For most small business owners, their business website is just another marketing channel, they are usually not aware of the intricacies of designing and marketing a website. Search engine optimization or SEO is optimizing a website so that it will rank well in the popular search engines like Google, Bing. Before understanding SEO and the importance of ranking well in search engines, a business owner should understand how search engines operate. Before search engines and the internet was available, most people relied on directories for searching for information on small businesses, especially local businesses.
However as search engines became popular and internet usage increased, most people are relying on search engines to quickly find the information they require. This information may be personal, health related or business information. There are millions of websites with billions of webpages online and search engines have crawlers which search the internet for information and collect it in their database. They then rank the information based on its importance for various keywords depending on the algorithm of the search engine. When a user searches for information using a keyword, the information stored in the search engine database will be provided.
Most small businesses do not have much money and resources to spend on branding, they rely on other low cost marketing methods Many internet users would like to research a business before they purchase a product or service from it. They are also far more likely to research the business if they are making a high value purchase to check for reviews and other information. These prospective buyers will usually type the name of the business in the search engine, and so it is important to ensure that the business website ranks well for the name of the business. Ideally the business should rank first for its name in the search engine, most reputed businesses are ranked well.
However, there may be multiple businesses with the same name worldwide, especially if the business name is a commonly used name. So a business at least should ensure that it ranks well, at least locally for the product or service it sells. This will greatly boost the confidence of the prospective customer in the business, that it is a legitimate business, which provides customer support. Many customers like to do some research on the business, before making a purchase, like finding out its profile, how many years it is in business and all this information can be provided on the website. People are more likely to trust a business which has customers for many years or can provide details of existing customers.
Most business spend a lot of time and money trying to get leads which they can convert into orders. So if a business website is well designed and provides comprehensive information on the products and services, is marketed properly, it will rank well in search engines. Internet users who use search engines are more likely to visit the websites which rank well in the search engine, and will usually click only on the top 5 results in the search engines. Visitors who are searching for a product or service are most likely to be interested in purchasing it and will contact the business using the contact details provided on the website. So proper SEO helps small businesses get more leads and orders in a cost effective manner and is an important part of the business’s marketing strategy.