The rise of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has left a profound impact on every individual while reshaping our interactions with the digital world. It has brought significant changes to the way consumers search for products or services, purchase them and create revenue for businesses.
Those serious shifts are continuing into 2021. Yet, they make it increasingly more difficult for small businesses to stand out. To understand how search engine optimization can help you, find out why small businesses need SEO more than ever in 2021!
1. More People Search and Shop Online
In 2020, nearly 75% of consumers and sellers chose online options over traditional shopping. Due to COVID-19 risks, everyone is looking for convenience, speed, and safety. This may be why digital shopping is estimated to grow by 15% in 2021. Additionally, search traffic is soaring. Organic search results account for over 60% of all website traffic. Consequently, SEO has become more important than ever to business owners. Its days of being a neat addition to a wider online marketing campaign are long gone.
2. SEO Strategies Are Evolving
During the pandemic, SEO has turned into a gateway for big and small businesses to drive traffic. It enables shoppers to find what they’re looking for more efficiently from home. Given that consumers have gotten used to the convenience of online shopping, we can expect this to continue. That means SEO will remain relevant for many years to come.
However, keyword research and keyword-stuffed blog posts with poor content will not be enough on your way to ranking higher. It’s best to focus on quality over quantity to get noticed by SERPs. It’s also vital to research new trends. For instance, featured snippets are currently dominating search engine results.
3. Fierce Competition Makes Optimized Content Essential
Everybody is trying to optimize their business websites for search engines. That makes it difficult for small businesses to stand out. While big companies are increasing their SEO budgets for on page SEO services, it’s not impossible to rank if you’re running a smaller business. Focusing on high-quality content that answers important questions with long-tailed keywords could get your page included in featured snippets. It could bring users to your page first.
4. Changing Demands and Small Business SEO
The change in the demands of shoppers requires companies to create competitive and SEO-driven content. When it comes to local search, consumers increasingly include terms like “open now” and “near me.” Thus, you can gain the upper hand with local SEO strategies that convert. In 2021, SEO is one of the only ways to help you boost the online presence of your local business as a result of social distancing. However, your page should provide up-to-date information without neglecting off page SEO services and sponsorships or reviews. If you ignore some of those SEO strategies, your target audience may not be able to find your business.
5. Higher Focus on Essential Services
In 2020, the focus of consumers largely shifted to essential services and on finding the products or services they need the most. That includes food, entertainment, medical care, news, and more. The majority of small businesses fit into those categories, and that’s another reason why it’s crucial to invest in SEO and understand the trending keywords in your business and industry.
6. Long-Term Gains and Future-Proofing
As mentioned, SEO will be in the spotlight for a long time as customers are looking for online stores that provide an enjoyable user experience and give them what they need quickly. This makes SEO a long-term investment and a dynamic process that can future-proof your business.
We’ve already seen numerous trends come and go in 2020, but that isn’t the case with many SEO principles if you start to implement them right away. Nevertheless, strong security, mobile optimization, and a fast performing website will also be some factors that you’ll need to focus on besides SEO to reap the full benefits of the current situation.
To sum up, SEO can allow your small business to make the most out of the new reality in 2021 in many ways and ensure that your customers will stick with you for years to come!