It was once said that running a business without advertising is like winking at a girl in a dark room. You know what you are doing, but no one else does. It is amazing in the world of online business how many small business owners rely on the age old adage of ‘if we build it then they will come.’ This may have been true when all businesses were brick and mortal, and may still be true today for those which remain to have a major physical presence and can get people to stop and walk in from the street, but for many of us our website is the first thing people see of our business. In a world where over half of search is done from mobile devices and almost 75% of purchases aren’t made until Google gives some feedback on availability and price, if you aren’t online; you are missing out.
This is the question that drives the need for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as well as many other aspects of online marketing, what can we do now to get people who are interested in my product to my website and interested in buying from me. The answer is almost self apparent when it comes to Google. When you perform a Google search, what do you do after the results come up. If you are like the majority of Americans, then you skim the first 3 results, finding one that looks like it most closely represents what you were looking for, and you click it – OR you click one of the many ads that surround the first results on the page. Your business needs to be somewhere on that page so that when people are looking for solutions to the problems that your products solve, they will find you. It’s reasonable to believe that if you aren’t there, they may never find you – it’s pretty unlikely that they’re going to look in the yellow pages.
For those of us who have started a business and made a website before, we know that ‘launching’ a website isn’t exactly like the grand opening of our new restaurant that we imagined it would be. It’s likely no one came, or only those you personally told about the website – family and close friends. They may give very valuable feedback and you may even make some changes based on it, but now what? No one else knows about your website because you have told everyone you know, they’ve taken a look, and now you have run out of people to tell.
Please check out our other article on how to increase your rank on Google and how to market directly to your target audience using paid search engine advertising if you are are already wanting to dive in and get better results. With an understanding that Google.com is the #1 most visited website in the world, it’s easy to understand why it would be important that your potential customers to be finding you when they search for things like the type of product you make, or are searching for alternatives to your competitors. It’s also not a far stretch to say that they likely won’t ever find you or end up on your website if you can’t get your link in front of them on the search results. These are some of the main reasons why SEO is important to your small business. Something else to consider is what would happen if someone asked their phone to take them to the nearest provider of your service type. Does Siri know about your business? In the digital and mobile world in which we live, that can be something worth asking.