In everyday life, the Internet is an effective means of obtaining information, not least thanks to the triumph of smartphones. But shopping is also shifting more and more into the virtual realm, because more than every second search query has a commercial background: customers are specifically looking for products and professional services. Small companies in particular can win many or, to put it more precisely, new customers with relatively small budgets through search engine optimization. However, it is usually not enough to only operate a beautifully designed website, because studies show that almost 80% of all Google users only look at the search results on the first page.
Anyone who bobs around with their side somewhere in the back doesn’t even have the chance to draw attention to themselves and win customers. The profitable growth opportunities on the Internet in combination with the changed purchasing behavior of customers make search engine optimization (SEO) appear to be strategically without alternative. What kind of measures are recommended? And where is the specific potential for small businesses?
SEO makes it possible: Make it big with a small business on the Internet
The economic success of a website is directly related to a good ranking. An attractive graphic design including good usability is desirable from the customer’s point of view, but the so-called on-page optimization (i.e. on the website itself) plays a key role: First and foremost it is about entering unique and keyword-optimized content that gives the website a high Give thematic relevance, which is rewarded with a good ranking by search engines. Even more: By optimizing texts for specific keywords, customers get exactly what they are looking for. The same applies to the aspect of paid advertising (SEM: search engine marketing, Adwords as an example): Small businesses can achieve quick success here with maximum cost efficiency, because they usually only pay for an actual click. The mere, but already image-effective, view of an advertisement is free of charge. Furthermore, this type of advertising is not disturbing, after all, customers who are searching and often willing to buy are shown exactly what they are looking for anyway. With individually definable budgets and regional options in online marketing, small companies in particular have the opportunity to quickly increase sales and raise awareness. The path of text optimization is a bit more laborious or ‘slower’, but it’s worth it. For legal reasons alone, texts should not simply be copied by the competition: search engines also recognize such duplicates and penalize them with poor rankings. The result is poor rankings and falling sales.
Strategic link building is the basis for a good ranking
Especially through links to other sites (keyword backlinks), small business owners can advance their website in a targeted manner. By linking to thematically relevant pages, you give your own website a high level of relevance, which Google usually rewards with a high ranking. But in general, nothing should be hasty and the motto ‘quality before quantity’ should apply: With this in mind, the links should be chosen carefully. A dosed approach is recommended, because a large number of links within a very short time can have a negative effect. The great advantage of all measures in the field of search engine optimization is that their effect can be understood transparently. The position of your own website in relation to certain keywords can be easily checked, and increases in visitor numbers and sales can also be recorded objectively. In this respect, laypeople can and should keep checking whether the measures taken are going in the right direction. Anyone who works with a professional SEO agency should insist on some kind of reporting system in order to be able to track progress based on numbers.
Neue Trends und Chancen für Kleinunternehmen im Bereich SEO
Many keywords that are required for optimizing texts are already so heavily occupied that it becomes difficult to use them profitably. With regard to paid ads, popular keywords may incur higher costs if the ads are to be automatically served at an effective frequency. In this respect, it is worthwhile, especially for small businesses or start-ups, to break new ground in the area of search engine optimization. Video marketing is very promising in this context, since visual content itself attracts the viewer’s attention much more than text elements on search engine results pages. With videos or other interactive content, a website can be brought to life and directly ‘address’ customers personally. SEO videos also offer customers the opportunity to offer customers tangible added value or innovative customer service: How about explaining instructions with creative help videos (tutorials) or promoting your own products/services with original videos? In this way, you can set yourself apart from the competition and anchor yourself in the minds of potential customers. In any case, the costs for a professionally created video are in relation to the long-term benefit. The effectiveness of this SEO measure is also increased by the fact that you can also embed the video on a Facebook company page, for example, in order to conduct professional social media marketing. Simply because of the practically non-existent costs, Twitter and Facebook should not be missing in your modern marketing mix in order to interact with customers in a targeted manner and to inform them about promotions in real time. Not only do you achieve close customer loyalty, but you can reach a large group of potential customers through ‘click-by-click propaganda’ in viral marketing in the form of shared content. In this respect, all measures in the field of search engine optimization actually have one thing in common – a large reach, even across borders and countries, provided that you also use foreign language content.
Conclusion: SEO is particularly worthwhile for small businesses
The few considerations here are sufficient to show that search engine optimization can be used to quickly promote your own website. However, you should take a holistic approach and adjust several parameters at the same time in order to make rapid progress. Of course, a certain amount of SEO expert knowledge is essential, especially since search engines regularly change their ‘ranking criteria’. Since some of the technical settings and requirements for a well-ranked website have to be made in the background for non-experts, it is definitely worth working with a professional agency. The big advantage in the SEO area is that even small budgets are enough to achieve measurable improvements. All SEO measures can be specifically traced in terms of their effectiveness, which allows a high degree of transparency. And finally, the Internet is an indispensable marketing component for making your own products or services known.