businesses grow. With that in mind, here's what small businesses need to know about SEO and growth.
What SEO Means to a Company's Reputation
In the past, a company's reputation was primarily based on traditional advertising and word of mouth. However, times have changed. Currently, business owners everywhere are realizing the importance of SEO for their respective companies. Search engine optimization carries more weight for a company than you might think. Without proper SEO, it's difficult for anyone to find your company's website. If people aren't seeing your site appear in search results, it's difficult to build any type of reputation. It's also difficult to compete with other local businesses who are using SEO as part of their marketing strategies.
Another area of importance for companies is customer reviews. It's easier than ever for customers to leave a quick review of a company. You've likely seen businesses assigned star ratings after you’ve performed a local search. These reviews and ratings help a customer determine which company to do business with. That being said, customers need to find your website or listing to leave a review. Without being able to see reviews, customers stay in the dark concerning your company's reputation.
You must also remember that a website is an extension of your company. In certain situations, seeing a company's website provides the first impression of this business to others. Considering that, it's vital that your company's first impression is a good one. Research gathered from the University of Surrey found that 75 percent of user judgments are based on a website's design. Neglecting the importance of SEO will likely have an adverse effect on your company's website. If you have a poorly designed site, it reflects on the reputation of your company.
How Increasing Rankings in Google Increases Company Growth
As your website's ranking increases, you're likely to start obtaining more web traffic or visitors. Therefore, effective SEO is a great way to bring new customers to your company. Advanced Web Ranking reports that nearly 71 percent of search engine users will only view the first page of results. If your website isn't on the first page of search engine results, you're likely missing out on a large number of customers. As your company rises to the first page of search engines, this same 71 percent of people are viewing your company's website. These customers could become some of your brand's biggest advocates.
It's important to remember that reviews influence reputation and SEO. When your company receives lots of reviews, it shows customers that your business is popular. In addition, studies have found that 13 percent of a website's ability to rank well in search engines is based on customer reviews. Considering that, your rankings are likely to increase as your business obtains feedback from customers. As you can see, acquiring reviews boosts both the ranking and reputation of your company.
Companies spend large amounts of money to increase the reach of their brand. You don't need a huge advertising budget to raise brand awareness. By utilizing proper SEO practices, you can extend the reach of your company. After obtaining higher rankings, more people will see your company in search engine results.
It's important to realize how SEO and growth are linked together. Without an SEO strategy, it's difficult for companies to reach a large audience. However, utilizing SEO best practices helps ensure your website ranks well in search engines. That enables small businesses to obtain more customers, reviews, and exposure.
If you need to rank higher and are struggling to make your website work for you, then get a free website audit today to see how we can help!