It’s been said that Google’s index represents only an estimated 4 percent of the information that exists on the Internet! But still, sitting here today, the majority of people, myself included, don’t have easy access to the remaining 96% of the internet.
Which is likely a good thing considering some the of things that people are reporting exist out there!
Anyway, by its very nature, the internet is like a bridge that we cannot actually cross without the help of the search engines or some other trusted online index of the sort.
So, to answer the question,
Do I have to SEO my small business website?
Yes you do! Your website must be search engine optimized, first and foremost, so that a referral or any other person searching for your business by name can find, learn about, and easily be able to contact your business. To be more specific, your website must be search engine optimized so that the search engines can actually understand it and then show it to the right people.
Give it a try. Head on over to Google.com and perform a search for the name of your business? What did you find?
The Internet Is Like A Bridge
So the internet is like a bridge.
On one hand, is point A. And on the other hand, is point B.
And in the middle is a bridge.
On one hand, you have problems, wants, and needs. And on the other hand, you have solutions, ideas, and things.
In the middle is this bridge that connects you to it.
On one hand, you have real people with, these, real problems, wants and needs, and on the other hand you have businesses that are willing and able to serve, help, and solve their problem.
In the middle is this bridge called the internet.
Now imagine you are standing in front of this perfect bridge of the internet but there is a huge locked gate stopping you from crossing it. You know what you want is somewhere on the other side, but there is just no way you are getting through that gate. Let alone, would you know where to look once you crossed the bridge.
It doesn’t make sense, right? Why is there a gate blocking my perfect bridge called the internet and why can’t I get what I want when I know it is just somewhere on the other side of it?
This is where the search engines, like Google, Yahoo, & Bing, come into play.
They walk over to you and as their unlocking the gate they ask you what you need, actually listening, and then they take your hand and walk you across this bridge to the exact location of what will help you get one step closer to solving that problem.
As consumers, it all just seems to work.
we hop on our phone, type a few words into a search bar, and boom we are one step closer to getting what we want.
But for business owners, sleeves must be rolled up and work must be put in.
So, back to our bridge analogy.
Everything your business does online for one of two groups.
- The search engines
- The consumer – users of a search engine
Yes, it’s all for the consumers, your current and potential customers, but the search engines are the gatekeepers between you and them.
Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
So, on the one hand, you have the consumers. And on the other, you have what they want. And the internet is what connects them in the middle, with the search engines being the consumers guide across it
To put it simply, success online is rooted in providing value. First to the Search Engines and second to the consumer, your customer base.
And this is where the term SEO(Search Engine Optimization) was born.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is first helping the search engines understand your business so they can, in turn, do the same for our potential customers. Who just happens to be the search engines ‘users’ first.
You see, the search engines have an obligation to show high-quality results that are in line with what a person is searching for.
A search engine, like Google, must try and figure out a searcher’s intent and then show the highest quality result or else people won’t use their service.
And they have over 200 factors(links off-site to Google video talking about the ranking factors) that go into this process. All of which, are important and many of which are being leveraged and exploited by shady marketers and business owners who subscribe to the wrong approach of the internet, which says the internet exists only to bring me more leads and sales.
Opposed to the right approach which says the internet exists for me to more robustly serve the people who live in the communities we all live in, and love.
What will SEO success for small business owner look like?
SEO success first amounts to a person being able to type your business name into Google and then easily locating your business. They should be able to find your website, social media profiles, past client reviews, content, educational information related to what you offer, and easily be able to contact your business.
In addition to the above, SEO success for a local small business owner equals a person being able to find your business online for a vast array of transactional keywords. Which is basically where a person is searching for a company to hire for a specific task or problem they need to be fixed.
And since the vast majority of searches are actually informational in nature, SEO success also means showing up for all the searches where a person is still just doing research on what their problems or solutions might be. People love to be informed purchasers, especially when it comes to small and local business.
How to get started with SEO for your small business
The best place to start SEO’ing your small business is by actually just optimizing your online presence to be heard, once found – no matter if you are found through search, social, or referral. Doing this actually starts with the accuracy of your companies information that is listed online, which you can easily control. Furthermore, your SEO efforts will really start to take shape by really getting to know your clients’ problems, wants, and needs, in relation to what you offer. Then continuing to create and publish content that the search engines can understand and also running campaigns on the various different platforms that get your business and its’ offerings in front of your potential clients at the right time and place online.
Of course, it is much easier to just find the right digital marketing partner and let them sort all that out while empowering you to better serve your clients! I also wrote a post on my thoughts on what should be required from your digital marketing partner. Read that by tapping or clicking here.
As you can see the internet is like a bridge that will connect our potential clients to an aspect of our online presence and SEO involves much more than your website.
And because the owner of the business is responsible for ensuring their online presence is correctly optimized to empower the search engines to show them to the people searching for them, SEO is a must for your small business.
If you need some help understanding the intersection of your business and the internet, putting together a plan of attack, or implementing on that plan don’t hesitate to send me a message and we’ll start by having a relaxed conversation.