Small business owners and newbie entrepreneurs might find it intimidating.
Some don’t see the connection between SEO and small enterprises at all.
I get it.
In the minds of some business owners, SEO is too difficult.
Or they think SEO is too costly to be worthwhile.
As it turns out, SEO marketing is not only one of the most straightforward aspects of digital marketing but also doesn’t have to break the bank.
And SEO is not something reserved for virtual businesses alone!
Brick-and-mortar stores can also benefit from SEO, even if they don’t sell anything online.
So, is SEO worth it?
Read on to find out why and how to mitigate its costs.
Is SEO Better Than Traditional Marketing?
SEO is significantly less expensive to set up, maintain, and track than traditional marketing strategies.
Traditional marketing also doesn’t ensure that customers will be lining up outside your doors to buy from you.
Because it is not targeted, the intended audience may not always receive it.
SEO is distinctive and personalized.
Existing customers in your marketing funnel are seeking out places to make purchases.
Because of this, SEO has a substantially greater close rate than traditional marketing.
The close rate for SEO is 14.6%, compared to 1.7% for traditional marketing.
The Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses
Helps You Reach A Larger Audience
You can almost ensure discoverability if you want potential customers to learn about your business.
Free, unpaid, and organic search accounts for over 50% of all website visits.
This is easily accomplished by making your website and its content search engine-friendly.
A high Google page rank increases the likelihood of searchers visiting your site by exposing it to more people.
Try imagining yourself as a possible customer of your business.
What queries are they likely to use in search engines?
Every searcher has a question that needs answering, a gap that needs filling, or an issue that needs solving.
If you optimize your website for those queries, you’ll attract customers who are most likely to make a purchase.
Helps Your Drive More Quality Leads
It stands to reason that more visitors means more conversions, but there’s more to SEO lead creation than just volume.
SEO is the source of the highest-quality leads.
How can I say this confidently?
Customers will feel more confident in your ability to meet their needs if you come up with a top result for their search.
Your company will seem more credible.
So, not only will you gain more visitors, but these visitors will be more likely to be patrons.
This group of customers is more likely to generate substantial revenue for your company than random site visits.
Helps Boost Brand Awareness
You may boost your online profile and customer base by employing SEO techniques on your most critical landing pages.
Simply being presented as a potential result is enough to make an impression on searchers.
This applies even if they ultimately decide not to visit your site!
Your brand’s association with the answers people seek will deepen as more people see your website in relevant search results.
The benefits of this elevated brand recognition are huge.
Customers may not always choose your solution the first time they search.
Still, they will remember your company the next time they have a similar question.
Putting money into SEO for your small business is, in effect, putting money into being a thought leader in the eyes of your target market.
Once your business has become well-known in its field, buyers won’t passively happen to come across it.
They’ll actively seek it out!
Helps You Stay Relevant
If you want your business to thrive, you must keep up with the times.
Imagine that there are two cafes in a small town and that they’re in fierce competition with one another.
Only one of the cafes uses SEO.
To get their caffeine fix, folks quickly discover the first available cafe because of its local SEO efforts.
The other one doesn’t show up until page two.
Which cafe do you think has a higher chance of staying in business?
The first one, of course.
SEO is more than just another digital marketing fad you need to get in on if you want to survive.
It’s been around for 26 years and has proven an effective tool for analyzing and out-marketing the competition.
With SEO, you can also learn which search terms your significant competitors are focusing on.
You’ll discover what sets your business apart from the competition.
You can then use that information to optimize your website better.
Are SEO Services Worth It?
So, we’ve established that SEO is beneficial.
But should you invest in SEO services from a digital marketing agency?
There are several ways to enhance your website’s search engine optimization, including:
- Doing it yourself
- Using an in-house SEO team
- Collaborating with an agency (one of the SEO agencies we’ve worked with and like is Fat Joe).
We’ll explore your options in this section.
Information on SEO is widely available online.
You can save money by handling your SEO, and you’ll have complete control over the process.
Understand that SEO is a skill that takes time to master.
It could be a while before you see any progress at all.
To maintain your site ranking, you must also be aware of any shifts in the SEO arena.
This approach may be viable if your website is modest in size.
You’ll also need a lot of time on your hands.
Bringing in your SEO specialists is another choice.
If you can enlist additional help, this strategy may prove fruitful.
By choosing this course of action, you’ll be able to delegate some of the labor without giving up complete oversight.
Bringing on a new worker can be a costly and time-consuming process.
You’ll have to pay for their training and salary.
These prices may be out of range for certain businesses, especially smaller ones.
Hiring the correct person is especially difficult if you don’t understand SEO yourself.
Collaborating with an Agency
Lastly, you can team up with a separate SEO company.
You’ll want to work with a company with the experience and resources to deliver rapid, reliable results.
You won’t need to stress over hiring the correct person or teaching yourself how to execute the work.
Be sure to hire a reputable agency honest about their rates and portfolio before committing to them.
Check out their previous work, feedback, and references.
They must also be open to creating a customized SEO plan for your business.
How Small Businesses Typically Use SEO
Developing a Marketing Strategy
With the help of a solid SEO strategy, you can maximize the impact of your advertising efforts.
You’re essentially ensuring that you’re providing the content your audience seeks.
You could begin by developing a brief list of ideas or terms connected to your business.
These terms will be the backbone of your SEO approach, and you could use them to launch further keyword exploration.
For now, ensure your foundations are comprehensive enough to include a wide variety of content.
You’ll be future-proofing your business and giving potential customers multiple access points.
Doing Keyword Research
Let’s pretend you’ve laid the groundwork that will serve as the foundation for your SEO work.
Now, it’s time to start thinking strategically about your keywords.
What terms do prospective buyers typically use in their queries?
Are there seasonal variations in search patterns and questions asked?
You can uncover this information through keyword research.
While it’s a good idea to begin your research with the terms you believe best describe your company.
Remember that you may be missing out on business if those terms aren’t what your target audience uses to find you.
If this sounds intimidating, you could use a keyword research tool to look up terms your demographic is often looking up.
Optimizing On-Page Factors
Incorporating keywords into your content is the next step after conducting your research.
First, classify your target keywords by subject and function, then assign each category to a distinct web page.
As soon as you know which keywords each page will focus on, you can tailor your content to those.
Make sure the keywords you’re targeting are included on the mapped pages.
You’ll also want to include them in other critical areas that search engines use to determine page rankings.
Coordinating Technical SEO Tasks
At this point, you’ll have done an excellent job of tailoring the content to your intended audience.
But if you want to maximize your SEO efforts, you’ll need to ensure your site is also easily crawlable.
You don’t need to be a tech whiz to implement technical SEO.
The process of making your website user- and crawler-friendly is pretty straightforward.
Anyone, regardless of their level of technical expertise, can perform fundamental tasks, including the following:
- Keeping track of and disavowing harmful backlinks
- Designating canonical pages
- Optimizing image file formats
- And so on…
Maintaining a functional website is impossible without technical SEO.
You’re just going to have to learn the ropes!
Optimizing For Mobile
The quality of the user experience is a significant component in search engine rankings.
User experience (UX) describes how simple it is for visitors to your site to get around and complete everyday tasks.
It involves prioritizing site visitors’ experience in terms of design, structure, architecture, and content.
Site performance, page load times, and navigation structures are all elements that contribute to the overall quality of the user experience.
If visitors to your site encounter any of these issues, they will likely leave your site quickly.
Bounce rates that are too high are a red flag for search engines.
Technical SEO methods can be used to improve a site’s user experience.
You should focus on accomplishing the following:
- Speeding up page load times
- Making features more intuitive and easier to use
- Adding engaging and valuable content
- Building the site’s navigational structure with the visitor’s path in mind
Mobile responsiveness is a significant part of UX design since mobile devices account for around half of all website traffic.
Google has promoted mobile-first indexing and AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to motivate web developers and online companies to optimize their sites for mobile web users.
SEO For Small Businesses FAQs
Is SEO Over?
Not at all.
Google’s continued dominance in search results is still helping businesses succeed.
What’s gone is the ability to quickly propel your brand up Google’s ranks using old SEO strategies that were easy and inexpensive.
If you manage the company’s email, you’ve been inundated with messages from sketchy agencies offering first-page Google results for low prices.
A service of that nature is no longer viable. It’s useless.
We need to focus on modern SEO techniques to avoid being left behind.
Should You Pay For SEO?
I get that SEO-related jargon like “internal link structure,” “backlinks,” and “meta-tags” might go over the heads of some.
But SEO is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.
Of course, SEO is a vast subject that might keep you busy for years.
Still, with a skilled instructor or resource, you can grasp the essentials of search engine SEO in about an hour.
Besides, around 90% of SEO is about the content.
If you’re more of a content creator, this is when it would make sense to outsource the technical stuff.
How Long Does it Take For Your SEO Campaign To Take Effect?
The days of releasing a website, tweaking the title tags, and seeing immediate results are over.
Getting your website to the top of the search engine results page for highly competitive keywords takes time.
As Google ranks relevant sites with built authority, a website’s organic performance improves over time.
If you want to be at the top of Google, you must work for it.
An accurate estimate would place it between six months and a year. However, this would vary greatly depending on the resources you devote to your plan.
You’ll also have to account for the fierceness of your competition.
Not all SEO agencies aren’t worth the money.
Having someone well-versed in internet marketing handle your web presence can earn a massive ROI for your company.
The only issue is that this service is pricey.
The majority of small enterprises cannot justify the cost.
That’s why I advise educating yourself on SEO, if only at a basic level.
Search engine marketing is one task you shouldn’t outsource, at least not entirely.