Small firms are missing a trick when it comes to SEO

There's a widespread lack of understanding about search engine optimisation among UK small firms - despite its importance in driving website traffic.

The findings of a poll by Digimax reveal that only 8% of UK small businesses fully understand the potential of search engine optimisation (SEO); and 5% of SMEs admit they have no idea what SEO is or how it could benefit their business.

Many small firms are focusing most of their attention on social media when web searches actually drive 300% more traffic, according to Digimax. It says web search generates 81% of B2B purchases and creates more than half (57%) of all business leads.

Digimax asked small businesses what they thought SEO was. These were the findings:

  • 42% thought that SEO was only about adding keywords to their website;
  • 18% said SEO was about getting a higher Google ranking;
  • 15% said it was about making their website Google-friendly;
  • 12% said SEO was about adding content to their website;
  • Only 8% said that SEO was about all of the above and more;
  • 5% admitted that they didn't know what SEO was at all.

Because SEO is constantly changing, users are finding it hard to keep up. Shaz Memon, creative director at Digimax, said: "SEO did begin with the adding of keywords to a website, but for the last five years or so, it's involved so much more and this evolution has confused people."

Keywords are still important but they are not the whole story, he said. "Your website … needs to be clear, concise, logically organised and user-friendly. Sentences should be to the point and the content both original and easy to understand. SEO now involves a high degree of user experience; it's not something that you can just wing. And that's even before you take into consideration the vital importance of link building."

The vast majority of all web searches result in users visiting the highest ranking websites, added Memon. "The better your SEO the more business you will generate."

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