Why Small Businesses Absolutely Need SEO

Many small business owners are aware of the fact that they should invest in search engine optimization (SEO), but aren't entirely sure why. Simply put, SEO is the process of improving a site's search ranking so that it receives more web traffic and in turn, more leads. In other words, SEO is digital marketing, but that doesn't really explain why small businesses would be wise to invest.

To help you understand why it's so vital for small businesses to invest in SEO, here are a few things you should know.

People Don't Use Phone Books Anymore, Really.

It was less than a decade ago that if you needed to find a business or service -- a plumber or an electrician -- that you'd go to the phone book and find one. Nowadays, though, most people turn to the Internet. Almost 70% of adults in the U.S. "rarely or never" use the phone book anymore. Instead, about 60% use the Internet to find contact information. In fact, 44% of online shoppers began looking for a business using a search engine, like Google or YouTube, which has become the second largest search engine around.

SEO Tactics Are Cost-Efficient.

Secondly, search marketing works. It uses a number of different tactics to increase online visibility and draw more web traffic, with each one being effective in and of itself. For example, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs a staggering 62% less.  Research shows that inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound leads.

SEO Gets Results.

Best of all, search marketing gets results. Leads gained from search engines have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads only have a 1.7% close rate. That's not all. About half (50%) of all mobile searches are done in the hopes of finding local results, and 61% of which result in a purchase.