Every business these days needs to be online. That goes without saying. But what do you do once you’re there? After all, there are many different marketing options, including Utah SEO.
Generally speaking, there are three online methods available for small businesses: SEO, social media marketing, and paid advertising. We’ll talk about each one and help you decide which one is right for your business.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process by which search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo decide which websites should get the top positions on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for their keywords (a keyword is simply a search term).
The process of search engine optimization is necessary because search engines can’t review every single product or service out there. SEO solves this problem by sorting websites based on their relevance, quality, and authority.
So, when you run your website with proper SEO practices in mind, you’ll help it rank higher because you’ll be playing by the search engines rules.
Why you need a good SEO strategy
You might be asking yourself whether focusing on Utah SEO is that important for your local Wasatch front business.
Well, here’s the reality…
These days when a consumer is looking for information about a business, most of them turn to search engines.
Therefore, by being prominent in Utah SEO, you can ensure that most of your potential customers get all of their information from you and not a competitor.
Also, by being present in the minds of consumers at all times, you increase the chances of them choosing you over your competitors. With SEO, you can meet your customer at the start, middle, or end of their buying journey.
These stages might include:
- finding local services
- researching product pricing
- reading online reviews
- learning more about your products and services
- deciding whether you’re the right business for them
We’ll talk about each one of these later. Let’s further narrow down SEO into local SEO.
What is local SEO?
Whether somebody wants a commonplace item like a pair of shoes or is looking for a local service, the research almost always starts online.
This is reflected in the data: 81% of consumers use the internet to make a purchase decision before stepping foot outside. Moreover, it was reported by Google that 50% of mobile searches are done by people who are looking to visit a local business that day. And not only that, 18% of queries led to a purchase within 24 hours of the initial search!
A good local Utah SEO strategy will allow you to capitalize on these facts.
With SEO, your business will have consistent listings and info across the internet, including your business name, hours of operation, address, and phone number, all of which can help turn a searcher into a customer.
However, before we get into specific SEO strategies, let’s talk about the more straightforward and faster option for getting your business’s information on the internet for consumers to find — a form of social media marketing and the central listing place for companies: Google-My-Business (GMB).
Benefits of Google-My-Business
GMB is essentially free Google advertising. It’s fast, effective and simple. In terms of how it works, you could say that it’s somewhere in between SEO and PPC. Here are the top benefits of GMB for small businesses:
- Show up in Google map searches: simply create a GMB listing and complete the verification steps to make your business pop up for local searches.
- Appear in Google’s local 3 pack: these three results show up above the organic results. You can get a 700% boost in clicks over other businesses by appearing here.
- Gain customers trust: brands that show up on Google are 2.7 times more likely to be looked into by consumers.
- Star ratings provide authority: with a GMB listing, customers can give your business a star rating and leave a review.
- Increase overall traffic year-round: GMB can help you overcome the ups and downs of website traffic.
- Increase sales: customers who find a brand through GMB listing are up to 50% more likely to purchase something.
- Learn more about your business: on your GMB page, you have analytics to show who your target customers are and how they like to engage with you.
- Rank higher in search results: the more Google can tell consumers about your business, the more Google will like you and rank you higher.
- Increase engagement: provide opportunities for customers to access your website and schedule an appointment, reserve a seat, and more.
- Stand out from competitors: make the most of your brief GMB description to stand out in a unique way. Be sure to include relevant keywords as well.
Online reviews benefits
In the previous section, we mentioned how GMB customers could leave reviews about your business. Now we’re going to go more in-depth on online reviews in general and how they can benefit your business.
- Free exposure: every review with your name and product is a form of free advertising. Additionally, this free exposure is more than you could get from a media company (especially if you’re a small business).
- SEO benefits: Google takes into account how often your business name is mentioned in reviews. If you’re mentioned a lot, then you’re more likely to rank higher than a business that isn’t reviewed very often.
- Peer recommendations: consumers are more likely to trust recommendations from people they know. Some also consider online sources to be legitimate.
- Constructive criticism and suggestions: As long as you’re confident in your product or service, this shouldn’t be something to fear. Constructive criticism left in online reviews allows you to respond publicly, which you should always do. Constructive criticism can also be a good source of free business ideas.
- Build closer relationships with customers: you can reply to both negative and positive reviews. Responding to reviews will show them that you’re listening and are interested in hearing their feedback. Customers will read your responses and feel closer to you as a person. You will no longer be just a business entity to them.
Responding to online reviews is one way to engage with your customers. Another way is through social media.
Social Media Engagement
In the past, businesses communicated through one-way communication. TV, radio, print, etc.
But times are changing.
Now it’s a 2 way street where customers can engage in numerous ways with your business.
So what is social media engagement?
When customers engage with your business on social media, companies measure it in the form of engagement. This includes metrics such as likes, subscriptions, mentions, comments, shares, views, and more.
Why Social Media Engagement is important
It’s smart to spend time where your customers like to frequent. According to Global Web Index, 30% of all time spent online is through social media interaction. Additionally, the average person spends just under 2 hours day on social media.
Engaging consumers with quality content takes a significant effort, but in return you can expect the following benefits:
- Social proof: if people see a popular social media page with happy customers then they will think “maybe I’ll be a happy customer too!”
- Global reach: even in the past global companies couldn’t market to a worldwide audience. Nowadays however social media allows for a global reach.
- Cost-effective advertising: it’s not hard to understand why social media advertising is cheaper than traditional print advertising. Printing 500000 flyers can be rather expensive, whereas getting 500000 views is cheaper. One person could share your ad that can be seen by hundreds or even thousands of people!
- Brand awareness: social media scales incredibly high. For example, if a customer likes your Facebook page, then his friends and followers can see that interaction, and your brand awareness will shoot up.
Now that you know the possible ways that your customers can interact with your business online, let’s get back to the topic of SEO.
How long does SEO take?
So how long does it take for results to materialize with Utah SEO?
The answer is that, unfortunately, SEO has no specific time frame.
However, there is one rule of thumb: if you stop following the search engines rules, then the results might stop too.
On the other hand, if you’ve never attempted SEO in the past, or you did but weren’t successful, then you should see results within months when you use the correct techniques.
So what is the correct way to do SEO?
Proper SEO for your website means producing high quality, relevant content for your target audience, as well as providing a good user experience.
Building this kind of website doesn’t happen overnight, but the long term benefits are absolutely worth it.
1st is all that matters
When it comes to the SERPs, there’s only one page that matters, and that’s the first page.
On the first page of Google, you have up to 6 paid posts, 3 map listings, and 10 organic listings.
It’s the organic listings that you want to outrank with SEO.
Your goal should be to rank #1 on the first page for your target keywords (or at least in the top 3 results).
In short, ranking on anything but the 1st page isn’t a viable SEO strategy.
Pull Advertising vs Push Advertising
We discussed organic listings already, but what about paid listings?
Paid listings and organic listings are 2 methods of improving your chances of being found on search engines.
So which one is better?
SEO focuses on pull marketing, which means bringing in customers to your business organically, as opposed to putting ads in front of them.
The other approach to getting customers is with push marketing. It can either push customers towards your business or push away those who aren’t interested in your product or service.
One popular form of push marketing is paid listings. Also known as pay-per-click advertising (PPC), these ads create instant visibility for your business. However, as we all know, ads can be annoying.
The unfortunate reality with PPC is that, if you don’t know what you’re doing (as most beginners don’t), paid advertising can cost you a lot of money and negatively brand your business in the process.
Costs for PPC advertising can also be unpredictable, shifting throughout the day, week, month, etc.
On the other hand, when you specifically optimize for Utah SEO, you’ll pull local consumers to you. They will take the first step to learn more about your business because they have a strong intent to solve their need.
The Benefits of SEO
The main benefit of Utah SEO is that it’s easy, cheap, and useful. It will help you stand out from the competition, and it will not require thousands of dollars spent testing and running ads.
Moreover, if you do decide to run ads, SEO can also help make them more effective.
To understand how this can happen you need to look at the quality score metric. This is how Google judges your ad to make it more or less effective for your business.
The quality score can affect your cost per click (CPC) on your ad as well as your ad’s ranking in the search engines, so it’s crucial to your bottom line.
Your ad’s quality score can improve if the text in your ad aligns with the landing page that you’re driving traffic to.
So how does SEO fit in?
Since doing SEO is free, you can see which of your keywords are working in SEO, and use those in your PPC campaigns. Then you can test and see if your ad performance improves. This will save you money testing and running ads for less effective keywords.
By combining SEO and search advertising, you can improve traffic to your website by 50%.
As you can see, Utah SEO isn’t just an excellent addition; it’s an integral part of doing business today that’s changing the way people consume information, research, and shop. Social media marketing and paid advertising also have a role in marketing your business online.