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If you are a business owner and any part of your business (if not all of it) is carried out online, you have probably heard of Search Engine Marketing or SEO. SEO is the practice of optimising websites and web content using research-based keywords and various techniques to get your online web pages on the front page of the major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

But if you’re running a small business, what does this all mean to you? We’ll try to answer this very important question by going through a few reasons why you may want SEO, and explain how beneficial is SEO for small business.

1. SEO is all about optimising reach. The old adage “build it and they will come” isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems. Any business can only go as far as it is able to reach customers. For traditional brick and mortar stores, this means foot traffic. For small businesses that want to tap into the vast world of e-commerce, web traffic is critical. SEO allows websites to reach customers who are looking specifically for products or services that the websites offer. If you want people to find your offerings or services online, then SEO is a must.

2. Good SEO is optimised for conversion. Once you’re able to attract customers to your business, you want them to make a purchase or order a service. A strong SEO strategy makes sure that the landing pages you are taking to page 1 of Google are also designed to convert, whether to get customers to add items to their online shopping cart, join your mailing list, or peruse other products or services that they may be interested in.

3. SEO improves brand awareness. Ideally, you don’t want your customers to just make single transactions. Your small business could be the big fish in the pond, whether through competitive rates or products and services that aren’t available anywhere else. The best way to communicate this in a way that people will understand is through branding, and SEO is a great tool for increasing brand awareness. Appearing on the front page of search engines for as many keywords as possible lets potential customers get a better idea of your complete value proposition and what your small business is as a brand.

4. SEO provides insight into your customers. You may have an idea of your target demographic, but in the wild web, you never know who’s coming to your website and which ones are looking to buy. This can change through SEO. Competent search engine optimization records, tracks, and relies on a lot of metrics – perhaps the most important being ROI, but there is also other data such as which landing pages are performing well and who’s visiting the website and making purchases.

Understanding who your customers are will not only help you design your website to convert better, it also bleeds into your overall strategy. You may offer new products or design new service packages based on customer data; you can also remove underperforming items on your web store, adjust prices, create promos, and many more.

The possibilities are endless with SEO, even for small businesses. There are many other reasons why you may want to be proactive about your website’s SEO hygiene and search engine presence. If you’re still unsure about how beneficial is SEO for your small business, then feel free to contact us at Reach Local and we’ll be happy to discuss with you all the options you can avail of. It is never too late, and there is no business that is too small for SEO in this increasingly connected and online world.

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