search engine optimizationHave you ever gone against the grain, judging a book by it's cover, only to find that it was actually really good? First impressions are everything, but unfortunately you rarely, if ever, get a second a chance at making one. And while judging a book by its cover isn't always a bad thing, customers judge small and large businesses on their websites constantly.

In fact, websites have an average of 10 seconds to make a good impression on customers and communicate what the customer can get out of the site and business. Almost half -- 46% -- of mobile users have complaints related to navigation, which is why it's critical to have a mobile-friendly company website. Keep this in mind; a survey from eConsultancy revealed that 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.

It's easy to see how poor web design and web development can be a turn off for potential customers. Although many of today's web surfers mostly skim content -- users read about 28% of the content on a web page -- it's still important to invest in web design services as a business owner, especially as a small business owner.

As a small business owner, think of your company's website as your "book cover." Like a book cover, get ready for it to be judged, despite the sage advice not to. Though website design is critical to the success of your small business, search engine optimization services are just as important. Think about it -- even if you had an awesome website, what's the point if no one on the internet can even find it? That's the beauty and power of implementing solid search engine optimization plans.

Similarly, even if your brick-and-mortar business is bustling in the physical world, you might find it difficult to increase sales and connect with your customers if you lack a strong online presence in the digital world. Search engine optimization allows you to become more accessible and visible to your target audience by allowing your company website -- your well designed company website, mind you -- to rank higher in search engine results. The end goal is to keep your phone ringing by attracting and securing qualified potential customers and turning them into loyal, repeat customers.

This helps to create a sense of brand awareness that keeps your customers coming back. Search engine optimization can also lead to an increase in customer referrals, as search engine users are more likely to trust and refer websites that rank on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).

By having a well designed website and taking advantage of search engine optimization services, you can feel confident that your brand will get the recognition in deserves.