What is SEO and why should you care?
SEO’s importance is an often overlooked aspect of starting a business.
Whenever someone needs a product or service, let’s say plumbing, the first thing they do is google, ‘plumbers near me.’ It is so common, that this is the primary way for people to look for everything these days. This is also why it is important to be visible to the customer whenever they look for a service/product that you sell. For example, if you are a web development firm, the first thing you need to do is ensure this:
When people search ‘whom to hire for web development,’ your studio should pop up on the first page of the search results. This is a sure-shot way to get more clients for your business as 4.3 billion people on the planet use google. On top of that 54% of all website traffic is generated by organic searches. Search engines are hence very important to your business, no matter what business you have.
Now, what is SEO?
SEO means ‘Search Engine Optimization.’ As the name suggests, it is a list of procedures and best practices in content writing that increase your chances of ranking higher on the search engine. As both Google and Bing have a ranking system in their search results, certain factors govern the algorithm of the search engine. It is to give the viewer exactly what they are looking for, within the first page of their search result.
Although an SEO plan may be advantageous for most businesses, there are some niches where SEO is particularly important for audience outreach.
Companies in very competitive markets rely on SEO to outperform rivals and “win” additional clients by boosting their online visibility.
An extremely competitive market forces businesses to adhere to SEO quality standards, and regularly produce and publish quality material regarding their business. They also need you to enhance websites to appear on the front page of Google for inquiries pertaining to your business.
No matter what industry or business you operate, you need SEO. But some industries see a higher return from applying SEO best practices than others.
Industries/markets that employ SEO the most
According to this 2017 study, 17% of the total population looks for lawyers via a Google/Bing search. Hence SEO for lawyers is incredibly important. Law firm SEO depends on various factors- the location of the practice, and the type of practice (elder law, corporate law, criminal law, marital law, etc). Niches matter a lot in this regard as people usually search ‘divorce lawyer in X city’ (for instance) more than general searches.
If you are someone whose business heavily relies on Shopify (or its equivalent), SEO is your priority. Any business that sells orders online by accepting payment (on the same website) are ones who the most affected by SEO. For example, if you are a t-shirt seller on Amazon, you might want to include every keyword that a customer might search for to look for that t-shirt. For instance, if your t-shirt is a crewneck, include that in the title. Similarly, include everything that a person might type when looking for a t-shirt. Color, sleeve length, graphic print description, length, size, the occasion on which it is worn, etc. Make sure most details are included there. This would make it easier for the Google algorithm to match up your business page with the search terms of the user.
Medical professional services
As a resident of an area, you might know who around you is a dentist. But it is hard to know every niche and the reputed professional practicing that niche in your area. If you particularly need an X-Ray, you won’t necessarily go to a hospital without researching whether the hospital offers those services. This is the case where search engines outperform any advertising agency in terms of organic reach.
If you are an orthopedic located in London, as long as your website/clinic shows up on Google when searching ‘Orthopedics in London‘, you are good to go. But to get there, you must have your clinic show up at a proper Google location with reviews, user-posted photos, as well as contact details. Along with this, if you also have your own website detailing the professional qualification of your doctors, the services you offer, as well past patient testimonials, it is great.
Property or real estate markets
SEO techniques are used more frequently than one might think in real estate. The real estate market has reached a larger number of people thanks to the advantages of SEO. Given the number of individuals searching for new residences, garages, leasing flats, and leasing office space, SEO has succeeded in bridging the divide between customers and real estate brokers. A user could look for the best broker-equivalent service they want by just typing in a single term, such as a postal code, particular state, or city. Real estate brokers may use SEO to get their business sites to appear on the top page of web searches.
This is great for looking at niche properties as well. If you are particularly selling properties that are converted into boutique hotels or Airbnb, you are much more likely to get a renter through SEO. Especially when compared to real-life means like print adverts. Hence, use your niche to your advantage and make sure those keywords appear on your page. If your room/property has a particular amenity- like a bathtub, you are more likely to get people who are looking for a bathtub. If you have wheelchair access, make sure it is on your website, because people who need wheelchair access hotels usually never search ‘hotels in Barcelona,’ etc. They search ‘hotels with wheelchair access in Barcelona’.
Imagine this- you’re going on a date and you ask your partner where they wish to go. It seems like the age-old tale of indecisiveness. What would be the first way to look? Instinctively, you’ll pull out your phone and begin to search ‘restaurants near me.’ Restaurants arguably benefit the most from SEO as they don’t necessarily need a website to attract customers.
All they need is a google location where there are user-uploaded pictures, reviews, and a menu. This gives you every metric you need to decide where you might want to go. Hence, you must make sure that you have a search engine presence in your city/area. A good thing to do is reply to the reviews in the section. This signals to your customers that you care about their opinion, and they are more likely to pick you over the restaurant above or below you in the search result.
Repairs and renovations
Repairs and renovations include repairs to everything-laptop, phones, cars, etc. If your car breaks down on the highway, you cannot contact your trusty mechanic 90km away. The prudent thing to do would be to google, ‘car repair near me.’ This will give you enough options to choose from and to also see how well-reviewed each option is before picking one. Hence, it is important to have an online presence as a repair shop owner.
Home renovations are also usually sudden or unexpected. When your roof starts leaking, you cannot quite wait for a week to find a suitable person to repair it. It must be done soon. So it is most likely that you will use Google or Bing to find one. Make sure that your business has both a website as well as a google location presence. So that customers can look at your in-depth service as well as the reviews simultaneously before booking you.
If your company has many branches and sites, you must focus on improving your SEO rankings everywhere. You could build your position in the business and in many areas by using expert SEO. Also, you will be able to simultaneously contact your intended audience in several locations with the aid of professional SEO optimization.
This is essential for companies with different locations to run SEO efforts that target customers everywhere. You need local SEO for each place if you want to enhance search results globally. Your business may grow anywhere if you use geo-targeted phrases for various areas all through the content of your website.
While neither of these businesses needs SEO in the order mentioned in the article, chances are, that professional SEO won’t do your business any harm either. Hence, it is always prudent to invest your energy and resources into building a lucrative online presence.
Even if you have a small electronics shop on the corner of an alley, it is important to make sure people know that your shop is just around the corner. From location advantage to customer reviews and photos on Google, incoming customers are way more likely to come to you if they know that you exist.
Debby B works as the Lead Marketing Manager at Paton Marketing. She has been writing about web development best practices for the past three years. She closely monitors marketing trends and technology advances in the industry to help her clients achieve the best market reach they possibly can. She has worked with the likes of governments, private IT start-ups, as well as big brands like Apple, etc.