Every website — regardless if they sell anything online — needs some degree of SEO to comply with search engine quality guidelines and meet ranking factors. By focusing on semantics and the users' search intent, you can deliver accurate results with high-quality content. By utilizing structured data and schema markup, you can help search engines to better understand your website.
SEO Is Important For Every Small Business
How do your potential customers find your business on search engines like Google and Bing?
Of course, they can perform an exact match search for your business name and easily come across your website. However, this only happens if the user is already aware of your brand.
Will customers find you just by searching for a specific problem that's relevant to your products or services?
This depends on many factors, such as:
- Website structure
- Content relevancy
- Competing websites
- Page load speed
- User experience
Wouldn't it be nice if your name was listed at the top of the results pages every time a user searched for a topic, product, or service relevant to your business?
I bet that would drive more quality leads to your website and result in higher conversion rates.This is where SEO comes in!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website to make a positive and noticeable impact on user experience and performance within organic search results.
By strategically targeting long-tail keywords, providing high-quality content that is accurate, and delivering the information in a format expected by the user — you can greatly increase the ranking position of any page on your website.
Your Business Can Benefit from Organic SEO and Local SEO
At its core, SEO can be broken down into two types, organic and local.
Both approaches share similar techniques to optimize your website, but the purpose of each is different.
Organic SEO focuses on ranking for keywords related to the content you provide on your website.
Local SEO focuses on a geographical component to help rank your business within targeted locations.
Benefits of Organic SEO
More than likely, you've made plenty of search queries on Google and scanned through the results. At the top of the page, you see the paid ads followed by a list of links. These links are organic search results.
Generally, the answer to your search query can be found within the first page. This gives you no reason to check the second, third or even fourth page of results.
Just within your own experience, you can see the importance of where a website ranks.
How does Google know which website to rank first? No one except Google really knows how their algorithm works, especially since it's constantly being updated.
However, we do know this:
- Short, broad keywords such as "plumbing" are highly competitive and harder to rank since they are dominated by major websites
- Long-tail keywords such as "How to vent plumbing in a house" are less competitive and easier to rank for
By strategically targeting these long-tail keywords and providing your knowledge and expertise on the subject, you can show Google that your website provides the most helpful information.This is Organic SEO.
Your business can utilize it to boost your rankings and get better placement among your competitors.
Benefits of Local SEO
These days, just about everyone has a smartphone.
When traveling around or just staying in town, it certainly comes in handy answering questions like, "Where should I eat?" or "What should we do today?"
Exploring Google will show you local restaurants, local parks and local events happening today.
Google has also become a life-saver in certain emergency situations, like a basement flood in the middle of the night!
A simple search for "Emergency plumbers open 24 hours" will quickly connect you to local plumbers open late.
What if search queries like, "plumbers near me" or "roofers in plymouth ma" listed all of your competitors on the first page and your business was pushed back to the second or third?
Chances are you would lose leads online and miss opportunities.The solution is Local SEO.
Localizing your website, optimizing your Google My Business account and properly managing your customer reviews and citations is all part of the Local SEO strategy.
Combining Organic SEO and Local SEO to Boost Your Business
The ultimate goal is to scale discoverability.
Your most valuable asset to ranking on search engines is the ability to get into the mind of your customers and understand:
- What they search (questions, comparisons, propositions)
- How they search (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, desktop)
- Circumstances in which they search (emergencies, traveling, walking)
The better you get at dialing in what your customers search at any given moment will open vast opportunities for you to create content, answer common questions and become a trusted source within your industry.
The more you localize your online presence based on the areas you service, the more likely your business will be displayed for local intent searches.
Everyone wants to rank first, but the work and optimizations must be done to do so.
By combining Organic SEO and Local SEO, you will greatly improve your chances of reaching this goal.
As you can see, local businesses that provide a product or service to their community need SEO just as much as an online e-commerce business.
There are many facets to a successfull, long-term SEO strategy. Understandably, not everyone has the time to implement them.
If you need help ranking your website and optimizing your business through Organic and Local SEO, please feel free to contact me.
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About the author
John Grattan is a one-man digital marketing agency from Plymouth, MA.
John helps small businesses adapt to the latest technologies by personalizing digital marketing strategies —centered on custom, responsive websites — to help generate leads and improve customer experience.