Over the past decade, the selling cycle, which used to be a seller driven process, has become a buyer driven process. Access to online information is so pervasive, buyers now decide what to buy, when to buy it and from whom, based on their own research and decision making process. The key for your business to succeed in this new environment it to be highly visible online where people look for the goods and services you provide.
The statistics validate this-for example, in 2010, for the first time online advertising has surpassed print advertising in total spending, and 60% of all business are redirecting more money to internet marketing than traditional marketing. It is for this reason that the need for online marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has soared over the past several years, and continues to grow while traditional marketing and advertising spend is shrinking.
The benefits of SEO for Small Businesses are great. Ranking high in the organic section of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) puts you in the most visible location when people are searching for your goods and services. As 9 out of 10 consumers conduct at least part of the buying cycle using the Internet, having a website and ranking high in the organic search results is essential.
However, it is important to know that SEO for Small Businesses is not a quick fix to getting your website ranked highly in the SERPS. It is a long-term Digital Marketing marketing strategy which can be extremely cost effective-in fact it has the lowest long term cost of customer acquisition of most any other marketing technique.
There are a number of techniques available to effectively market your small business-both traditional and internet based. The trick is to figure out the right combination of techniques and combine them into a single integrated marketing plan for your business.
From an internet perspective, the key is to be visible in all three section of the SERPs, the Paid Search section to reach people at the end of the buying cycle, the Maps section when people are searching for local businesses in their neighborhood, and the Organic section where you can connect with people as they start their research, and stay with them throughout the buying cycle.
Buyers across the world continue to look to the Internet as the primary source of information at all stages of the buying cycle for both B2C and B2B environments. It is essential for even the smallest business to be visible online where people are looking for their goods and services. And SEO for Small Businesses is the best investment a small business can make to position themselves for success.