Running your own business is always a challenge. Startups and small businesses alike are often labors of love that can eat up all of your resources, both physical and financial. Drumming up interest and visibility for your business, and finding a way to stand out in a sea of similar brands, can often be a frustrating experience — not to mention feel like you’re fighting a losing battle!
Yet there are ways to turn the tables on the grind. The key is in understanding how to even the playing field to provide your company with the fair shake it deserves. Today, in a world that revolves around digital marketplaces, one of the most effective methods for successful growth is through your online presence. Here’s why the content on your small business website needs to be geared to attract your target audience — and how to use search engine optimization to do it.
Why SEO is the Way to Go
SEO takes many forms. Its primary purpose, of course, is to increase the visibility of your online content by getting that content to show up more often in web searches. There are as many methods for accomplishing this as there are drops of water in the ocean. While they may all be vastly different, there is one thing they have in common: they work. SEO drives massive amounts of web traffic towards specific targets.
It’s simply a numbers game. Google delivers 74,000 search results every second. Now obviously not even one percent of those searches may be prospective customers looking for the kinds of products and services that you provide, but optimizing the content of your small business site to rank higher than your competition means that when someone does indeed run a search that’s relevant to your business, you’re the first name they see.
Keywords Unlock Success
Prevailing wisdom when it comes to SEO is that guessing matching the keywords prospects will search for with the content of your website will increase your chances of coming out on top. Do you sell cheap sunglasses? Optimize your content to include the phrases that people shopping for sunglasses are looking for. That can be anything from “cheap sunglasses”, “sunglasses for sale”, “buy sunglasses”, or anything similar.
The trick, though, is to make sure you optimize for the right keywords. Identifying the perfect keyword for your business takes some effort. This is why so many small business owners will outsource their keyword optimization to SEO experts that do this kind of thing for a living. That’s not to say that you can’t do it yourself, of course, but with the amount of time and energy you spend running your small business, you might not have anything left over to devote to learning the best SEO approaches and strategies.
Local SEO: the Giant Killer of Optimization Strategies
Speaking of approaches that you can take when it comes to targeted SEO, narrowing them down can be a real challenge. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar business or an e-commerce site, whether you’re selling material goods or you’re providing less tangible services, there are likely half a dozen different demographics you can identify to help narrow down your approach to SEO. Yet the biggest and possibly the most effective one might be right under your nose: your local neighborhood. In fact, out of those 74,000 searches that happen on Google every second, 46 percent of them — almost half — are local searches.
As an optimization strategy, local SEO is almost startlingly effective. It’s especially useful in differentiating your small business if you’re in an already-crowded field. The impact of local SEO can increase visibility in ways you might not even be aware were possible, such as how NoStop SEO experts can make a small business in Miami — one of the most saturated markets in the United States — stand out and shine like a star.
DIY or Partner Up — Just Don’t Drop the Ball!
There are a number of excellent resources that you can turn to in order to learn more about SEO tools. This is true whether you partner with a skilled and knowledgeable SEO company or if you decide to put yourself through an optimization crash course and implement these strategies and tactics personally. The secret is that whatever you choose to do, you need to do something.
There’s no debate as to whether search engine optimization is a valid and effective method to build your brand. But you can’t reap any of its rewards if you don’t at least implement a few strategies. Wayne Gretzky famously said that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. While he was talking about hockey, it’s applicable to just about every aspect of running a small business. It’s especially apt when it comes to attempting to increase brand awareness, so take the shot. Don’t let the chance to turn your small business into something special pass you buy without going for it.
Rise to the Challenge and Succeed on Your Own Terms
No one ever said running your own business was going to be easy. Small business owners know this better than anyone — starting your own company and pulling it up from its own bootstraps is nigh impossible. After all, up to 8 out of 10 small businesses crash and burn in the first 18 months according to some studies.
But just because the odds may be stacked against you doesn’t mean that you can’t use every tool at your disposal to rise to the challenge. Incorporating smart SEO strategies into your company’s business growth plan can spell the difference in whether you sink or swim. Help your small business succeed, and do it on your own terms, by using SEO to your advantage.