You've probably heard that search engine optimization, or SEO, is important for your small business, but it can quickly get frustrating and expensive. Here are some reasons why the money and effort are worth it.

1. It Helps Potential Customers Find Your Website

One of the first reasons why SEO is important is that it helps customers find your website. Optimizing your web pages so that they're easier for search engines to index under the keywords your target audience is searching for will help people find your site faster. Search engines are always changing their algorithms and what they're looking for in websites, so hiring an SEO service agency could save you a significant amount of time in the long run, even if it feels expensive right now.

2. It Creates a Better Experience for Your Customers

While making your website more visible on search engines is one of the first benefits of SEO people think of, it's not the only reason why it's important. SEO requires more than using the right keywords: Search engines want to see that you're creating valuable content for your customers. If you do this by creating a user-friendly website full of valuable information, not only will search engines favor your site in search results, but you'll also win and keep more customers once they visit it. After all, wouldn't you be more likely to keep choosing the company with the pleasantly designed, helpful website over the one that has one with a confusing layout filled with annoying sales pitches?

3. It Increases Your Conversion Rates

Keeping your customers happy with your website goes beyond creating loyalty. Optimizing your website so that the pages load quickly and are compatible with mobile devices will help increase your conversion rates as well. This is especially true if your SEO efforts expand your entire digital marketing strategy. If someone clicks on your social media ad, for example, sending them to a landing page that is fast and easy to use will increase the likelihood that they purchase your product. SEO also allows you to target more specific audiences to make sure that you're reaching the customers who are actively interested in what you're selling, which is vital to a good conversion rate.

4. It Keeps You Competitive

When you're running a small business, you know that good marketing strategies and techniques are vital to your keeping up with the competition, let alone setting you apart from it. An optimized website allows you to maintain your edge when it comes to being found and creating a great customer experience. Making SEO a priority gives you the reason and ability to keep track of trends and search engine requirements, which means you'll keep up your website to standards similar to your competitors'.

5. It Helps Your New Customers Trust You

If your customers or potential customers are looking for you on the internet, being able to find you quickly will help them trust your business more easily. It shows them that you are a legitimate business who is recognized by search engines. While it's true that even less-than-reputable businesses can sometimes use SEO to appear higher on the search results than they should, search engines are getting better at weeding them out, and even if they weren't, your reputable business doesn't stand a chance if you aren't up there with them. In addition, if you don't use SEO in your other digital marketing campaigns such as social media ads, even your best messaging will be tainted if your customers are directed to a clunky website.

6. It's a Cost-Effective Marketing Technique

While SEO does require a good amount of upkeep, the results of your work last longer than most other marketing campaigns you run. This is because once you optimize your website the first time, it becomes easier to update it to meet SEO standards in the future. When you combine that with the minimal costs involved with optimizing your website, SEO becomes a highly effective marketing tool.

While SEO can be complicated and time-consuming, it's worth the investment for your business. The next time you get discouraged about your efforts, remind yourself that what you're doing is valuable.