What Is SEO?
Before going on to determine the value of small business SEO and if it is something worth investing for small business. Let's first define what SEO for small business is. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engines “natural” or un-paid “organic” search results. In general, the earlier or higher ranked on the search results page, and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. (Reference: Wikipedia)
Is SEO Dead
A common question I get asked a lot, is "is investing in SEO worth the time and money?". My response is normally the same; "what are you looking to get out of it?". People sometimes approach SEO as a solution to that will generate them sales, which in my view, isn't the right way to view the value of SEO. All SEO will do is ensure that more organic traffic goes to your website, however if your website isn't optimised to be able to handle the additional traffic coming through, it won't to lead to any more sales. So SEO is simply 1 piece of a very large puzzle to helping increase website leads.
SEO vs PPC
This is where SEO can be a point of difference for smaller businesses. Start-ups and newly formed companies typically don't have the budget to be able to compete with larger more established businesses on paid traffic, so in looking for alternative solutions SEO can help them through that growth phase.
However it is worth noting that SEO takes time to get results, so if speed is something that matters, then maybe SEO is not worth the investment at this moment in time for you. This about it this way; When you perform SEO on your website, you essentially are trying to create authority, relevancy and popularity.
As for exactly how long it takes to rank on page 1 of a Google search result (let alone get to the top of page #1!), Ahref’s study reveals all. According to them, almost 95 percent of newly published pages don’t get to page 1 within a year. And for that ~5 percent of pages that do, it takes anywhere between 2–6 months.
SEO Builds Trust & Credibility
The goal of any experienced SEO is to establish a strong foundation for a beautiful website with a clean, effective user experience that is easily discoverable in search with thanks to the trust and credibility of the brand and its digital properties.
As long as you’re targeting the right keywords on the page and providing value once the visitor hits the website, your conversions will be higher with organic compared to a paid visitor.
So, is SEO worth it? If the quality of your visitors is important and you want to convey a better sense of trust, then yes, SEO is worth it.
Good SEO Also Means a Better User Experience
Everyone wants better organic rankings and maximum visibility. However some people don't consider how a big a factor user experience can play with this.
Google has learned how to interpret a favourable or unfavourable user experience, and a positive user experience has become a pivotal element to a website’s success. Customers know what they want, and if customers land on your website without being able to find what they were searching for, website performance will suffer as a result.Research suggests that nearly half of all web users expect a site to load in two seconds or less, and a full 40% will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
A clear example of building a strong user experience is how Google has become more and more of an answer engine offering the sought-after data directly on the SERPs (search engine results pages) for users. Google wants to give users exactly what they want, as quickly and in as few steps as possible.
So How Much Does SEO Cost?
SEO isn't so much a cost, but an investment. You’re building an asset by developing a website, and content, that will last as long as your company lasts. Every pound invested into your SEO campaign will deliver results that stick with your company. On the other hand, paid ads (PPC) can gain leads instantly, but equally, the moment you stop paying, your ads instantly stop being visible.
So yes, SEO is absolutely worth it. The core function of SEO is to bring organic users to your site, which is typically cheaper traffic than PPC. It’s about getting your most important pages discovered by active searchers, and provided it is done based on your target keywords, and your website is optimised, this traffic should translate into leads for your business.
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