Why investing in SEO is essential for business growth

HomeWork’s Interview with Dexter Stevens

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a powerful tool that can help your business be found by potential customers. In today’s digital age, establishing a strong online presence is vital for the success of any startup or small business. 

We sat down with Dexter, Founder of Social Media Time, to hear how investing in SEO optimisation contributes to improving your online presence, and organic growth. 

What are the challenges facing businesses today? 

Certainly, as a marketing business owner in the UK market, I’ve observed several challenges that businesses encounter. The UK market operates under specific regulations and compliance standards, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and advertising regulations set by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Businesses need to ensure their marketing activities adhere to these regulations to avoid penalties or reputational damage. Noticeable this had a huge impact on Facebook Ads when then the IOS update was made, making it very difficult to target the right audience. 

This has also made it important for businesses to build and maintain customer trust, especially concerning data privacy and security. With GDPR in place, businesses must handle customer data responsibly, provide transparent privacy policies, and obtain proper consent for data collection and marketing communications. This again can have a negative impact on marketing strategies as may people are choosing to opt out. 

The UK has a highly developed digital landscape, with businesses competing for online visibility and customer attention. Effective digital marketing strategies, including search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, and social media marketing, are crucial to stand out from competitors and reach target audiences. As a small business, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the competition by investing in digital marketing, especially if you want to take your business to that next level. 

Finally, UK consumers have high expectations for personalised experiences, seamless interactions, and ethical business practices. Meeting these expectations requires businesses to invest in customer-centric marketing strategies, including personalised content, responsive customer service, and sustainable business practices. These challenges highlight the importance of marketing agencies that understand the UK market landscape and can provide tailored strategies to overcome these obstacles. By staying agile, embracing digital innovations, and building strong customer relationships, businesses can navigate the UK market successfully and achieve their marketing objectives

What would you say to someone starting in business? 

Great question. For me, starting a business has been an exciting but challenging journey. From my experience so far I would say my advice to anyone looking to embark on this entrepreneurial path would be, first and foremost, clearly define your vision and goals. Take the time to identify your long-term vision for the business and set specific, achievable goals that align with that vision. This clarity will provide a guiding light as you make decisions and navigate the challenges ahead.

Market research is vital. Before diving into your business venture, conduct thorough market research. Understand your target market, industry trends, and customer needs. This knowledge will help you identify opportunities, assess competition, and develop effective strategies to capture your audience’s attention. It might also be worth considering niche down into one sector so that it’s then easier to scale your business and become the expert in your niche. 

Craft a solid business plan. Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your objectives, target market, marketing strategies, financial projections, and operational details. A well-structured business plan will not only serve as your roadmap but also provide a strong foundation for investors and stakeholders.

Building a strong support network is crucial. When I first started my business I joined many networking groups, like BNI, where I was able to get a fair few good leads for the business. It’s also important to surround yourself with mentors, advisors, and like-minded entrepreneurs who can provide guidance, support, and valuable insights. Seek out business communities, networking events, and mentorship opportunities. Connecting with experienced professionals will help you navigate challenges, learn from their experiences, and expand your network.

Customer value should be at the forefront. Focus on understanding and delivering value to your customers. Build strong relationships, listen to feedback, and consistently exceed customer expectations. Satisfied customers become loyal advocates for your business, driving growth and referrals.

Embrace adaptability and resilience. The business landscape is ever-changing, so be adaptable and resilient. Embrace change as a catalyst for growth, be open to adjusting your strategies, learning from failures, and seizing new opportunities.

Lastly, manage your finances wisely. Develop a sound financial management plan, and seek professional advice if needed. A healthy financial foundation is vital for long-term success.

Why is investing in SEO essential? 

SEO improves online visibility. In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is essential for businesses to reach their target audience. By optimising their website and content for search engines, small businesses can increase their visibility in search results. Appearing on the first page of search engine results significantly improves the chances of attracting organic traffic and gaining exposure to potential customers.

“Investing in SEO is essential for small businesses as it plays a crucial role in enhancing their online presence and driving organic growth.“

SEO also drives organic traffic. Unlike paid advertising, SEO focuses on obtaining organic search traffic without the need for continuous investment in ads. By targeting relevant keywords and optimising their website, small businesses can attract visitors who are actively searching for products or services they offer. This targeted organic traffic tends to have a higher conversion rate, as it consists of individuals already interested in what the business has to offer.

Investing in SEO allows small businesses to build credibility and trust. When a website ranks high in search results, it signals to users that it is trustworthy and authoritative. Small businesses that consistently appear at the top of search results can establish themselves as industry leaders, enhancing their reputation and attracting more customers.

Lastly, investing in SEO offers a cost-effective marketing strategy for small businesses. Compared to traditional advertising methods, such as print or television, SEO tends to provide a higher return on investment. Once the initial optimization work is done, the ongoing costs are relatively low, making it a viable option for small businesses with limited marketing budgets.

What results can you expect to see from SEO optimisation? 

If done correctly, SEO optimisation can lead to improved search engine rankings, increased organic website traffic, enhanced visibility and brand awareness, higher conversion rates, and ultimately, business growth and profitability. There is a lot that goes into an SEO campaign and patience is sometimes required as results can accumulate over time, usually 6-12 months depending on the site itself. 

Therefore, SEO provides long-term benefits. While it may take time to see the full impact of SEO efforts, the results are sustainable and provide ongoing benefits. By consistently optimizing their website and staying up-to-date with SEO best practices, small businesses can maintain and even improve their search rankings over time.

Why are you an advocate of flexible workspaces? 

During one of the networking groups that I am a part of, I had the pleasure of meeting Claire. We instantly connected, and from then I started using the workspace she had over in West London and I firmly believe in the immense benefits it provides. 

One of the standout advantages of Homework workspace is the exceptional networking opportunities it offers. Through interactions with professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries, I have been able to establish valuable connections that have significantly contributed to the growth and success of my business. In fact, networking played a pivotal role in kick-starting my entrepreneurial journey.

Furthermore, Homework workspace has ingrained in me a strong belief in giving back to the community and supporting small businesses. Through various initiatives facilitated by the company, including Business Club, I have been given the opportunity to participate as a SEO mentor, providing knowledge-sharing sessions to assist budding entrepreneurs and local businesses. This sense of community and support has fostered an environment where everyone thrives, and I am grateful to be part of such an inspiring ecosystem.

Moreover, the workspace’s emphasis on community and support aligns perfectly with my values of giving back and helping small businesses succeed.

How are you helping our business club members? 

As an SEO specialist I will be available to offer small businesses a 30-minute free consultation to guide them towards SEO success.

If you’re a HomeWork member and a member of the Business Club and would like to book in a 30 minute free consultation with Dexter, please contact Abbie or Zara.

Person sat at their laptop, working on SEO at HomeWork