Search engine optimization has undergone many phases in its evolution. Originally perceived to be a niche, tech-heavy strategy only for online-exclusive brands, SEO today is a much simpler process that can be harnessed by almost any company.
Still, there are some types of businesses that can stand to benefit from SEO more than others. In fact, any of these types of companies that doesn’t use SEO as part of a greater brand visibility strategy will likely be swallowed up by the competition within the next several years. In some cases, SEO is simply a must-have.
If you belong to any of the following categories, you need to be using SEO now:
Startups have two big problems that can completely compromise the launch of their brand. First, they have zero visibility. When ramping up for the launch, your brand is completely new, and you have no way of instantly getting people familiar with it. Second, they have limited budgets due to little or no revenue. That means you can’t afford any large-scale marketing and advertising efforts. SEO presents a solution to both of these problems.
At its core, SEO is very simple, meaning it won’t take a lot of money to make an impact. As long as you get your onsite optimization in order, publishing regular content and syndicating it offsite is all you’ll need to do to start gaining visibility. And ranking for relevant keywords means your brand will be more visible even to people completely unfamiliar with you.
Mom and Pop shops are great, but they’re starting to struggle in the modern economy. In a world where giant franchise brands and online stores are dominating, these locally owned individual shops have trouble getting recognition. SEO presents a great alternative solution to this problem.
Today, local SEO is more important than ever, and it’s not highly competitive the way that national campaigns are. Instead, ongoing commitment to customer experience and an online presence on local directories like Yelp are all you’ll need to start getting noticed. The higher your reviews are, the higher you’ll rank in search engines, meaning that as long as you’re running a great business, your local SEO campaign will pay off in spades.
Contractors face several challenges with marketing, but visibility is the biggest one. Most contractors don’t have much of a brand to speak of, and they certainly can’t afford any advanced advertising campaigns. However, SEO’s affordability, combined with the possibility for building local ranks through user reviews, makes it a perfect strategy.
Plumbers, roofers, handymen, and other contractors only need a simple, possibly WordPress-based website to begin building a strong online presence. From there, cultivating local reviews and writing occasional content is all it takes to get an edge on the competition. Since most contractors have a depth of knowledge on their area of expertise, that part should be easy.
Practitioners, like doctors and lawyers, also struggle with the challenges of personal branding. Many don’t have a formalized brand; instead, they rely on their personal reputation to get by. However, establishing a website and building an SEO campaign can attract hundreds, if not thousands, of new clients and patients.
This is especially useful simply because so many people rely on search to find practitioners. Imagine you’re in a new city and you’re searching for medical care, but you don’t have any contacts—the first thing you’d do is head to Google and search for one. If you can get your practice at the top slot, you’ll earn the majority of those visitors.
Highly competitive brands are also a perfect fit for SEO. These types of companies are surrounded by close competitors who either operate in the same space or produce very similar products.
There are two extreme scenarios for these competing companies; either every company in the scope of the competition is already involved on SEO, or none of them are. Either way, using SEO is advantageous. In the first scenario, you’re almost forced to use SEO just to survive in the competitive landscape. In the second scenario, you have a key opportunity to cheaply improve your rank and steal visitors from your competitors’ websites.
Finally, companies who have products or services that address a very specific need can substantially benefit from SEO. These types of companies are driven by a specific customer desire or necessity, giving them one unique possible search phrase that’s tied to their product and their product alone.
This is a perfect opportunity for cost-efficient optimization. Because you’ll be capitalizing on a unique problem, you won’t face much of a competition, so your costs will be very low. Plus, because search volume for this particular problem will be high, you’ll never have to worry about getting enough traffic from the strategy.
The bottom line is SEO can help virtually any business get more visibility and more traffic. It doesn’t matter how old your company is, what industry you’re in, or even how much you have to spend. You get out of SEO what you put into it, and the web is ripe with opportunities to get more recognition. If you belong to one of the businesses listed above, you should get into SEO as quickly as possible, but even if you aren’t, you should at least consider SEO as a long-term strategy for your business.