Today, Office Depot shared some great insights on SMBs and their green business practices. According to the company, a majority of small businesses have adopted eco-friendly practices or are planning to by 2014.
Earlier, at Small Business Computing I wrote:
Sixty-one percent of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are actively taking steps to reduce their environmental impact according to the latest Office Depot Small Business Index. And those numbers are growing. Of those surveyed, 70 percent are planning to “go greener” within the next two years.
It’s not the most alarming of statistics, that’s true. But what is revealing is how they’re going about it. A majority — 56 percent, in fact — say they’re using the Internet to research green products. (What are the other 44 percent doing?!)
And of those, guess where 99 percent head first? That’s right, Google or the search engine of their choice.
It’s no wonder SMBs turn to the Internet to help them meet their sustainability goals. Generally, there’s no CSO (chief sustainability officer) on staff to guide smaller enterprises. Likewise, most SMB budgets can handle only the briefest of stints with eco-consultants, if that.
This is an opportunity for IT vendors and makers of green office products.
Green SMB market and the case for SEO
From cloud services to tablets, small business are exerting big buying power. Office Depot’s study suggest that they’re willing to do the same on green products. That means not only building a web presence, but getting search engines to notice.
Enter search engine optimization (SEO). More than an online marketing strategy, it’s become a discipline that’s integral to conducting business online.
If you plan to load up your website with keywords, buy up AdWords and hope for the best, you’re just wasting time. Search engines are constantly evolving, a process that sometimes turns today’s top search results into tomorrow’s dead and buried links. (How often do you click past the first ‘O’ in Google?)
Luckily it’s not hard to keep current with today’s best practices. Do what SMBs do, hit the Web!
Online resources aplenty
Find good resources online. Bookmark a handful of sites and make it a habit to visit them regularly. For example, I’m partial to Search Engine Land, SEO Moz and Search Engine Watch.
If you’ve determined that your site needs work, there is no need to tear it apart in an effort to rank better. Tackle a piece of it at a time and monitor your logs and Web analytics software to determine whether it’s working. For instance, implement some of these SEO tips on landing pages and build from there.
Also, don’t forget about mobile SEO. iPhones and Android smartphones and tablets are redefining Internet use. Have you noticed that more websites these days are sporting bigger fonts and touch-friendly layouts? That’s the tablet and smartphone effect. Use it to your advantage.
And by now, you’ve surely noticed that Facebook pages, Tweets and Google+ links are showing up in search results. That’s right, social media and search are becoming increasingly intertwined. A good social media strategy can help your organization reach SMBs using both the search and social side of the Web.
Bottom line, you have to compete online to attract SMB customers. And you’re not even in the running if they can’t find you.
For more green SMB insights, check out the infographic below or feast your eyes on a full-sized version at Office Depot (PDF).
Images courtesy of Office Depot
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