As a small business or startup looking to gain traction, you know you need some internet exposure. But between refilling the coffeemaker, answering support calls, and improving your product, you haven’t figured out where to start.
You want to get more people gabbing (and buying!), but don’t know how.
- Should I hire a PR firm in the hopes that the Wall Street Journal will do a spotlight on us?
- Should I tweet 3x per day with tons of hashtags that are relevant to my audience?
- Should I go to every trade show I can find and set up a booth to sell my stuff?
Cast your wonderings aside and focus on growing your business with SEO. It’s the best way to grow online – no doubts. You’ll get more organic traffic from a relevant audience, more visibility as a brand, and, of course, more people buying your products and services.
It doesn’t matter how small your business is. If you’re a financial consultant in Montgomery, Alabama, you want to come up when people search for “financial consultant Montgomery, AL,” right?
1. People Make 100 Billion Google Searches Each Month
Google sees 100 billion searches each month, which means an average of 3.3 billion searches each day.
This is a ton of traffic. Even the tiniest percent would mean a ton of new visitors to your small business’ website.
With this many people using Google to search for a local plumber, a new restaurant to try, or advice on starting a business, you’d be a fool to watch from the sidelines.
2. SEO Traffic and Sign ups are (Pretty Much) Free
When you start a sponsored campaign (that means you pay for it) on networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or elsewhere, you’re a slave to your bank account. When the money runs out, so does your exposure.
Fortunately, organic traffic from search results is free. Sure, you have to pay an SEO specialist (or agency) to optimize your site and a writer like me to provide you with content, but these costs are up-front. A great piece of content can drive search results over long periods of time.
Once your site is running smooth, filled to the brim with informative, readable, and useful content, then the traffic will come pouring in. Those resources can last on your site for a long time, speaking to your target audience long after they’re published.
(That doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. Google and other search engines are always changing their algorithms. Google LOVES fresh, recent content).
3. You Can Become an Authority via Hyper-targeted Content
One of the best ways to prove your chops is to come across as an authority. If everyone on the web thinks you have the absolute best content for your industry, then they’ll send people to you. Not only will your content speak to these readers, but they’ll trust you. When it’s time to jump in and buy your product, they’ll come calling..
4. Increasing Customer Engagement and Relationship Building
Think creating content is just for search engines? Think again. The reason that companies put out content (and, in turn, increase visibility in search results) is ultimately to help, entice, and charm their prospective and current customers.
So, by putting out great content, you’re going to build a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to the same things.
5. It Lasts a Helluva Lot Longer than an Ad Campaign
Ad campaigns are great for exposing your business to a new audience– I’m not knocking them– but they only last so long. If you promote a tweet, it can suck your money down the drain. It’s the same with Pay-Per-Click ads on Google.
Plus, ads see substantially less clicks than organic results. These results are clicked by a margin of 94%. That means a searcher will click a natural result 94% of the time, and an ad only 6 percent. Pretty dismal, right?
All in all, you’re better off dedicating your efforts to SEO than funneling all your money towards ad campaigns.
The More Visibility, The More Clicks, The More Links…
The more visibility you have online, the better your business will do. If you want to grow, you want more clicks and more links. There are a ton of factors that will help you rank at the tippity top of a search result– links from other sites, a fast and responsive site of your own, healthy social media sharing– but it starts with an understanding that SEO is the ticket to growth.
Search isn’t going anywhere, so jump on the train. Grow your business with SEO.