The internet has become one of the main business drivers for small business owners. It is so, that one of the first things that people think about when setting up a business is having an online presence that represents their brand’s identity. The ease and convenience of using the web to find out information or make purchases without having to go out or listen to a sales pitch are some of the big reasons why the internet has become such a powerful global economy driver.
It is clear for everyone that multinationals benefit greatly from using the internet, same goes for large corporations and recognizable global brands. But, what are the SEO benefits for small businesses? Is it profitable for them to have a website, social media or do SEO?
The answer is almost always yes: the internet is a very interesting tool for small businesses and independent business owners (like a financial consultant or people offering counselling in Guelph for instance) as it can certainly provide many benefits and a good ROI. Let’s review some specific cases.
Benefits of SEO for small businesses
A small business usually targets a specific geographic area, more often than not, a specific segment of the population and in the case of small cities or towns, they don’t extend too much outside of a certain driving range. So, what does online marketing offer to these budding enterprises? Mainly two benefits.
1. With the web we build a loyal customer base
This is a very important point, the generation of a loyal customer base. These sort of captive clients that we normally have, can be lost if they find other better prepared competitors online. Their eyes may start wandering and if they find an alternative that looks attractive, they may be gone before you know it. To think that these loyal customers will continue buying from you forever no matter what is illogical – if a customer has options, they are very likely to explore them.
The internet is a great way to make sure that your customers don’t wander off, but keep finding you and more reasons to stay. A business that does not change and innovate becomes stagnant and eventually dies.
That is why, for small businesses makes a lot of sense to do geographically targeted local SEO. To dominate your local market so that no competitor can take your business away, plus, focusing on local is much more profitable than trying to overreach with a national or global market when you are not ready for it.
2. With SEO we can grow the potential client base
This other benefit is clear to most people. The internet opens up opportunities to attract clients outside your region, even from the whole world. This globalization of your business doesn’t have to be immediate, but rather in phases and increments. First focus in local markets surrounding your core area of influence, then the region, the province, other provinces and finally national level. Once the national level is secured or stable, international markets can be sought.
A cell phone repair Guelph shop can target Kitchener, the Waterloo region or start picking on Milton (a city 45 minutes away). This allows the shop to increase its target market and potential client base in steps and grow as the business capacity increases. Clients interested in getting a new cell phone or repairing an old broken one can find access to information and services outside of the local city center.
SEO has many advantages and benefits for small businesses. Local search optimization can be very helpful and produce faster results than trying to compete on global markets outright and having to invest heavily to beat larger fish.
In any case, a local and professional SEO firm is your best option.