To continue from our “Welcome to Rugged SEO” blog post, I’m here to let you know why SEO for small business (and any sized business for that matter) is needed.
As a business owner, you have many options when it comes to marketing / advertising streams to consider. Some of these are:
Print Advertising(newspapers, magazines etc)
Digital Media(radio and tv)
Online Marketing(SEO, Social Media, Paid Search / Adwords, etc)
My request is for business owners to sit back, take a breather and just imagine each of these paths. You can start by asking yourself these 4 simple questions:
How many people do you see nowadays reading the newspaper or checking out ads in magazines?
How many people listen & have access to the radio while they work?Most people will only listen to the radio in their car, leaving not much time for taking in radio ads.
How many people actually have cable TV anymore?Everyone I know is streaming or downloading TV shows & this does not include advertisements or commercials.
Do you remember the last 2 or 3 billboard advertisements you saw?In my mind, billboards are a waste of money in that they don’t give you the ability to target specific types of people. If you’re a single guy, driving down the highway and see a billboard for cloth diapers, you will ignore it. Secondly, how does a business owner know how many people drove by, looked up and actually saw his ad?
If the above options are not sounding too good, think about online marketing for a moment and ask yourself these questions:
How often do you see someone on their smartphone or tablet?Yeah, we’re all glued to our devices.
Do people have access to a smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer often?It’s hard to think of a time when an individual wouldn’t have access to one of these devices.
When you have a question which you do not know the answer to, where do you go to get that answer?Willing to bet most people would say “Google It!”.
Do you know anyone who uses Social Media?Of course you do. I bet almost everyone you know is on social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc).
Where would you go to find reviews about a certain local service or store?Myself and everyone I know immediately hop online to read reviews.
I could go on and on but I think you catch my drift and know where I’m going with this. Do you need to rethink which marketing path to take?
Chances are that you’ve had several people trying to sell you SEO services and heard a thousand times that you need SEO. What you probably haven’t heard yet is WHY a small business needs SEO services.
9 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs SEO
1) 75% don’t scroll beyond page one
This number increases with every day. How often do you click through the search results beyond the first page? Pages 3 and beyond are a wasteland where websites go to die. Even page 2 is not getting much click love anymore. Small businesses need a strong SEO strategy in place to climb the rankings to the first page.
2) Delivers High ROI
No other forms of marketing can deliver ROI like SEO can. Some advertising streams (ie. Billboards) cannot even give you measurable data to show proof that people actually saw your ad. Traditional marketing is too broad in scope. The ad is dispersed in a market which could care less about your product or service.
There are times when businesses do not have much luck with SEO. This usually is because they hired a cheap SEO agency who used spammy automated tools or they outsourced the work overseas. In short, they were not successful SEO campaigns at all.
SEO is an ongoing, gradual process but when done correctly, it delivers an endless stream of organic traffic to your website which would have cost an outrageous amount via pay per click.
3) SEO works
To put it simply, SEO works. Again, when done correctly, online marketing provides you with a solid stream of organic traffic, improved rankings in the search engines and helps convert visitors into customers. There will always be Google updates which penalize some businesses but there’s nothing to worry about if you’re dealing with an ethical and professional SEO agency.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen businesses fail online due to falling for the cheap rates some “SEO experts” advertise and the promises or guarantees that come with those low-cost rates. It just isn’t realistic. Would you take your car to a guy down the road offering to install a new transmission and timing belt for $15? Yeah, something a little fishy there. You should be willing to invest in quality online marketing services that work.
4) SEO will not disappear
We’re always up to date on the latest search engine changes and by the way things are going, SEO will never disappear. Search engines are evolving and SEO is evolving with them. SEO agencies who understand and who adapt with the changes are the ones who will not skip a beat and who will continue to provide useful SEO.
Sure, some techniques are now spammy and will get your website blacklisted. Techniques will change but the concept and usefulness of SEO will remain constant. As long as the internet exists, SEO exists. It’s time to jump in instead of watching from the outside.
5) Your competitors are doing it
Yes, I know…if your competitors were jumping off a bridge would you do it too? Hmm.. well if they’re getting more business than you, you might want to take the leap as well! 😉
Whether or not you use SEO, you can be sure that your successful competitors do. Especially if you’re a small business, SEO will help you outrank others in the local search results. Some of the more established businesses feel they don’t need SEO but… any new business down the road can easily attract more customers than you if they invest in quality local seo services.
Many people assume SEO is only necessary until you reach a top ranking position. That’s not the case at all. Your competitors are not stopping and they’re always striving to outrank you. If you stop, or not start SEO in the first place, you’re essentially handing them business which could have been yours.
6) Everyone looks for businesses online
Think of how convenient the internet is for consumers. They can search to find local businesses offering a certain service or product they need. Here is where you need SEO to help them find you before they find your competitors.
They can also dig up just about any dirt on businesses, they can find positive & negative reviews about local businesses (and any business for that matter).
“88% of consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business”
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There you have it. About 9 out of 10 consumers have gone online to look at reviews before deciding which local business to go to.
7) It’s cost-effective & pricing is variable
Unfortunately what many small business owners see are the two extremes in SEO pricing. They see the big SEO agencies which charge on average $3000 – $30,000 per month. Ouch! Then they see the lower end “seo experts” most likely overseas who charge $100 per month & come with “guarantees”. Yeah, think twice about anyone who provides guarantees/promises and low-cost rates. Most, if not all, of them are using blackhat spammy techniques which will get your site blacklisted by Google.
Quality, local SEO services really can be affordable though. Not only that but it’s customizable and can suit your budget and needs.
SEO is a lot like purchasing a car. How would you answer the question “How much does a car cost?”. Most would say “that depends<”. It depends on many factors such as:
Is it a new Lamborghini or a used Ford focus?
What is the car used for?
What trim level are you wanting?
It’s equally confusing, if possible at all, to answer “How much does SEO cost?”.
That depends on the team providing the SEO services.
Depends on your existing website and online presence.
Depends on which services (trim level) your business needs.
8) SEO is an investment, not a cost
“How much does SEO cost?” is a common question among business owners. It should not be thought of as a “cost” but more so an investment. For one example, if you utilize SEO and Analytics, you will find specific keywords which have high conversion rates but you’ve never focused on those keywords or their associate pages on your site before. You’ve essentially been leaving money on the table and letting that traffic and potential customers go to your competition instead.
SEO is very much like real estate: location - location - location, aiming for the prime location on…
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And when your online marketing strategy all fits well together, you can see some great ROI out of this investment.
9) Crucial part of your marketing strategy
I can’t think of any other marketing method which gets in front of your target audience and pulls in prospects like SEO does. It’s also great at increasing conversions as well.
Don’t rely on SEO alone though. It should be used in combination with other local online marketing such as Social Media, Citation Building, Content Development and Reputation Management. Together, they’re a powerhouse!
I hope I was able to shed some light on why SEO is necessary and what it can do for small business owners.
Daniel has an interesting background to say the least. He has lived abroad in several countries, traveled through over 50 countries on 6 continents & still has that pesky travel bug. He has worked in haunted castles in Scotland, taught English while he practiced martial arts in Taiwan, acted through Mexico etc. He has found a home with SEO though and is very passionate in helping businesses thrive online. It doesn't hurt that he can use his online marketing skills anywhere there's an internet connection ;-)
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We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.