There are roughly 30 million small businesses in the United States. At the helm of these businesses are smart and resourceful people with passion and talent to spare for the things their businesses do best.
But not all of those small businesses are owned or run by experts in online marketing. If you own a small business, then you know as well as anybody that there’s precious little time to focus on anything other than the things that are most vital to your business.
Unfortunately, web marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are vital to your business, whether you have time to learn about them or not. So here are a few things that you might not know about SEO, but that you need to learn if you’re going to protect and grow your business.
SEO is local
Here’s the good news: With a little familiarity with SEO and the right SEO experts in your corner, you can get your web marketing strategy in place and go back to focusing on your business’ other immediate concerns.
Local businesses are awakening to the importance of SEO. It’s no secret that being on the first page of Google results will help your business in a big way. But Google has been around since the late 1990s. Why has SEO become so important this decade?
The big reason is that search engines (and, therefore, SEO) have become much more local over the years. Google pioneered local search results years ago, and its modern results pages tailor links to a searcher’s physical location.
This is particularly true when users are searching for terms that (in the view of Google’s algorithm) imply the need for a local result. These include requests for movie theater showtimes, for instance, or queries related to restaurants.
Local search has also become more important due to the arrival of mobile devices. More Americans have smartphones than ever, and more Google searches than ever are being performed on these devices. Mobile searches often lead to local purchases, and your business can’t afford to miss out.
Links are still king
In the early days of SEO, links mattered more than anything else. Google and other search engines used links to get around, and when the algorithms saw that a site was frequently linked to on the internet, they took it to mean the site was authoritative.
Things have gotten quite a bit more complicated since then, but one thing is still fundamentally true: links matter a lot in SEO. Google has become very good at determining the quality of a given link, though, so SEO is no longer as simple as swapping links with as many other websites as possible.
These days, you’ll need to find a great SEO team with the best link building service and seek relevant authoritative backlinks.
Your site’s organization could destroy your SEO
Links are important, but they’re not the only aspect of SEO that matters. And some of the things that can affect your SEO fortunes are pretty technical. It’s not just what’s on your page or who is linking to you; it’s also about having an organized site and sticking to best practices.
Take, for example, mobile sites. With so many people using smartphones these days, not having a mobile site is a terrible idea. But if you hire a careless web designer, Google could see your desktop site and mobile site as duplicates, and penalize you in search results.
This is just another reason to hire experts who know SEO. With your background knowledge and their in-depth expertise, your business will be in good hands.