You may think that “SEO” (Search Engine Optimisation) is just a fancy marketing phrase for large companies and corporations as the owner of a small or medium-sized business Online Learning Center . You’re not alone however; according to a recent poll, only 28% of small businesses consider SEO even though 56% of them have their own websites.

It is more important than ever in this day and age to use SEO. Your company may suffer just as much if you neglect to use SEO tactics on your website as if you lock your front doors. What does SEO do then? SEO is the difference between being visible and being invisible in a world where the majority of customers use search engines to find nearby businesses. Here are the top 5 reasons why SMBs need to employ SEO right now.

1) Traffic Increase

Your website receives the majority of its traffic from search engines. It takes more than just setting up a website to be seen; you need to let people know you even exist. In order to choose which websites will appear on the first page whenever someone uses Google or another search engine to find a new job, designer handbag, auto repair, or anything else, Google uses certain algorithms.

You may be one of the first websites to appear whenever someone searches for something related to your industry by utilising specific Image submission sites SEO tactics. You will get buried by a pile of rivals if you don’t invest in SEO.

2) It’s economical

However, the only expense associated with SEO is the time you spend studying SEO tactics and creating content, or the money you spend hiring an SEO expert to raise your Google ranks. You can anticipate a ROI that is several times higher than any Facebook or AdWords advertising, up to 800% or more, with a competent SEO campaign sustained over several months.

3) Localized advantages and specific keywords can help small businesses outperform larger competitors.

Once you become familiar with SEO, you will realise that it is all about the keywords, which are the terms that people use to search online. Writing content with these keywords in mind can help your site become stronger and rank higher when people search for that particular term. This is the overall purpose of SEO.

As a result, you might believe that there is little prospect of success for you; after all, how are you meant to out-SEO big organisations and corporations who have been doing this for years? Long tail keywords, however, are actually more advantageous for small enterprises. Long and specific keywords or phrases are referred to as long tail keywords. Your target market is also smaller and more specialised as a small firm (for example, everyone looking for your product or service in your town or city, as opposed to a global audience). You can focus on long-tail keywords that target a particular area or audience and that big companies won’t bother to use. Sure, all the searches for “new toys” may go to Toys R Us, but all the searches for “new toys for young boys in London” can go to your small toy shop.

And this isn’t the only thing that supports small businesses; with Local Search, search engines typically take into account the user’s location, giving you a better chance to be discovered by local users. This will only increase with recent revisions in which business owners can further personalise their listings.

In addition to this there is also what’s known as “off-page SEO”: this is less about the SEO work you do on your website, and more about boosting your reputation in the real world and through social media. It turns out that people are more than eager to talk up a small local business that provide an excellent service, and the more people are talking about you on the web, the more likely your ranks will climb.

4) Competitors Will Always Have an Advantage If You Don’t Jump Onboard

The internet boom has come and gone, and ignoring what it can offer is just irresponsible for your business. SEO is fact of life these days and most, if not all, of your competitors are certain to be doing this, so you need to get onboard.

You may argue that you already have a stable group of loyal customers who will keep your business afloat, customers with whom you have built up trust before the SEO and social media years. Sure, that may be the case now, but how long until those customers stop needing or wanting the service or product you provide? New customers will not flock to your store like the old ones. Why? Because new customers will be swept away by your competition long before they even hear your name.

5) SEO Will Always Be Around

SEO isn’t something that we’ll ride out. The way search engines work, and the fact Google has an increasingly monopolised hold over search engines and various social media platforms, SEO will always be relevant. The best option is to start working on your SEO as soon as possible if you don’t want your business to drown under the current.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t let the marketing acronyms and jargon scare you away; at the end of the day, SEO is as simple as every other part of running a business. The longer you wait, the further you fall behind. And if you still don’t feel comfortable handling all the technical aspects of SEO, that’s fine; that’s what SEO specialists are for.