Written by Emily Hunter.

Did you know that more than 5 million queries are made on search engines every single day – a number that has more than doubled in the last decade? If your online presence is weak, you have the opportunity to make a small change that will have a big effect on your business.

In the past few decades, the small business landscape has drastically changed. At one time, having a large amount of start-up capital and a dream was enough to run a successful small business. Today, there are many more complex aspects to manage, including the creation and maintenance of a strong online presence. For small businesses, an online presence can be an effective yet inexpensive way to reach out to a large number of consumers and market your brand.

Companies large and small incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into their digital strategies, but it can be especially important for small businesses to implement it at a high level. Some companies choose the do-it-yourself method, while others prefer to hire an online digital marketing agency to help ensure success. But, what exactly is SEO? In a nutshell, SEO refers to the practice of developing your website and all-around online presence to ensure your company is visible in the free listings found in various search engines. It can be extremely effective for jumpstarting a new small business or for improving marketing techniques in an existing one. As one of the best investments in online marketing strategies for small businesses, let’s visit three of the major benefits it can bring.

1. Ability to compete with the giants

In the business world, there is always another company out there who is better than you. Even giant corporations can learn lessons from their competitors.  As a small business fighting for market share in an industry, it is important to leverage anything it can to help promote growth. SEO provides small businesses with this opportunity to compete on a larger scale, even without the same financial resources as the larger ones.

One of the benefits small businesses have over large businesses is their ability to focus on a niche market and work in a highly localized fashion. SEO can help to optimize one or both of these strengths to help build the company reputation and relevance in your given city or region. As a cost-effective tool, SEO provides small businesses with the opportunity to leverage its strengths and compete with some of the major players in its field.

2. Creation of high quality content

Within the realm of SEO, one of the most valuable ways to organically grow a small business is by providing readers with high quality, relevant content. The SEO algorithm is updated on a regular basis and the value of keywords; links and other previously successful methods are decreasing. Currently, the algorithm rewards true content that is updated on a regular basis – at least one to two times per week. High quality content not only increases your ranking in search engines, but also works to build customer loyalty and a positive customer experience.

Even more valuable is to provide this content across a variety of mediums including websites, blogs and social media platforms. The more locations the content is posted, the more your business will appear in searches and, subsequently, help to increase its authority and reputation in the field.

3. Access to customer data

When you implement SEO as part of your digital marketing strategy, one of the most overlooked benefits is the immediate access to customer data that you will have. Customer data comes with a variety of benefits in and of itself. For small businesses, however, it provides an opportunity to know exactly what the consumers like and dislike about your business. It may provide you with ideas of how to expand a product line, launch an updated version of an existing product or personalize your marketing campaigns to maximize their effectiveness.

In today’s environment, personalization is one of the fastest growing trends. With the customer data you’ll gain by participating in SEO, your business will be able to tailor discounts, product launches and special offers for your clients. For small businesses, this can be a major benefit to building brand loyalty among your customers.

When it comes to search engine optimization, there really is no shortcut to success. But by following a strategy that leverages your strengths as a small business, you can provide customers with high quality content, compete with the major players in your industry and have access to a large amount of customer data. SEO is an investment that won’t break the bank, even for small businesses, and will help you to see results within just a few months. What are you waiting for?

About the Author:

Emily Hunter is an SEM Strategist and Outreach Supervisor at The Marketing Zen Group. She loves designing strategies with her team and is excited about spreading the Zen gospel. In her spare time, she cheers for Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, crafts her own sodas, and crushes tower defense games. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily2Zen.

Growth Marketing Manager at |

Andrew has serviced SEO clients across a variety of industries including large-scale e-commerce, retail, home services, and more. As Growth Marketing Manager for UpCity, he works every day to improve our Marketplace experience for agencies and business owners alike.