One of the greatest problems with digital marketing is the fact that a lot of small business owners fail to see the connection between their company’s success and a strong online presence. In fact, about 50 percent of small businesses don’t even have a website to begin with. Sure, tech startups establish their online presence on day one, but about 41 percent of small businesses from other niches simply don’t see how such a trend could help their business grow.
On the other hand, the world we are living in is becoming more and more digital by the hour. About 3.2 billion people used the internet in 2015, which is a massive increase when considering that this number was at just 738 million in 2000. With this in mind and without further ado, your SMB shouldn’t just start thinking about building a website, but also about different digital marketing aspects such as SEO. Here are several compelling reasons why.
1. A greater number of qualified leads
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that not everyone online is destined to become your client. Some people simply have no need for your services and no matter what you do or say, you won’t be able to convince them otherwise. On the other hand, people who go to Google and type in some industry-relevant keywords into the search box are, most likely, already interested in the services you have to offer, which makes them qualified leads (low-hanging-fruit). What this means is that they represent a demographic you need the smallest amount of effort to convert into paying customers.
The way in which SEO helps you with this is by increasing the chance that you will actually be discovered. You see, while your name may pop up in a search result, your audience might not even get the chance to click on the link, seeing as how they might already find what they are looking for with one of the previous results. About 33 percent of all Google users find what they are looking for in the No. 1 result of their inquiry, while 95 percent of all searches ends on page one. Therefore, the fight for a higher rank can also be described as a fight for your five minutes under the spotlight.
2. A higher quality website
In order to satisfy various Google algorithm-relevant metrics, you need to start by improving your website. Needless to say, by boosting your website’s responsiveness, its functionality and making it more user-friendly, you are significantly improving overall UX (user experience).
However, what good is even the best quality website in a scenario where not enough people get to see it? According to this SEO agency from Hong Kong, in order to make a larger number of conversions, you need to drive targeted traffic to your website. Only when you manage to combine these two aspects of your digital marketing will you be able to reap the full benefits of your campaign.
3. More legitimacy
In the digital world, it is fairly easy to make your website look presentable. Unfortunately, the ease with which you can make your website look professional has made a lot of people wary that there is a hoax in play. That being said, Google is constantly on the lookout for such scams, which are, if noticed, heavily penalized. In other words, any foul play or black hat technique involved in your digital marketing will result in a heavy drop of your website’s rankings.
Surprisingly, this has a positive side, as well. You see, managing to improve your ranking in an organic way will result in your website appearing legitimate. This is a great starting point for any future trust-building efforts.
4. Future-proofing your online presence
Finally, as a digital marketing layman, it is almost impossible to keep in mind all the upcoming trends and keep track of all the changes to the algorithm. This means that the strategy you are currently using might one day come to haunt you. For instance, during the early 2000s, keyword stuffing was a great way to give yourself an immediate boost in rankings. Today, however, such a practice would be heavily penalized. For this reason alone, doing some research on SEO, assigning this responsibility to one member of your marketing team or outsourcing your digital marketing altogether are the best options you have.
Even if you believe that your business currently doesn’t need a strong online presence, this is something that might change sooner than you’d expect. Once your company grows out of being a small or a local business, you will find yourself in a situation where you have to expand your digital footprint. It is much better to do this ahead of time and in this way gain a slight competitive edge over your closest competitors than to wait until you are compelled to do so in order not to be left behind.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.