The Value of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for Small Businesses

The Value of SEO is from both On page and Off page SEO

What is SEO?

In English: Increasing the exposure and ranking of websites in search engines; Google, Bing and Yahoo. Here I will be focusing on Google.

SEO is a set of processes of getting your website listed as high as possible in the SERPs (search engine result pages), it is making sure that it is visible in the organic listings of the search engines. The quality of your SEO will determine how quickly potential clients will find you when they search online for a local business which carries a specific product or service. When a business is easily found, it can attract more clients and increase its profitability.

You can be better than anyone else at what you do, but if you don’t have an online presence, potential clients won’t be able to find you.

On page SEO

On page SEO refers to optimizing the content and pages of a site. It is about creating a positive user experience. It is important to make sure that potential clients can quickly find what they are looking for. A recent study by Forrester Research found that 45% of consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns aren’t addressed quickly.

One example of on page SEO is loading speed of the pages on your website. You can check the loading speed by going to Google and typing “Page Speed Insights”. Type your URL in the box that appears. The speed of your pages should be green. If your pages load slowly, potential clients will click back in most cases, which will affect you negatively in two ways: you will lose a potential client and your website will be penalized by Google since Google can read that someone tried to land on your website, but clicked back.

Another important aspect of on page SEO is having a mobile friendly website. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. Starting May 1st, 2016 Google started penalizing non mobile friendly websites by ranking them lower, as this article shows.

You can check if your website is mobile friendly by typing into Google “mobile friendly test”. Type your url in the box that appears and you will be able to see if your website is mobile friendly.

Off page SEO

Off page SEO refers mainly to link building. The more quality links you have going to your website, the better it is. Google looks at links going to your website as votes of confidence. The quality of the links going to your website is going to affect the ranking of your website. Because of this, you should try to get links from high authority websites going to your website. Even one high quality link is better than many low quality links.

Social media is an important element of off page SEO. When people share your content through social media, it gives your website credibility and affects its ranking.

The cost of SEO

SEO isn’t cheap. It is important to be aware of that and if someone does offer you cheap SEO, it more than likely means that it is low quality.  Poorly done SEO can hurt your website, it can for example cause your website to get penalized by Google and lose its ranking, or even worse, get de indexed (stop showing up in Google).  In the best case, poorly done SEO won’t do anything, your website won’t get penalized, but it won’t get ranked either.

Suzana Roclord

Infinite Results SEO

The goal of Your Chief Simplicity Officer is to offer you information on how you can run your small business more simply and effectively. To do this, I occasionally invite a guest blogger to bring in expertise that fills in my gaps – and hopefully yours. Thank you to guest blogger Suzana Roclord.