SEO For Small Business – What Are The Benefits?

"83% of SMBs thought “search” was important or very important to their business, yet only 26% of businesses surveyed were investing in SEO"
Small Business SEO Benefits

Many business owners that we talk to struggle with what the true benefits of a small business SEO strategy are. We believe when you break it all down there are really 5 key benefits to SEO for any small business. They are: improved local targeting, increased qualified traffic, increased leads, increased profit and increased brand familiarity. 

Table of Contents

Does SEO work for small business?

Before we dig into the benefits in more detail, I wanted to share some interesting facts published in a recent Telstra Business Intelligence report which surveyed a large amount of small business across australia. They found that 83% of SMBs thought “search” was important or very important to their business, yet only 26% of businesses surveyed were investing in SEO. To dig in a little deeper there was also a direct link between size of business and likeihood to be using SEO. The smaller the business the less likely. This for me creates a clearer need to establish what the benefits can be from the smallest micro business and up.

So how SEO helps your business you ask?

Benefit 1 – Improved Local Targeting

For any physical local business that is looking to primarily acquire local customers, or at least have a preference to service local customers over those who are further away geographically, then SEO can have a massive impact on Improving their targeting. What this basically means is that if the local SEO strategy is implement correctly, that local business website and related assets (Facebook Page, Google My Business Page etc) will be found more prominently for local geo based terms and users searching in the desired areas for similar businesses.

Google My Business and local qualified traffic

The biggest way SEO can help deliver this improved local targeting benefit this is via Google My Business (GMB). With the right knowledge and expertise you can ensure that your GMB profile comes up for the suburbs you want to source customers from.

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Google prioritises the Google My Business listing (Local Pack) for any geo based (keyword phrases searched on google that contain a town or suburb) so this means you are highly likely to get in front of the right customers. We would always recommend to also ensure your website matches your GMB profile. Make sure services covered are identical to build credibility and congruency. On your contact us page make sure to link to your Google My Business Listing and provide a map of services identical to your GMB profile.

Action to take:

If you are relying on an agency or web developer to work on your website, make sure that they have implemented whats known as local schema markup on your site. This is a way to tell the search engines where your business is located and will ensure your site and Google My Business Profile rank appropriately for searches in your local area. This in turn brings you more qualified local customers.

Secondly get an understanding of how your agency is optimising your Google My Business Page in detail. Its certainly not a one time setup anymore. Just like SEO optimizing your website it requires constant monitoring and optimization to maintain good results.

Benefit 2 –Increased Qualified Traffic

Not only can SEO for small business help drive traffic it can bring more importantly drive qualified traffic. By getting your Google My Business Listing and website to appear on the front page of Google for the most valuable terms relevant to your business it is going to increase traffic without question.

What we find is business owners can get so fixated on how their Google Ads are written and appear. But when it comes to their SEO (organic) link on the front page they dont scrutinise it as much. And we think they should. Part of the problem is that business owners may not understand that you can control how that looks.

When your website appears on the front page of Google its just like a Google Ad, and its important the Title Tag (the text that triggers what a customer clicks on for an organic link) is written for SEO purposes but also to encourage the click.

Second to this whats known as the description tag (equivalent to line 2 and 3 of a Google Ad) needs to qualify and provide that reason for the potential customer to click – so you have a very good way to ensure you can get qualified traffic for any small business.

Action to take:

This should all be part of your SEO agencies “On Page SEO Strategy” so make sure to ask them how they are optimising your Title and Description tags to better qualify potential organic customers driven by the SEO strategy they have put in place!

Benefit 3 – Increased Leads

If your fortunate enough to have your website and Google My Business profile appear on the front page of Google for your most valuable business and geo related terms, you are going to get qualified traffic. If you have a conversion optimized website, then that traffic originating from your SEO efforts is going to result in leads.

For this reason having your company or chosen agency focus on Conversion Rate Optimisation (how good a job your site does in converting visitors to leads) is super important to drive this benefit.

Action to take:

Ask your agency or marketing person how they are working to improve conversion rate of leads via your website. Its referred to in the industry as conversion rate optimization and should include things such as: measuring how certain pages convert, using analytics tools and heatmaps to understand interaction with your website and running A/B comparison tests of different landing pages.

Benefit 4 –Increased Sales & Profit

If you have conducted an SEO Audit with an SEO company, the first thing they should have asked you about is learning about your business and what areas of the business / services drive the most sales and profit. As ultimately as long as you have the capacity to handle the volume of leads, then these are the best areas to also focus your SEO strategy on.

The reason behind knowing this is that often you will find services with a high high transaction value will have a very high Google Ads CPC. What this means is that only really successful and well budgeted businesses can afford to bid on those keywords from a Google Ads perspective. As a result SEO and appearing organically (if its achievable) is the only viable way for a smaller business to gain leads via these higher intent higher CPC keywords. Other than bidding on very long tail paid keywords which may not convert as well. 

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To bring this example to life imagine if you are a new plumbing business servicing the Eastern Suburbs area of Sydney. You know that emergency plumbing is the most lucrative area and you want to drive more profit. Your SEO company should be able to provide you some info to help you understand whether Google Ads or SEO might be a better strategy to drive increased sales. If its SEO then writing an article around the topic with a clear call to action to attract a lead might be the answer. The answer might be both of course.

How profitable an SEO keyword can be?

Below is an example of a proof point your SEO company should be able to show you from an enterprise SEO tool they might use.

seo keyword research profitability

By focussing your SEO efforts on your most profitable services, you are in time going to realise greater sales for services with a higher profitability.

Action To Take: 

Ask your agency or in house marketer how they are thinking about driving traffic to your site for high intent based terms focussed on the services which drive greatest profit. Ask for an understanding of what role SEO and Google Ads play in this strategy. The strategy should be complimentary.

Benefit 5 – Increased Brand Familiarity

I like to use the term “shelf space” when you think about the front page of Google or Bing – also called the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The more shelves you can occupy on the front page of Google – be it with Google Ads, Google My Business, your website, your facebook page etc is proven to have a subliminal effect on your overall brand familiarity.

So what does that mean? It means for example if you have a customer comparing your business and 2 competitors, if you have more visibility on the front page of Google, then the customer is going to be more familiar with your brand.

This can have a subconscious effect of them selecting you as your brand is more familiar to them. Of course you also need to have credibility, reviews, competitive pricing etc – but this benefit of brand familiarity which can be achieved with SEO complimenting your Paid Search strategies and optimising all your online assets is pretty standout.

Action To Take:

Ask your agency or in house marketer for an understanding of the impact of your SEO Brand strategy on overall digital marketing performance. There are some very common place tools such as SEM Rush and Ahrefs which can clearly state how you are showing up in which part of the SERP on Google or Bing for specific keyword search terms

Conclusion

Busy small business owners can often get fixated on Google Ads as it does provide an immediate ability to be visible for valuable keywords that can drive leads, however the benefits of SEO for small business outlined in this article have hopefully demonstrated why its equally important to focus on SEO. You should see Google Ads and SEO as a complimentary strategy. Finally we see Google Ads only getting more competitive and believe that without a strong investment in a SEO strategy you run the risk of not being able to afford to buy leads on Google in the future.

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