Search engine optimization is one of the most important tools small businesses need to survive in today’s highly digital environment. Small business owners need help making sure their business not only survives but thrives too. According to the US Small Business Administration, there are more than 30.7 million small businesses in the country, but most of them will never expand.

However, many small businesses are still unable to use the tools to grow them. One of them is search engine optimization (SEO). Despite the difficulties small businesses faced in 2020, only 30 percent of these small businesses are using SEO.

Search engine optimization is key to overcoming obstacles that are preventing your small business from growing.

Below are some methods of effective SEO strategies that will make your small business a success, from outmaneuvering competitors to securing more traffic to your website.

  1. Gain new clients

The problem: The most common reason small businesses fail is because of lack of cash flow. About 82 percent of small businesses fit together because they cannot find new sources of cash or cannot attract enough customers to generate new income.

A cash flow problem also adversely affects your efforts to grow your business. Growing your small business, whether it’s expanding to a new location or simply improving your current services, requires a lot of capital. Without a healthy cash flow and new customers to support those expenses, you’ll have trouble starting your business expansion, let alone sustaining it long enough to generate more sales.

The solution: Search engine optimization can help your small business find new revenue streams by attracting more customers.

According to a study, 97 percent of people use search engines to learn more about local businesses. This means that getting to the top of search engine rankings is essential if you want to increase your company’s chances of attracting new customers. For example, SEO for plumbers can help raise awareness of your business by putting it at the top of the keywords people look for when they have a burst pipe or flooded basement.

  1. More engaging website

The problem: The problems that emerged in 2020 made it clear to business owners that expanding business into the digital world is not an option. Since many small businesses had to close their physical locations, many dedicated business owners had to turn to opening websites. This is a major change from what experts found in 2019, when a survey found that up to 40 percent of small businesses didn’t even have a website.

The problem is, businesses fail to create engaging websites that can convert casual viewers and searchers into paying customers. Without a great website, your small business will struggle to retain customers or convert leads into cash flow.

The solution: Search engine optimization strategies include making your company website not only more accessible to users, but also more attractive to search engine bots and readers alike.

So many small businesses create websites to just serve as a digital storefront for their business and forget to take full advantage of their website’s capabilities. Effective search engine optimization for plastic surgeons, for example, not only makes their websites appear at the top of search engine results, it also makes sure they contain engaging articles that add to their authority. SEO would also make the website more visually appealing and make it more accessible to mobile users. All of these factors are critical to ensuring that your company website not only serves as a place to buy products but also helps more people appreciate your business.

  1. Get local clients

The problem: If your small business does not have the manufacturing capabilities, then you are probably not set to grow domestically or internationally. And that’s a good thing because it allows your company to focus. Too many small business owners, however, neglect the importance of maintaining a healthy local clientele and immediately opt for national reach. This is folly as 46 percent of searches on Google are for information about local businesses.

If you don’t take advantage of this interest, your competitors can attract these local customers. Local customers are essential to making sure your small business is thriving as they are most likely to have your products delivered or, better yet, drive to your physical location and do their local purchases.

The solution: With local search engine optimization, your company will appear at the top when searching for specific keywords in your region. This means that people who search for “hairdressers near me” will see your business at the top of the list, making them more likely to click your website link.

Search engine optimization strategies for growing your local customers aim to make it easier to find your business, improve your business reviews on sites like Yelp, and improve your connections with the local community through good keyword placement.

  1. Beat your competitors

The problem: With more than 30 million small businesses across the country, competition is fierce and everywhere. Even on the internet, not only is your small business competing with companies in similar fields in your area, but you have to beat companies that use the same keyword as in other locations.

Unless your company already has a large customer base, you will find that your competitors are withholding much-needed new customers and revenue from you. These setbacks will no doubt prevent you from growing your business or keeping your current business as it is. Coming on top of search engine results pages is critical to attracting new customers and staying one step ahead of your competitors.

The solution: According to SEO experts, only 8 percent of people choose companies that appear beyond the first page of search results. The remaining 92 percent of searchers stay with those who only appear on the first page.

Search engine optimization strategies will help your small business achieve these coveted positions. By creating a network of backlinks, improving your website, and making sure you are using the right keywords, you can slowly differentiate your competitors from these top notch slots, and thus get more of the customers and profits. This can grow your business and make sure you beat the competition.

  1. Make Social Media More Effective

The problem: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have undoubtedly revolutionized the way people interact with the world. But they have also changed the way companies work. Experts estimate that there are more than 90 million companies on Facebook alone and that 85 percent of companies in the US have been using it as a marketing platform since 2016. However, the sheer number of companies on these sites means that it is harder to try to outperform.

The company also needs to understand that optimizing their social media pages is still important as most people find them through search engines. Posting a photo and a poorly worded caption won’t help your business. You need a good strategy and efficient coordination to make your social media posts not only more visible, but also more effective.

The solution: SEO has many facets, including optimizing your social media pages for search engines and users.

Using the correct hashtags and the correct number of hashtags is equally important to this endeavor. Captions should be precise and include keywords that will put your business at the top of the results pages. A successful SEO strategy will incorporate these into your marketing plans and make it easier for you to increase your online influence.

Your small business will face many hurdles on the road to success, and search engine optimization can be key to removing them. Using SEO effectively is key to growing your small business and making sure it grows during these uncertain times. So make the right choice and find the right company to provide you search engine optimization strategies asap.