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Is SEO worth it for small businesses?

For many start-ups and small family businesses, getting your brand name out there can seem like a daunting prospect. When there is a limited budget, rising costs and fluctuating prices, setting aside resources for marketing often falls to the bottom of the priority list… and that’s especially the case for SEO (search engine optimisation). 

SEO is a specialist form of digital marketing that can have a large impact on new traffic to your website. But is SEO worth it for small businesses? We’re here to help clear up that question. 

… And before you go scrolling up to our Services tab and accuse us of trying to peddle SEO services by saying “of course it is”, you should know that we also do a wide range of other digital marketing services too, so this is genuine, honest advice on whether SEO is something you should prioritise as a small business or startup.

Does SEO really increase sales?

SEO is designed to increase organic traffic to a website through improved visibility, ranking for highly searched terms (keywords) and having a well performing website. Organic traffic is the number of users that found your site without clicking on an advert or by searching your brand’s website directly. In general, the more organic traffic you have, the more clicks, engagement and new site users you’ll have – and that means more new customers, leads or sales.

It’s a common misconception that by implementing SEO changes on your website, you’ll instantly boost sales overnight but this is not the case because it often takes two to six months before you can start to see the benefits of a well optimised website. With SEO for any size business, the key is patience, quality content and a user-friendly website.

What is good SEO for small businesses?

The idea of investing in something that won’t have a direct impact for several months might put you off focusing on SEO, but there are lots of small things you can do to improve SEO as you grow your small businesses. Here are just a handful… 

  • Quality written content – Search engines are becoming increasingly strict when it comes to the number of words on a web page, and also the quality of those words. Having keyword-optimised, informative content on your website is the key to competing effectively with other sites.
  • Technically sound website – Many websites have underlying issues that prevent search engines from identifying pages or ranking sites highly within search results. Fixing these little niggles will help your website rank more highly and improve the user experience for visitors.
  • Local SEO – Particularly important for small businesses with brick and mortar stores, having correctly optimised local SEO is vital for customers to easily locate and interact with your business – this includes being on Google maps, having easy to find contact details and implementing locally based keywords.

The beauty of these actions is their impact isn’t limited to just improving SEO. They’ll also make your website easier to find and navigate and they’ll give customers a better impression of your business, so there’s no reason not to do this from the start.

What happens if you don’t do SEO?

Search engines are a competitive environment for virtually any business and they’re becoming ever more crowded, so just having a basic website doesn’t cut it anymore. The standards for company websites are much higher than they were in the early 00s. 

Not only are customers becoming more tech savvy, but search engines like Google are becoming a lot more picky when it comes to which websites they showcase within the top search results. 

Without SEO for your small business, your website could become practically invisible to new and existing customers, as more competitors start to dominate the search results.

Even if you had some SEO improvements in the past, good SEO for small businesses requires marketers to constantly keep up with regular algorithm changes and updates from Google. Without adapting and optimising again, you might find your website is being penalised and this can mean you’re losing organic traffic and potential leads. 

If you’re running a small business, SEO might seem like a bit of housekeeping or a luxury that’s not high on the list of priorities, but it’s better to think of it as a way of making your shop window stand out. Not only will it help your business get noticed by new customers, it will also help your existing customers appreciate it more.

Curious about SEO for small businesses or wanting to get started on your SEO campaign? We can help! Get in touch with our helpful team today.