Search engine traffic rules the net. In fact, most websites receive the majority of their visitors from search engines, Google to be precise. Most importantly, search engine traffic converts into sales more often than any other form of digital marketing.
If you’re unfamiliar with search engine optimization (SEO), it’s the process of optimizing your website for search engines so that when your products or services, and any concern related to them, are being searched for, your website will show up in the top results. For example, if you’re an attorney, you’d want for your website to show up when someone searches Google for an attorney in your city. Being that 75% of search users never stroll beyond it, a first-page listing is a goal.
Having helped a variety of different businesses achieve first page listings, rarely are any of these businesses owned by African-Americans. As an SEO specialist who understands the need for more prosperous, sustainable black businesses, I figured it was important to put together a piece briefly detailing why black businesses must invest in SEO.
Interested Customers Aren’t Able to Find Your Business
In this age of advanced technology, who doesn’t use Google? Think about it. How often do you pull out your smartphone to search Google for services, products, or information?
Times are different. Gone are the days that billboards, flyers, Yellow Pages, newspaper listings, and other forms of traditional marketing were the only ways to get your business in front of its targeted audience. The new game is digital and if you’re not investing in digital marketing channels such as SEO, you’re behind.
Within over 3.5 billion searches taking place on Google every day, there’s a number of black folks searching for black businesses to fulfill their needs. However, because most black businesses are buried deep in the search results, blacks, nor anyone else for that matter, are able to find them.
One of the most beneficial results of SEO, or having your business show up on the first page of search engines, is the opportunity to increase your brand’s awareness. The more potential customers are able to find your business when searching Google for your products or services, the more they’ll begin to associate those products or services with your brand.
Often times, local businesses that consistently hold the top positions on Google, for keywords or search queries related to their services, are the most well-known businesses in their industry. Due to potentially receiving more traffic and consequently more sales, they’re most likely the most profitable too. After witnessing the power of SEO through incredible ROI numbers, these businesses often seek to further dominate the first page of Google by paying for a sponsored listing as well.
The opportunity cost of waiting to invest in SEO is huge given the fact that your competitors already have. The longer you wait, the more time they have to build walls around keywords that are sure to bring new customers to your business.
How to Get Started with SEO
Before investing in SEO, it’s important to spend time on the web further educating yourself on how it works and what to expect. There are tons of available resources in the form of blogs, videos, webinars, conferences, and etc. to help boost your SEO knowledge. Additionally, it’s important to know that SEO is a long-term investment that typically takes 3–4 months to see results. This is why choosing a proven, trustworthy SEO agency or freelancer is critical to your success.
In summary, SEO is necessary to building a profitable, sustainable business in 2018 and beyond. Simply put, if customers aren’t able to find your products and services on Google, they’re definitely finding your competitors. As black business owners, who will undoubtedly face lots of turbulence throughout out our entrepreneurial journey, we must make sure that we’re available and easily found when our services are being called upon.