When a user searches for a product or service online, you want your website to be at or near the top of the results (75% of users never click on results that aren’t in the top three). While nobody will claim that these services are cheap, there is no denying that they are effective, with SEO leads generating a close rate 7-8 times higher than most traditional outbound marketing leads. Many small business owners are on the fence about investing either because they’ve had bad experiences in the past or they are wary of shelling out money that is in short supply. But let’s look deeper into why small business owners should invest in SEO.

Search is the #1 driver of traffic

Although social media is on the rise, search is still the #1 driver of traffic to websites. More and more SMBs are realizing that having an effective organic search marketing campaign in place is beneficial to their bottom lines. By driving web traffic to your site using helpful articles and other tips, you are not only getting your name out there, but you are bringing in customers that are interested in purchasing. According to a major study done by Kapost, the conversion rate is nearly 6 times higher for companies that engage in content marketing than it is for ones that don’t. So not only are you getting more leads, you are nabbing them at a higher rate.

Inbound practices trump outbound by a longshot

Business are still sticking to traditional methods despite them being inefficient, costly, and time-consuming. While there will always be a place for print, the time has long past for putting more money into your inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is simply putting helpful content out there like blog posts, newsletters, or other forms of SEO as opposed to outbound that focuses on showing ads to disinterested people. Take some of these statistics to heart:

  • 90% of customers enjoy custom content
  • 61% in a major study said they felt better about a company, and therefore were more interested in buying from one that delivered custom content
  • Inbound produced 54% more leads than outbound according to Hubspot
  • 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine

These are powerful numbers. Not only does it show that customers want custom content from you, but it also shows that SEO in general produces more leads than traditional methods. When you couple that with the entire volume of search engine queries made each year, you can see how potent SEO can be.

Your competition still isn’t doing it

eMarketer.com, a large marketing website conducted a major survey of SMB’s and the results were shocking. More than half of all of the respondents said that they did not consider it important for new business opportunities. On top of that, 39% responded that they hadn’t invested anything into their marketing. Now some of that could be because they are a business that doesn’t need marketing: Perhaps a prestigious law firm, or a wildly popular local bar. But for the most part, this shows that local businesses still just don’t get the point, or they don’t have enough money to get the point. It’s hard to see how it isn’t a great source of new business opportunities, especially when 82% of internet users said they used search engines to find local businesses.

Even though the benefits of SEO are widely known, and have been proven by years of constant new lead generation and increasing ROIs, the number of small business owners not investing in it is shocking. This is bad for them, but great for you. You can get new customers, close more leads, and build your brand and reputation, all for much less than traditional methods. For anyone on the fence about paying, these stats should show you that there is no better time to invest than now.