What is SEO and Does My Business Need It?

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While you’ve been researching what you need for your small business, there’s a high chance you’ve probably heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how it’s an important marketing tool. 

Well, and that’s true. SEO is an important element to help your business gain traffic and visibility on search engines like Google and Bing. 

But I’m not going to lie, back when I started my own business, I had no idea what SEO was or if my business really needed it. And there’s a chance you’re in the same position right now. 

And while you don’t need to implement SEO right away for your business (because it is a long-term project), once you become more comfortable with marketing, SEO should be something you consider adding to your business. 

In this article, I’m going to give you an in-depth rundown and answer the questions you’ve been asking yourself, what SEO is, and does my website need it?

What is SEO?

To answer this question, I interviewed Tailor Brand’s very own SEO specialist, Gordon, and asked him what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is.

“I always say that if you were to ask most SEO experts, they’re going to give you a jargon-filled answer,” Gordon says. “SEO comes in two parts. One is to make sure your website meets Google’s best practices and two, to create content that fits searches people are looking for in relation to your business.”

So, let’s break this down. Let’s say you have a candle business in Ohio. 

SEO will help your business with two things. It’ll help your candle business give a good customer experience, ensure page loading speed, and help visitors can find what they need. “These are more of the technical elements SEO does,” Gordon says.

“The other side,” Gordon continues, “is answering the questions that your audience are seeking.” In other words, with your candle business, you want to be ranked for keywords that are important to your business. 

For example, keywords like “candles Ohio” or “best candle brands USA” are keywords you want to rank for as they relate to your business. And what SEO does is that it helps to get ranked for those keywords. 

SEO helps optimize your pages to show the best result for candles in Ohio. The higher your page ranks, the higher it moves up on the search results page. The goal is for your business to appear on the first page of Google to increase traffic and leads.

Why Your Business Needs SEO

You know what SEO is but that’s only one slice of the pie (and it’s a big pie, trust me). It’s time to talk about why your business needs SEO.

Visibility and ranking

I mentioned this above, but I want to discuss this deeper.

One of the essential SEO uses is increasing visibility, making your website easier to find when someone searches for something you offer.

The higher you rank on a search engine result page (SERP), the likelier it is that a prospective customer will go to your site. And trust me, you want your business to rank high as 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. 

Just think about it. How often do you go to the second or third page in a Google search? Probably never. 

So SEO helps to increase your website’s organic page ranking. The more people who click on your site, read your content and buy your product/service, the search engines see your site as valuable and rank it accordingly.

Build authority​

The ways consumers make online purchases have dramatically shifted over the years. Why? Because today, as consumers, we have an endless amount of resources to turn to when deciding to make a purchase. 

Just take yourself as an example. When you’re buying something online, whatever it is, you probably spend a decent amount of time researching the product, reading the reviews, and searching for the cheapest option available.

Well, SEO is a part of this buying process. For example, if your website has a blog, how-to guides, or videos, SEO can help viewers see this valuable content. And this builds trust and credibility with prospective customers in the research phase of their buyer’s journey (the process a customer takes to make a purchase).

Increase web traffic​​

You want your website to increase traffic, and SEO can help achieve that. Increasing your website’s visibility and ranking helps increase traffic—the two hand-in-hand.

And while you may not think being ranked #1 is much different from being ranked #2 on Google, hold my tea.

Having your website rank #1 on a Google search increases clicks by 32%. Just moving one spot up dramatically increases your click-through rate (CTR), the percentage of users who saw your search/ad and clicked on it.

Enhancing user experience​

The point of Google is to give the user the best results. That said, Google’s algorithm mainly focuses on helping users reach websites that give them the content they need and also a positive user experience.

So what does a positive user experience mean?

Providing users with a positive experience means that Google looks at whether your website provides valuable content, is mobile-friendly, the website’s speed, and usability.

By implementing SEO on your website, you’re enhancing the user experience, making Google happy (you don’t want to see Google when it’s angry).

Over to You

You now know what SEO is and what it can do for your business (and as you’ve learned, it can do a lot).

So what now? Good question! If SEO is something you want to add to your business, I recommend checking out this YouTube video or reading this post to help you learn the next steps to take. You can also take a free SEO course if you want to really get into it. 

Natasha Ivanovic is a Vancouver-born creative writer that started her writing career as a freelancer while studying for her Master’s in Investigative Psychology. On the weekends, she writes short stories for her blog, TheLonelySerb, and cuddles with her bulldog, Bob.