Is SEO Vital for Small Businesses to Win New Online Customers?
QUESTION: Is SEO Worth the Time, Effort and Dollars for Small Businesses in 2017?
The answer is in the quality of your SEO. Marketing trends, algorithms, what users want, and technology are moving at breakneck speed. Human behavior is largely unpredictable. What it takes to have a competitive SEO edge requires rapid response times and a high degree of autonomy from a site’s SEO specialists.
SEO helps small businesses win new loyal clientele and we’ll show why. One of the reasons why most SEO and SEM professionals choose to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) fist is because of the long-term benefits associated with it. It is a logical step when preparing your website for better lead generation and profits gained across both organic SEO and PPC spends.
However, when businesses need to cut down the amount they are spending, marketing is often the first area to see cuts. But if tracked measured consistently over the next 3-6 months, it often leads to the cause of significant losses in conversions – and ultimately revenue. This leads to many pondering whether semantic SEO and a well-integrated earned and paid search plan is really where they must begin.
In this article, we’ll examine organic SEO and why semantic search is still something that every small business should perform. Budget cuts that end up lowering your chances to be found in search engine result pages (SERPs) typically mean a loss of current incoming revenue rather than increasing it.
How to Know When your SEO Brings in New Customers
It is important to begin with a current understanding of what SEO is and how it is evolving. The process of increasing the value of your website’s content for users starts by being search engine friendly. It involves a wide range of areas, from how search queries can match your on-page semantic keyword optimization, being fast to load in our mobile-first world, to building inbound relational links, and takes quite some time to implement successfully.
Google aggressive continues to improve how its complex algorithms work when determining which websites get visibility, how your knowledge graph gets populated, and who is awarded quick answers, rich snippets. SEO guidelines that determine rankings can – and do – change frequently to keep up.
This means that a business presence online varies daily, if not hourly, as RankBrain algorithm updates have been rolled in the core of search output. We see that businesses which have invested in web content optimization using ethical, natural SEO techniques and are implementing schema structured data are seeing their site’s visibility in rankings increase without having to pay Google for the privilege.
10 Ways to Grasp Minneapolis Search Engine Marketing for Small Businesses
According to a study performed by Backlinko, we’ve listed below 10 ways users find websites through organic SEO.
Data results from their study underscores the need to have at least a minimal ability to be visible in search results like knowledge graphs. To ensure that your business has a reachable presence that is ‘earned’ through organic SEO, check the following.
1. Your summary of inbound links from relevant and authoritative sources remains an extremely important Google ranking factor. The number of domains pointing to a page correlates with ranking more than any other aspect of SEO.
2. The health of your site’s overall link authority correlates with higher rankings.
3. Your on-page content rated as “topically relevant” may significantly outperform content that is more shallow than others by covering the topic less in-depth. Content that covers one unique topic may improve your rankings.
4. Your long-form content likely performs better in Google’s search results. The site winning the average Google first page result is comprised of 1,890 words.
5. HTTPS appears to be a preference in gaining a first page Google positions. The search giant has confirmed that HTTPS is one ranking signal.
6. A routineness to win in images searches includes having Web content that contains images. Having a least one significantly outperformed content comprised of text alone. However, having more than one images was not clearly indicated as an influencing factor.
7. The relationship between title tag keyword optimization matters less today. It may be due to Google’s Semantic Search advancements and how well your site works semantically.
8. How fast your site loads counts. Especially in mobile search, pages on fast-loading sites rank significantly higher than pages on slow-loading sites.
9. When evaluating recent Google Penguin updates, exact match anchor text appears to have a strong influence on rankings. Know how well your site survived.
10. Low bounce rate is associated with better Google rankings. Know how well your pages are liked by those who visit them.
Should you Invest in Organic SEO or PPC?
PPC is the skilled practice of using paid advertisements and sponsored links that are highly visible in SERPs and reach searchers with purchase intent. How PPC is used to increase business profits varies depending on where the ads are purchased, if you target for mobile audiences, if your ads are ready for the use of remarketing advantages, and more.
How well integrated your landing pages are, how optimized your AdWords’ groupings and ad copy are, and the higher the price you bid for a keyword, all increase your chances of appearing at the top of the first page. Paid search empowers businesses to get their brand message out to a broader sector of the market, location target, and gain clicks from interested buyers.
Neither SEO, semantics, PPC, nor any digital marketing effort can guarantee someone a front page spot on Google. As artificial intelligence is more broadly used, your competitive arena changes, buyer’s wants, new devices, and other factors evolve or come into play, it simply changes. However, when done correctly, all can help you win clicks from your desired audience direct to relevant pages that offer solutions, products, and/or your services.
SEO and PPC are unique in the amount of effort, skill, and cost they take to implement, as well as what dollar you are prepared to invest, and how much time you need before seeing results. Which is best for your business will depend on your current circumstances, history, budget, competition, user insights, and the type of business that you run.
Comparing Earned SEO and Paid Search by Price and Time
The main benefit of PPC is how quickly your business can expect relevant web traffic. If your web pages offer those visitors what they are looking for and a great user experience, you can increase sales volume immediately.
When running an AdWords campaign, your business can appear on the first page in SERPs for a multitude of relevant keywords within minutes. Each of those clicks will vary in price. Therefore, you may find that you are spending just pennies per click on one campaign, and several dollars per click on another. In terms of budget, this approach means you must understand your profit margins to know where “the spend” is less than what you gain.
When you comparing organic SEO to paid search, there is a considerable difference in results. It is true that an organic SEO investment will take longer to see revenue gains, but they don’t go away the minute you stop paying for them.
Organic Results Typically Earn More Clicks
Moz research indicates that organic results are 8.5x more likely to be clicked on than PPC results.
Many search engine users decipher the difference between organic and paid results, and click percentages indicate that organic results are usually favored. Discussions as to changes in the location of paid ads in SERPs indicate that few see a huge impact. There is a real science and study behind which results are more likely to be clicked. Researchers have proven that people are more likely to click on links at the top of the page. Whether that is a Google news carousel which can populate from having proper structure data implemented, an organic answer box display, or a paid ad, there is a huge value in being on top.
If evaluating conversion rates rather than clicks, PPC often perform slightly better. Paid search results are 1.5x more likely to see conversions after a click-through to your site than someone coming in from organic search. Both, however, have better conversion success rates when the landing page has been heavily optimized to offer the best user experience available anywhere.
Every business can learn what will best apply for them by knowing how to glean the right user preferences from your Google Analytics SEO and AdWords data. Understand your percentage of site clicks, where conversions come from, and where you are missing opportunities to increase revenue. If you are trying to decide between organic and PPC marketing spends, the logical choice may prove to be organic.
Employ a mix of PPC and organic marketing if solely leaning on earned SEO results is too much a stretch for time frames.
When is PPC More Worthwhile the Organic SEO spends?
Although investing first in organic search is the ideal option for most small businesses, sometimes it’s worthwhile to prioritize on PPC advertising early on.
For example, for new business launches, a PPC campaign can help you to quickly gain brand visibility. Or, if you are conducting a new product launch, holiday service, want to target an Ad, or hosting a major event, PPC can again help to make people aware of your happenings in a short amount of time.
Because PPC spend can be allocated to niche audiences, a certain time of day, target specific locations, age, interest groups, and more, you can ensure that your ads are displayed when and where they are most effective. While we hope this isn’t the case, if your website has been hurt by an algorithm update, implementing a PPC campaign can pick up what may otherwise be lost income until your domain has recovered from the penalty.
SEO Efforts in Improving Site Load Speed
What clearly does matter is page load speed; while Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is not a ranking signal, John Mueller that it does mean that your page loads before some searchers leave. He stated during the November 3, 2016 Web Master Hangout that, “As far as I know AMP is not a ranking factor; it does help your pages load a lot faster”.
He aslo stated that, “It is essentially a matter of us (GoogleBot) trying to rank what we find on your website so that users dig in and go to the appropriate place on your website as quickly as possible. In general, anything that you can do to make it easier for us to recognize your site’s structure, which means a clean navigation and easy site links, anything in that regard, we will use as well.”
So, Is SEO Necessary Today?
Although it requires a dedicated investment, the upfront work of getting your content organized and easy for both visitors and search engines to decipher is critical for every effective SEO campaign. Organic search is still worth the time and effort. It’s a lot cheaper to invest in for long-term positive results and it prepares you for wisely using PPC, if or when you are ready to. No one gains top rankings overnight. SEO is not a one-time process; it requires a dedicated strategy and willingness to make continual updates. Your business will see many benefits.
Keep in mind that most businesses will benefit from combining PPC advertising with organic search. Each path to more website visits has its benefits, and both when done right will enable you to enjoy improved revenue streams.
If you outsource our SEO, be prepared to spend the necessary resources to acquire qualified and reliable freelancers. If cost is your determine factor, you may find yourself joining the ranks of others who end up disappointed afterward in their SEO results. In fact, many companies wanting to service customers better are making a renewed commitment to invest more dollars in developing a solid SEO optimized web infrastructure. That means having a site that is search-engine friendly and targets marketing to interested buyers. Given search engines’ dedicated commitment to improving their algorithms over time, succeeding in our customer business focused world means SEO.
Does your site just have impressions or too many visitors who bounce out? At Hill Web Marketing, we stay cutting edge in our approach and produce proven results for Minneapolis search engine optimization services. An analysis of your business niche may indicate that your competition is just too fierce for an effective internet search engine marketing campaign in the short term. If this happens, we identify optional forms of digital marketing that will help improve business awareness and branding. Partners that can be realistic with us about reaching goals value our honest work and always find their SEO investments pay off.
It requires a demanding expertise to deliver sustainable and steady improvements in search engine rankings! We welcome a personal conversation to show you our success stories.
Our search engine optimization services for improvements in semantic search are within reach of all businesses. We work either independently or with your marketing team and web design experts to implement practices that fit within all major search engines’ guidelines. Our processes use only White Hat (Ethical) SEO techniques and have built up a respected reputation for integrity for long-term benefits.
Search Engine Optimization is Changing
By all indications of how search appears to be developing, it is more likely that SEO will increase in effectiveness for the foreseeable future. Even voice and video searches ultimately depend on matching search terms to a query in the same manner as traditional text-based content. While we believe that search engine optimization is no longer optional for small businesses that want to be competitive and win new clientele – it is only one aspect of digital success. Only websites that contain viable and unique content reader want and can easily consume will take a lead online.
Understanding machine learning benefits search professionals at all levels. “It’s something that tries to identify patterns and bucket data. It looks at data about past searches and based on what worked well for those searches, it will try to predict what will work best for a certain query. This works best for long-tail queries and queries we’ve never seen,” Gary Illyes of Google stated at the 2016 SMX event.
With devices that we have seen before, search queries that we’ve never seen before, and new businesses arriving on the scene as new competitors vying for the same buyers, it is may be more challenging than ever to grow your client base. Basic SEO may only level the playing field for a small business. Often it takes advanced strategies to command new markets.
Make sure that your SEO conclusions are drawn from accurate data. Conductor reported on an SEO study about how Groupons’ Google Analytics metrics lend to conclusions that incorrect bucketing of ‘direct visits’ should have attributed 60% of that traffic to organic search. Yotpo’s global user database survey covered over eCommerce statistics from 120,000 business websites and learned that above 34% of web traffic in 2015 came from Search while 40% of traffic was Direct.
This is a strong signal that SEO has been and will be a colossal influencer that decides how well your website will rank. The percentage of traffic the search engines send you versus others is directly proportionate to this factor – so be sure to optimize your all Meta tags site-wide as well as generating excellent fresh content.
Stay Appraised of your Progress with On-Going SEO Reports
Hill Web begins your SEO campaign with a thorough pre-analysis study that kicks off with an audit. We will exam the technical aspects of how your site is crawled as well as analyzing your history and current rankings. You will enormously benefit by discovering why your business may not be appealing to site visitors as well as it could. We can partner to develop a strategy that empowers you to move forward. You will receive regular SEO reports benchmarking our project progress points.
89% of Consumers use Search Engines for Purchases
Any small business with SEO at the foundation of its digital presence will always gain a higher position in SERPs when compared to a similar business that snubs the muscle of SEO. Being positioned better in rankings will lead to more clicks by prospective buyers, leading to higher sales volume. Katherine Griwert, Brafton’s Marketing Director, reports that 89 percent of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions. Can you afford to miss that opportunity?
A well designed website that is fully executed with and SEO plan that adheres to Google guidelines safeguards a positive flow of organic traffic. This means a higher potential for search engines to match your content to the intent behind a search query, and therefore sales. Interest in your business can be generated from anywhere 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So the potential for viable exposure is boundless.
Regardless of how long you have been in business or the size of your business, you can improve and maintain visibility in online market spaces. This is even more critical for the small business stretching to grow its market share. Marketing Sherpa reported that optimized content distribution was the frontrunner to a 2,000% increase in blog traffic and a 40% increase in revenue.
“As long as you are focusing on optimal user experience while performing methodic SEO strategies, you will be rewarded with higher positioning and organic traffic.” – Joshua Guerra, CEO of Arizona’s marketing firm BIZCOR
“Smart SEO enhancements mean targeted audiences see your reviews and click through to your site.” – Yotpo
YES! SEO Helps Small Businesses Win New Customers
Over and over we have proven results that show why SEO helps small businesses win new customers in Minneapolis markets. But it can hurt you if not done right. For example, to win rich snippets in results, best practices in SEO and your overall site’s health factor in.
At the 10:30 mark in the same hangout, Mueller “Essentially for rich snippets we do take into account the quality of the website to some extent, but we also take into account whether or not these snippets are set up correctly, if they are complying with all of our policies – all of that.”