How SEO can help small business to expand their horizons

By | January 14, 2012

For a small business growing in a somewhat remote location, it can be hard to imagine expansion beyond its current realms. However, the advent and ongoing development of the digital age has opened more doors for small businesses and almost removed geographical barriers altogether.

SEO is one of the most important industries when it comes to small business expansion using digital media. Whilst there are geographical differences in search engines depending upon where a user is searching from, there’s no reason why small businesses can’t rank well in search engine results for a term regardless of location.

I’ve outlined below a few reasons why SEO can be an invaluable asset to small businesses. There are plenty of search agencies out there with the expertise to get a SEO campaign off the ground, be it though on-site optimisation or indeed off-site link building:

Additional source of leads to get a business off the ground – if a small business is in a remote location, leads can be hard to come by. Ranking well for a search term that is relevant to the business will generate additional visibility and vastly increase the potential for lead generation through the business’ website. PPC is another option that can be considered, but organic SEO is far more effective in gaining the attention of any users searching for the chosen terms. It may also be worth considering long lead search terms of greater length, since this could increase the likelihood of conversion so long as the website is optimised appropriately.

Leveraging locale-specific search in the short term – when first starting out, it makes more sense to work on keywords that are specific to an area. For example, a bakery business in Manchester may seek to optimise the search term “Manchester bakers” or bakers in Manchester. Although such terms are quite specific, they are likely to generate more leads, but more importantly leads that can be fulfilled by the local business without the requirement to stretch resource. In addition, in the case of Google there can also be good tie-ins with Google Places and Google+, creating additional value for a local business.

Movement to optimising generic keywords for wider benefit – once local search terms have been capitalised on as much as possible, it then makes sense to focus on search terms with wider relevance. As per the example above, this could be as simple as terms like “UK bakers”. There’s no reason why over time this couldn’t be expanded on a global scale, depending on the focus of the business and the resource available to fulfill the requirements of trading on an international scale.

Whilst the benefits of embarking on a SEO campaign are by no means instant, it can be a huge factor in the growth of small business. The terms don’t just need to be used for lead generation either; they could also cover recruitment or training, making the process of expansion and easier journey. Although it’s recommended that a professional online PR or SEO agency is consulted when it comes to the campaign, the cost benefits of SEO are almost second to none.

Note from the Editor: This was a guest post.