If you want to get an edge on the competition in 2020, then you need to know the latest facts and figures about SEO for small businesses. This year, the majority of marketers plan to use SEO as a key tactic to increase website traffic and leads. Most are using blogs, rich content, responsive websites, photo, and video to capture the attention of prospective customers and leads. As a business owner or small business marketer, you need to understand SEO for small business to jump on this important opportunity.
Importance of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) increases both the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through unpaid search engine results. A variety of factors contribute to this as search engines evaluate the health and helpfulness of your website to serve up results. The stronger your website content and design, the higher you will rank on search engine results over time. Catering to Google, the most popular search engine, dominates most SEO practices.
Most SEO techniques revolve around pleasing the Google algorithm to achieve a higher ranking. If you run a business website, regardless of whether you do business online, your ranking is important. It allows customers to find you either in a brick-and-mortar building or for online services.
Bill Ross, CEO of Linchpin SEO, a Wake Forest SEO Company
Small businesses must compete with three distinct entities for market share. First, they compete with other small businesses in the local market. Second, they compete with big corporations that use their vast reach and reputation to saturate the globe. Third, small businesses compete with online-only options with low overhead and innovative features. With all this competition, smart small businesses owners are always looking for ways to gain an edge.
Why Is SEO Important for Small Businesses?
SEO remains one of the most cost-effective ways to engage customers or clients. The only cost is to generate content. Whether you do the work in-house or outsource, the dollar value far exceeds traditional marketing methods. You have the chance to meet users at the ideal time in their decision-making process. You can provide helpful information that answers their key questions and pain points. Then, they are more likely to choose your business as the brand they trust.
To prove the importance of SEO for small businesses, we have collected 19 stats to influence your marketing plan for 2020. In general, the past year has seen an increase in user reliance on search engines for information. This is even more prominent at the local level, creating a boon for small businesses. If you want to capture your local market, then you should pay attention to these important search statistics.
User Behavior Stats
Each year, internet use increases among all populations and devices. By the end of 2017, some major shifts occurred. Notably, smartphone use outranked desktop for the first time. Additionally, the majority of the oldest demographics are online and often using smartphones. This means most people are using the internet on the various available devices. If you don’t have a responsive website, now is the time to update your design.
- 56% of the global population used the internet in 2019.(Statista, 2019)
- 65,268 google searches are performed every second. (Internet Live Stats, 2018)
- 3.4 searches are performed each day by the average online searcher. (Moz)
- 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones in 2018. (Statista, 2019)
- 75% of smartphone owners use search first. (Think with Google, 2018)
- 2 out of 3 of people ages 65 and up go online. (Pew Research Center)
Search Query Behavior
Understanding typical search behavior can help you create content that ranks well for search engines. Notably, user intent has shifted to include an expectation for local results. Small businesses can take advantage of this through smart content planning:
- 3 words total are used in the typical search query. (Moz)
- 80% growth has been measured in “best” mobile searches in the past two years. (Think with Google, 2018)
- 150% growth has been recorded for “near me” searches. (Think with Google)
- 300 million photos were shared on Google Maps last year. (Google, 2018)
Recent Google Changes
Keeping up with Google’s algorithm can be difficult. However, you can check in on the biggest changes for the year. For example, snippets are getting longer. Also, Google is favoring secure websites. These are important as you create a plan to update your content.
- 500-600 times each year, Google changes its search algorithm. (Project 320, 2019)
- 230 characters for snippet length is now average compared to 160 in recent years. (Search Engine Land, 2017)
- 50% of first page Google results were secure (https) websites. (Moz, 2017)
Small Business Competition
If you don’t want to fall behind your competitors, then you should start a strong SEO plan now. Most marketers are planning to prioritize SEO in the coming year. Generating helpful information to meet your ideal customer’s pain points will help you compete.
- 63% of marketers rank generating traffic as their top challenge. (HubSpot, 2017)
- 61% of marketers list improving SEO and search engine rankings as their top goal. (HubSpot, 2017)
- 53% of marketers prioritize blog content creation as their top initiative. (HubSpot, 2017)
Small Businesses Opportunities
For small businesses specifically, SEO can be a powerful tool. Additionally, local SEO can help connect you to prime customers or clients. Take advantage of the trend by building up your ranking now.
- 25-35% more clicks occur on business listings with a website. (Google, 2018)
- 57% of U.S. travelers want brands to tailor their information based on past behaviors or individual preferences. (Think with Google, 2018)
- 50% of people search for promotions or discounts online. (Google, 2018)
Whether you just started a new website or want to improve your current content, SEO allows you to increase both the quality and quantity of your website traffic. Over the past year, users of all ages and on all devices have become more reliant on search to navigate their lives. More so, they appreciate local options and customized information. Smart small business owners will take advantage of this trend by creating a niche in the market that captures their ideal audience.