Does your small business have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? If not, you should consider investing in one. Even if your small business doesn’t sell its products or services online, SEO can help it succeed in several ways.

What Is SEO?

SEO is a form of digital marketing that involves fine-tuning your small business’s website, as well as building backlinks, to achieve higher rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant and meaningful keywords.

Websites aren’t just randomly placed in the SERPs. Rather, search engines use highly advanced and complex algorithms to calculate where websites rank in their SERPs. By performing SEO, you’ll optimize your website so that it’s viewed more favorably by search engines and, therefore, outranks other websites competing for the same organic traffic.

1. Costs Less Than PPC Advertising

SEO requires a lower monetary investment than pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. If you advertise your website on Google using PPC ads, you might pay $1 to $2 per click. If your PPC ads attract just 100 visitors per day, that’s $700 to $1,400 in ad clicks per month. While an effective SEO strategy may require the use of paid services or tools, the total cost is significantly lower than that of PPC advertising. Whether SEO drives 100 or 1,000 visitors to your website, you won’t be charged per organic click.

2. Measurable Results

With its measurable results, you can easily track the performance of your small business’s SEO strategy. There are tools like Moz’s Rank Tracker and Ahref’s Rank Tracker that, as their names suggest, will track your website’s search rankings. You don’t have to manually search for your target keywords on Google or Bing to see where your website ranks. Using one of these tools, you can watch your website’s search rankings increase in response to SEO.

3. Increased Brand Visibility

SEO allows you to build a stronger brand for your small business. According to a 2019 report published by the Pew Research Center, nine in 10 Americans use the internet. You can introduce these users to your small business’s brand by performing SEO on your website.

After customizing your website’s design with your small business’s logo, colors, fonts or other brand elements, perform on-page and off-page SEO to increase its search rankings. As more users discover it listed at the top of the SERPs, your small business will benefit from increased brand visibility.

4. Reach More Prospective Customers

You’ll reach more prospective customers using SEO. According to Google, over two-thirds of all U.S. consumers use Google during their buying journey. Some consumers may search for product demos, whereas others may search for a business’s address or phone number. Regardless, your small business will reach more prospective customers if you perform SEO on your website.

When a prospective customer searches for a keyword associated with your small business on Google or Bing, he or she may find your website. Neglecting to perform SEO on your website, on the other hand, will result in missed sales opportunities as these consumers land on your competitors’ websites instead.

5. Long-Term Value

SEO offers long-term value for your small business. Once your website has achieved high search rankings, it will continue to attract organic traffic for months or even years. Granted, it’s normal for search rankings to fluctuate, meaning your website’s rankings could drop. But if you use an effective, white-hat SEO strategy, you’ll likely discover higher and more consistent rankings with minimal fluctuations.

6. Beat Your Competitors

You can use SEO to beat your small business’s competitors and increase its market presence. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the United States now has over 30 million small businesses. With this number growing larger each year, competition is a major challenge faced by small business owners.

Statistics show, however, over one in three small businesses don’t have a website. And many of the small businesses with a website fail to perform any SEO. If you put forth the effort to create and optimize your website, your small business can beat its competitors.

7. It’s Non-Disruptive

Unlike many other marketing techniques, SEO is non-disruptive. You aren’t forcing users to visit your website, nor are you disrupting their online activities with intrusive ads or other promotional content. If a user wants to visit your website, he or she can. And because it’s non-disruptive, SEO promotes happier, more satisfied customers for your small business.

SEO isn’t the only way to market your small business online. You can also use social media, guest blogging and PPC ads. Of those online marketing tactics, though, SEO excels in nearly every way.