How Can SEO Help Your Online Business If You’re On A Budget?
Small businesses are the engine of the economy but, in the past year, they have been severely affected. Economic uncertainty, combined with the changing shift in consumer demand, has discouraged many from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. Needless to say, financial struggles remain the top reason why small businesses fail. According to a recent analysis , these are some of the biggest money problems that new business owners face:
● Inconsistent cash flow
● Not being able to pay bills on time
When these financial challenges appear, marketing is usually the first to go. Among many other responsibilities, many business owners find it odd to spend precious money on marketing when they can hardly pay their bills, so they stop all campaigns until better days are coming. But here’s the thing: giving up marketing when you’re financially vulnerable is a bad decision because it starts a vicious circle. Without marketing, clients don’t hear about you, and you can’t fix your cash flow.
Fortunately, there are ways you can promote your business online without breaking the bank. Case in point: SEO. Although it’s a practice as old as search engines, many people don’t know exactly what it does and how it can help their business.
So, whether your business is going through a rough patch or you’re just trying to spend your budget wisely, SEO can provide a great ROI.
But First, How Exactly Does SEO Work?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consists of on-site and off-site strategies designed to boost your website’s visibility in search engines. A well-optimized website has better odds of ranking high in search engines so that when people look for a phrase related to your niche, they come across your website.
SEO practices have changed a lot over the years, and they will continue to do so because Google itself changes its algorithms. Right now, the widely accepted approach is to make sure the on-site factors are all ticked and invest in a few natural backlinks, focusing on quality, not quantity. Tracking results is very important in SEO, which is why experts recommend using a website rank checker and adjust the strategy based on the findings. Now that you know what SEO is, and let’s see what makes it so good for small businesses on a budget:
SEO Is An Inexpensive Online Marketing Strategy
One of the biggest misconceptions about SEO is that it costs a lot. It doesn’t. Although you’ll find SEO companies at both ends of the price scale, on average, SEO services cost less than traditional marketing services, such as putting your business on a billboard or appearing in a TV ad. If you’ve just started your business and money is a bit tight, you don’t have to go all-in on a comprehensive SEO strategy. You can start small, cover the basics and only then work your way up. Besides, SEO is scalable. Depending on your business needs, you can adjust the budget, even from month to month, so that you don’t simply stop doing SEO one day.
Without Good SEO, Your Business Is Almost Nonexistent On The Web
Gone are the days when websites were just a “nice to have” feature. Nowadays, people look for products and services online, by default, and if they can’t find anything about you, their trust levels drop. Recent research has shown that nearly 70% of all online experiences with brands start with a Google search. And even in the case of in-store purchases, 80% of people still look up the brand website in advance . If your page isn’t well optimized, and your page is somewhere on the fifth, sixth page, or worse, it doesn’t come up at all, that will ultimately affect your bottom line. When you work on a limited budget, you can’t afford to be invisible. You need as many clients as possible to stabilize your cash flow, and SEO does exactly that. If your business is local, then you have even more reasons to invest in SEO. One study found that 33% of consumers use Google every day to find businesses near them, and 76% of them end up visiting that business in person within 24 hours. So, if you have a small pastry shop and business has been slow lately, SEO might help you put it on the map.
SEO Is Key In Bringing New Customers
As a small business owner, choosing a marketing strategy can be quite daunting. There are many options you can choose from, and each has its pros and cons. But, when it comes to SEO, the satisfaction rate seems to be overwhelmingly positive. According to a Hubspot study, more than half of marketers reported that SEO generates more leads than other marketing strategies, including PPC. What’s more, it seems that optimizing your website so that it organically ranks higher in search results can sometimes be better than paying for ads because around 80% of people ignore the ads and head straight for the organic results. In short, SEO is key to reaching new audiences .
Why Do Customers Care So Much About Where You Are In Search Results?
Well, first of all, appearing on the first page boosts trust with consumers. People tend to perceive the businesses that appear first as more successful and reliable. And secondly, modern day Internet users aren’t exactly patient. In most cases, people don’t even click on the second page of Google so, the higher you rank, the better the odds of people interacting with your business. They say that the best place on earth to hide something is Page 2 of Google.
SEO Like A Pro
In short, SEO is a great, inexpensive way of competing with bigger brands, even if you’re on a budget. It can help you boost traffic, generate leads, and increase customer engagement, ultimately building trust and credibility. However, like any other digital marketing strategy, you do have to be consistent. Results don’t appear overnight, especially if you’ve just launched your online business, and what worked for another company may not necessarily work for you. This is why it’s important to evaluate progress frequently and adjust the strategy if necessary.