The main goal of every entrepreneur is to get their business off the ground and maintain a positive cash flow.
If we bear in mind that reduced cash flow management is the reason why 82% of small businesses fail, it’s clear that kick-starting your business successfully can be quite a challenge.
Apart from working hard and hiring the right team of people, you need to have a well-written business plan as that can improve your chances of achieving viability by 16%.
When it comes to what you should include in your business plan, a marketing budget is, though usually neglected, one of its most crucial elements. Digital transformation and understanding the power of online marketing can make or break your business.
And maintaining your digital property right definitely requires you to include an SEO strategy within your business plan.
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It Can Help You Build Your Brand
Search engine optimization is a set of tactics aimed at boosting the quality and quantity of your website traffic through the building and improving your online presence and visibility. It’s focused on increasing non-paid, that is, organic traffic.
And organic traffic is usually the primary source of website traffic.
As having a stellar online reputation can bring you a lot of new business opportunities and new customers, making it to the first page of Google search results should be one of your main concerns.
Most people search the internet in an attempt to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, but they rarely go beyond page 1 of search results. Hence that famous joke that the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google.
The thing is that even if you know the answers to your target audience’s questions, as well as if your products or services can help them solve their pain points, your potential customers won’t be able to find you in an avalanche of results.
In a nutshell, your business will be like a needle in a haystack, buried on the back pages of Google, waiting for someone to stumble upon it accidentally.
With SEO, your business stands a serious chance of getting noticed by the right people, likely to turn into your paying customers.
It Will Improves Your User Experience
Exceptional user experience on your website plays an essential role in the success of your digital marketing efforts.
At the same time, Google closely keeps track of this metric when it ranks websites. The search engine behemoth has become increasingly sophisticated when it comes to detecting and distinguishing between pleasant and poor user experience, and by optimizing your website, you’ll please both your visitors and Google.
An optimized website means that your potential customers will be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Take a page from Google itself – its users expect the most relevant search results that will provide clear and direct answers to the questions from their queries in just a few clicks. And that’s what they get.
In other words, web pages that load in under 3 seconds, that are optimized for mobile, that have intuitive navigation, and superb, tailored content can do wonders for attracting your prospects and improving your conversion rates.
If we do the math, we can easily conclude that excellent website performance translates into more conversions and, subsequently, revenue, both of which should be focal points of your business plan.
By offering your website visitors smooth user experience, you can be sure that they will stick around and explore your content longer as well as that they will come back again.
It Will Impacts the Buying Cycle
According to a study from 2018, 88% of consumers research their purchases online before making a final decision whether to buy a certain product or not.
This means that they check out your website and social media channels, but they also read reviews and opinions of other people about your products or services.
With the help of SEO, you’ll easily reach your target audience, and your message will be shown to them at the right moment.
Understanding customer behaviour and its changes throughout the buying cycle is crucial for coming up with an effective SEO strategy. Here’s an example of a three-stage buying cycle:
- Awareness stage – the customer is aware that there’s a problem that has to be fixed, so they start research gathering information about it. A person who broke their smartphone screen can look for something like “broken smartphone screen repair.”
- Consideration stage- at this point, the customer tries to identify the best way to solve their problem. Their search phrase will be more focused and localized – “smartphone repair shop near me.”
- Purchase stage – after researching various vendors or service providers, the customer is ready to make a decision.
By optimizing your content and offers across these three stages, you can attract your target customers’ attention during the first stage by producing the right content and enriching it with relevant keywords. In a nutshell, these keywords should reflect your customers’ intent and mimic the search phrases they type into Google search box.
It Will Attract Local Business Opportunities and Traffic
Local SEO has become a must.
Thanks to the increase in mobile and voice searches, this tactic is one of the hottest and most effective SEO trends. It’s capable of putting your business on the map, both literally and metaphorically speaking.
If we bear in mind that 76% of people who search for local businesses on their mobile devices, either call or visit a company in the next 24 hours, it’s obvious why this tactic should be your priority.
Not only will optimizing your business by focusing on a particular city, region, or even state increase your digital traffic, but it will also result in a significant increase in foot traffic.
Local citations are online mentions of your business in local directories, commerce chambers, other websites, and social media channels. They should be consistent and include all the relevant contact information about your business, such as the name, phone number, physical address, hours of operation, available payment methods, directions, and images, among others.
Accurate citations contribute to positive overall customer experience because your customers will be able to locate your business quickly and easily, and they won’t show up and find that your store is closed. Similarly, knowing whether you accept cards, for instance, is another essential piece of information that can affect their purchasing decision.
The answer to the title question is – yes, by all means. An SEO strategy will make your business plan more viable and likely to succeed in launching your business properly and building a strong foundation for its long-term growth.
By Michael Deane
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle, or catch up with him on Twitter.