Why is SEO important for small businesses?

As a small business owner, you’re likely looking for ways to grow your business. Most of us are. You’ve probably heard about different marketing channels and maybe even tried a few with some success or frustration. I know that’s been my experience. Have you ever found yourself wondering why is SEO important for small businesses? If so, you’re in the right place. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a free digital marketing channel that’s super powerful if you know how to do it correctly. It’s also a source of intimidation and frustration if you don’t get it right.


What is SEO?


SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s something that every website or blog needs to help it show up higher in the search results. When you optimize your website or blog, you generally get more organic (that’s the free kind) traffic.


Why is SEO important for small businesses?


Have you ever tried to Google your business name only to find it buried below other websites?

Are you losing sales to a competitor with a similar name because they rank higher than you? Are customers able to search for the products you sell or services you offer and find you at the top of Google, or does your competitor show up instead?


Most searchers (like 99.7%) will only ever look at Page 1 of Google’s search results which means if they can’t find you on Page 1, they won’t find you. They’ll buy from your competitor. To make it even harder, they’re most likely to click on one of the first three websites at the top of the page.


Your website must be at the top of Google’s search results to get organic traffic. Organic traffic is the free traffic you get from your SEO work.


Will your website rank at the top of the page without SEO?


It’s highly unlikely that your website will rank high in the search results without you doing proper SEO on each page you want Google to find. Some pages don’t matter as much, but generally speaking, if you want a customer to find the page through a search engine, you need to optimize (do SEO) that page.


How does doing SEO on a page help it rank higher?


When you optimize a page, you choose a keyword closely tied to that page and use it in your SEO elements. In certain places, Google looks for information to help it understand your website page or blog post, and we refer to those locations as your SEO elements. Each time Google finds the same word in one of those places, it takes note of that and essentially says, “Oh, this page is about keyword X.” Without doing your SEO and adding information in your SEO elements, Google is left to determine what your page is about on its own. It’s less likely to show it to people searching for keyword X because it’s not sure it’s about keyword X.


What are SEO elements?


Your website page or blog post has several SEO elements that Google looks for to determine the page's content.


They include 

  • The Title Tag
  • The Meta Description
  • Image file names
  • Header Tags
  • Copy
  • URL
  • ALT text on images


Request a copy of my free SEO Content Quick Start Guide here; it goes into these elements and how to write them following Google’s best practices.


The bottom line on SEO for small businesses


Without optimizing your website or blog (or both), you won’t get as much organic traffic as possible and will miss out on potential customers discovering you. It takes a little while to learn how to do SEO correctly and understand how it works and which rules are important, but the payoff is long-lasting. You will often continue getting traffic to website pages or blog posts you’ve optimized properly for years. Some of my most popular blog posts are from 2017 and 2018. They still drive traffic to the site every single month. SEO is a long-term strategy that will help your business grow steadily for years.

If you’re ready to learn how to use SEO to help your small business thrive, start with my free SEO class and then join us in Simple SEO Content, where I’ll walk you through exactly how to do SEO on your website step-by-step.