Why SEO is important for small businesses

Why SEO is important for small businesses

Life as a small business owner can often seem overwhelming. You may feel like a little bit of a “jack of all trades”. Your responsibility is to oversee your finances, manage your own professional team of staff, and lastly, to take control of the SEO marketing of your business. With this long, winding list of responsibilities, it is unlikely you can ever pay true attention to the effectiveness of each marketing strategy you employ.

What is often overlooked by small business owners, is that having an effective, optimised website that uses keywords that are relevant to your niche, and is designed visually to allow for a pleasing, and easy customer experience can have a long-lasting impact on the image and visibility of your brand online.

So let’s get into some of the benefits of optimising your website for user experience.

Your Website Must Welcome Customers

The first reason why optimising your website for SEO with an impressive design is that your website is truly a reflection of your own business. Your business’ culture, service, and reputation are all visible to a customer as soon as they open up your webpage. That is why it is crucially important to optimise your page for design and SEO. Many people think that SEO solely means optimising keywords to rank higher on search engines. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Optimising your website for SEO means decluttering, creating a clean, welcoming, and friendly design that offers the smoothest and most streamlined customer experience possible. Because that’s exactly what we want isn’t it? Nothing makes a user and potential customer leave a website faster than a messy, unstructured, and incoherent design. By giving your website a little “makeover”, you can encourage visitors to stay longer, increasing your page views and your bounce rate too.

As well as that, the combination of adding value to the lives of customers and focusing on optimising specific keywords can also keep your readers happy. This means that you can solve their pressing issues and play a bigger role in helping them solve their own personal problems. This will, therefore, increase the likelihood that any given website browser can become a paying, lasting customer and fan of your brand.

2. SEO Brings More Paying Customers

Secondly, SEO brings in more customers. One of the very main reasons for having a website is that it gives you the opportunity to truly stand out from your competitors in the eyes of target customers. Otherwise, what would be the point in business investing thousands of dollars into marketing right? In fact, many businesses that do optimise for SEO can bring in more customers, and are able to grow twice as fast as businesses who do not.

Leveraging the power of the internet and optimising your website for both a clear design and for specific keywords is possibly one of the cheapest and most effective methods of bringing new customers to your brand. On top of this, you are likely to only attract potential customers who are interested in the solutions you offer, as they are actively taking a role to search for a solution to the problem that they face.

As long as you’re willing to spend just a fraction of your time to learn, and then optimise your website for SEO, you will have the opportunity to bring more “targeted” traffic to your business. This is likely to give you a real advantage over the competitors in your niche. As well as that, there is no other business marketing tactic that you could use to bring in this kind of traffic, which will, in the future, bring such a high return on investment.

3. SEO Can Generate More Brand Awareness

Thirdly, one often overlooked advantage that having a thoughtfully designed and totally optimised website can bring you is that it can generate a huge wave of brand awareness. One of the benefits of investing in keyword optimisation is that you will inevitably rank higher on search engine rankings. This means that when your customers search your keyword, and they find your business at the top of the rankings, they will be more likely to trust Your business, giving you and your brand a more professional look.

This is why small businesses need to start paying significantly more attention to how they optimise their websites as far as keywords are concerned. Businesses who want to set themselves apart from the competition in their niche must thoughtfully optimise for SEO, to rank higher in search engines for their industry. This isn’t the 80’s or 90’s anymore, it truly is time that you must start to optimise for SEO.

4. SEO Means Better Overall Website Performance

Fourthly, another advantage of SEO optimisation, is that it leads to greater statistics regarding traffic, conversions, and overall healthier website performance. With the rapid increase of mobile phone usage for browsing, it is essential that you optimise your website for local SEO. Local businesses can attract potential customers by ranking higher for popular keywords, which therefore puts customers in the local area one step closer to a transaction.

5. Put Yourself in Prime Position for the Business Cycle

Another advantage is, that SEO optimisation will put your business in a prime position as far as the buying cycle is concerned. Customers will always research their problems, and closely examine the various solutions that they are faced with from search engine optimisation. That is why it is so important for small businesses to rank higher on these search engine results. Using the aforementioned SEO tactics can give your business a boost when it comes to promoting your message, and services that you offer them.

The impact that the buying cycle can have on the lifetime of a transaction cannot be understated. Brands must be visible for customers to see when they begin to search for the solutions they need. SEO helps businesses to put the solutions they offer in front of active customers.

Another huge advantage of SEO optimisation is that it is truly quantifiable. Whilst it may not have the precise analytics or statistics of paid search, or perhaps other social media advertising platforms. With a few simple steps, you can measure quantifiably, the benefits that your brand is receiving from your investment in SEO.

In SEO, you can track everything, from rankings to conversions to lost links and more, in order to prove the value of SEO. On top of that, these measurements are critical to helping your brand thrive. Furthermore, this access to relevant and quantified data can allow you to pivot your business strategy when you find that something isn’t quite working the way you expected it to.

6. SEO Allows You to Bypass Your Competition

Close your eyes and imagine this. Two businesses, the same niche, both of whom sell similar products and almost identical prices. One, however, has fully optimised their website design for coherency, and optimised for relevant keywords in their niche… and the other has not. Which website do you think will perform better? It’s a no brainer.

Which company do you think is more likely to grow? To build a brand? To turn website visitors into long-lasting fans? It really just comes down to common knowledge. Like I said at the beginning, the website you have is a reflection of your own brand and it’s values. If you can see that your customers have optimised their website design, and optimised for relevant niche keywords, then essentially, you don’t have a choice other than to optimise your own brand. And if they aren’t doing it? Well… this is your chance to gain an advantage over them.


In conclusion, then, it seems that in today’s world, optimising your website appropriately for both design and keywords that are relevant can make a real difference to the performance of your business in the digital world. Once you have a firm grasp of the basics, SEO optimisation enables you to set your business apart from your competitors and gives you a real opportunity to project your unique selling points over competitors.

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Msimelelo Makatesi is a graphic designer in Cape Town with an interest in branding, packaging design and WordPress website design.

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