You may have noticed that Google has changed their search engine little by little, moving away from delivering a list of possible to resources and transforming itself into a de facto resource itself. In essence, when users search Google for local businesses, they are likely to receive a map, a phone number, customer reviews, and other information directly from Google without ever having to click through to a website or scroll through pages of information on their own. Some companies have given up on Google rankings because of this, but SEO is still incredibly important for small businesses. Here’s why:
Get Listed on Google
Sure, Google has shortened their local pack list from ten slots to just three to four (depending on the search). This means that the competition has grown fierce for businesses who want to be represented in those first few clicks. How do you rise to the top? Well, your website has to rank well for Google to put you at the top of their list. Other factors come into play as well, such as your Google Reviews and your location and proximity. However, your website’s SEO rankings will also play a part. While it’s true that users may never click through to your site in the end, you still have to have a strong website if you want a piece of that pie in the first place, and it’s the sales that are more important in the end.
You Have to Be Adaptable
These days there are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Google changing their algorithm on a whim. If the ROI on having a website looks shaky at the moment, just remember that Google has repeatedly adjusted their strategy year after year, often with little warning of how it will impact businesses and advertisers. However, no revision has been so drastic that it wipes out all of your hard work. Rather, many of the tricks that used to work still produce modest results, and it’s up to you to add the new features as they land. Having a website that is already complete with blogs, videos, and great keywords means that you can take on any challenge Google throws your way.
One thing we can’t deny is that Google’s search algorithms have become more accurate and more pliable as their language learning capabilities have grown. This means that websites that feature regular language and answer questions in a true Q&A or FAQ format are scoring plenty of points from Google. If you want to make a big impact, keep showing the community that your site is there to be helpful, and you will earn your spot at the top of the search results.
Now is not the time to fall behind on your web presence. Slow and steady wins the race, which means you need to have a good handle on your small business website today if you want to be ready to take on the next wave of developments in digital marketing. No matter what Google does, the only way to get featured is to have a website ready to go.