Getting your business seen online is vital to its success. But, with thousands of other businesses all competing for visibility, how does yours stand out from the crowd?

Over the past decade, the digital marketplace has grown exponentially. Whereas the sales process once began as soon as a prospect picked up the phone, now that process starts as soon as a person logs online. With over 85% of consumers taking to online search engines to find the service they’re looking for, it’s safe to say consumer buying habits have changed forever, and so has the marketplace.

Just having a website is no longer enough, with more leads than ever being generated online, your business needs to act smarter and faster to pick them up.

Let’s say, for instance, you’re a local plumber. Outside of consumers making a direct search for your company name, your target market is going to head over to Google, type in “[place name] plumber” and let it do it’s magic. And no one has the time to research all the way back to the 23rd page of Google results. So unless you’ve got one of those coveted front page spots, or a particularly dogged consumer, you’re pretty much out of luck.

This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in.

I’m sure over the past few years you’ve seen this little abbreviation popping up everywhere, either that or you’ve been hounded by cold callers offering you a free SEO consultation. And much like a lot of business owners, you may be a bit puzzled at its sudden uptick in the business lexicon.

Due to its rather alchemic nature, there are a lot of misunderstandings about what exactly SEO is and what it can do. Even to a Bristol SEO agency, like us, SEO can sometimes be a little opaque.

But good SEO, SEO done right, is the reason your business is going to get on that Google front page and get seen by consumers around the globe. And we’re not talking about being on page 1 for your business name. That assumes people know about you already. No, we’re talking about getting on the front page for any of the potential search queries your future customers will use to find the products and services you offer. Giving you a competitive edge like no other.

SEO can provide you with valuable insight into your customer’s behaviour

The massive amount of traffic SEO generates, is all stored and tracked through services like Google Analytics. In the right hands, this is an amazing tool for your business and can provide essential feedback to inform your business decisions.

The data and metrics Google Analytics stores can give you an essential insight into your customer’s behaviour online; how they search, how they browse, the language they use, the technology they use, the region they live in, the days they are most active, the times of day they are most active, what colour their eyes are. We’re joking about the last one, but we’re not kidding about the depth of knowledge you can gather about what drives your customers to search for what they do, even why they choose you in comparison to other businesses. By collating and comparing customer data, you can gain a full-colour picture of who exactly your primary customer is, which can inform how you place your business both on and offline.

What now?

A lot of businesses don’t tend to put much aside in the budget to focus on marketing, seeing it as a non-essential cost. But, if all your other competitors have got flashing look at me arrows pointing in their directions, how are consumers going to notice you?

SEO has one of the highest success rates of any digital marketing service, and the relative cost of the initial investment, is minimal in comparison to the potential revenue SEO can bring your business.