Pioneering products and services from well-established brands can be difficult to compete with but this doesn’t mean there aren’t strategies to help start-ups and small businesses stay in the game. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines are the first stop for consumers seeking information, products or services online. And search engine optimisation is the only way to ensure that your business is there to be found.
According to a study by Vocus, 82% of mobile shoppers use search to influence their purchasing decisions and 70% of mobile searches for products/searches will result in a sale, in the near future. It’s either be there or lose out – your brand needs to be findable and accessible via the search engines to tap into the potential for sales and sustainable results.
7 Reasons Why You Should Invest in SEO to Grow Your Business
1. Reputation Management
First impressions can make or break start-ups; sales are the food of business and a bad reputation can kill sales. And reacting to negative information about your brand is much less effective than taking a proactive approach to prevention.
Your position in the search engines speaks volumes for your brand’s reputation. You should dominate the search results for keywords that include your brand name. This means your website should rank #1 for your brand name and all your social channels should sit in the top results. As you control the content on all of these platforms, you can ensure that your potential customers receive the appropriate messaging when they search for you.
SEO puts your brand in an important visible position.
2. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the most effective way to understand the needs, wants, problems and questions of your target audience. By looking up which keywords are being used to find your website (and your competitors’ websites) you can inform your marketing strategy on many different levels, from press release titles to email subject lines and more.
And keyword research is the crucial starting point to any SEO campaign, directly informing the optimisation of copy on your website and your promotion across the web. The results are great content, satisfied customers and better search rankings, leading to more traffic sales and leads.
With a start-up, entrepreneurs need to latch-on to every opportunity and keyword research isn’t just an opportunity but an advantage.
3. Organic Traffic Increases
An increase in your organic traffic (traffic that reaches your website via a search result) is a huge indicator of your brand’s potential future growth. Your rankings will naturally increase if your products, services and brands are creating a buzz across social media and the rest of the web.
As entrepreneurs often need to prove to investors that their company is viable in the long-term, an improvement in organic traffic can be a major factor in proving their business has future potential. And as organic traffic is free, the ROI on conversions is huge. Take note because your investors will.
4. Competitive Gamesmanship
Ranking above your competition in search is a great way to set your business apart. With every step you take up the organic search ladder, one of your competitors falls lower. So climbing search doesn’t only benefit your brand but simultaneously harms your competition. In a crowded start-up environment, claiming as much of the stage as possible is vital for establishing your road to long-term success.
5. Social Media Marketing
More than ever, social media is intertwined with SEO. While your brand’s activity on social channels can help to drive more traffic to your website, your social signals can also directly affect your organic search rankings. Social media is no longer an additional way to market your brand but a necessity. Start-ups should invest in social media to build strength in their SEO and vice versa.
Establishing trust with a target market can be one of the most difficult hurdles for start-ups, especially when they haven’t an established, recognisable brand. And your position in search results can play a vital role in jumping this hurdle.
According to Search Engine Land, users choose organic search results over paid search results 94% of the time. This means, if your brand doesn’t make an appearance in search then you’re unlikely to make up for it with paid ads. And the longer you’re not in the top spots, the longer your competitors will be, attracting traffic and sales from your potential customers.
Essentially, users have much more trust in the sites that rank high for their search keywords. High rankings can position start-ups as key competitors in their market, at least in the eyes of their audience.
7. Long-term Brand Equity
Sustainable business results should be the goal for any entrepreneur, and SEO can deliver. If a website is like a property then investing in SEO is building equity in that property; every penny feeds into long-term value – just like a mortgage. In comparison, paid search advertising is a temporary measure – like renting a home. Although SEO is a long-road, every step is valuable and the benefits are long-term.
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