Small Business Owners tend to be a busy bunch of people who often have to wear all the hats for every department of their business, from sales and marketing through to accounting and admin. Nobody has time to waste and it’s impossible to be clued up about everything. So, let’s get down to it and explore the question at hand, which is, Do I Need SEO for my Website?
As an SEO Consultant, I recommend that ALL small business websites need SEO. I know, I know, you would expect me to say that! But hear me out…
The question isn’t whether you need SEO but to work out how important search engine marketing is for your business needs and digital goals, then allocate time and money accordingly.
Why SEO is Key to Getting Found Online
I say that SEO is essential as, if you’ve dedicated time and money to create a website to advertise your business, then you should (at the very least) implement some basic SEO strategies. Here’s why.
Think of your business website as your ‘virtual’ shop window to the world. You want regular customers to pop in, but also want new customers to find you. Creating a website without basic SEO is a bit like having a lovely shop (or office space) that’s tucked away off the main road, with no signposts or door numbers. People might find your business if you tell them the address or send directions on where to find you. Otherwise, very few people wander by and find your shop/business by accident as It’s hidden away and difficult to find.
Well, exactly the same principles apply to a small business website that hasn’t been optimized for SEO. It won’t rank well on Google and it might not even show up when people type your business name in the search bar. What a lost opportunity!
Without SEO, Your Website Isn’t Operating At Its Full Potential
You might be spending time adding content and blogging regularly and it’s all going nowhere. That’ll be the lack of SEO again! Content is great but, if it isn’t optimized, the information won’t be read correctly by Google. A big website with lots of old and unoptimized content can be very untidy behind the scenes. It may look absolutely grand on the outside but the messy content can be hard for the search engine spiders to navigate around. This is important as, if they can’t crawl around properly, they won’t fully understand what your content is all about and won’t return your business in the search results. Or you could rank, but for the wrong keywords entirely!
So, SEO is key to getting found online and, without it, your small business website isn’t operating at its maximum potential. But it’s easily fixed and, if you have a website, you should be looking to implement some SEO strategies – even if it’s just at the most basic level.
Should I Use SEO For My Small Business Website?
As we’ve already established, yep you should use SEO for your small business website. The key here is how much you decide to spend on SEO (in terms of both time and money) will depend on your general marketing goals. Marketing is never a one size fits all affair, and it’s often a case of trial and error in finding the best ways to market your small business.
If you have a business website and want it to get found online, then some kind of basic SEO is essential! How that looks for your business will depend on your goals, targets, timeframes, and budgets.
Here are two different business scenarios – both businesses need help with SEO Services, but they need different strategies and ongoing SEO work.
Is Blogging Getting Your Business Website Nowhere?
A common problem is spending precious time writing blogs regularly but finding that your efforts (or investment) aren’t sending any extra website traffic your way. Blog content must be structured in the right way to keep the Google Gods happy and feature the right keywords for your target audience. If blog posts aren’t optimized for SEO, then they won’t be as effective in driving targeted customers who are ready to buy, or sign up to learn more about your product or service.
If you’re unsure whether your blog content is hitting this SEO sweet spot, you could use short-term SEO services to help you analyse what’s going on. An SEO consultant can:
- report back on content optimization and technical issues that are holding back your blog pages and key website pages
- help with keyword research so that you can write informed and targeted blog titles
- provide strategies to boost traffic and a plan of action/tasks to complete to achieve this
- learn about key stats to track
- pick up hints & tips to keep people on your website longer
From this initial one-off consultation cost, you could decide to implement these strategies in-house. Some business owners prefer to write their own content and just want to learn more about creating SEO-friendly blogs themselves. Or perhaps you have a totally competent in-house marketing team who just need a wee bit of SEO training to turn things around.
Alternatively, if you work alone and don’t have the luxury of a marketing team, you might prefer to pay an SEO consultant to fix things for you. Again, the costs of this can vary depending on how much old blog content you have onsite that needs to be optimized and how quickly you want it to be done. You could do it slowly over the course of a number of months, or steam into it and get it all done as part of a single project. It will entirely depend on your budget and business needs.
Just Need a Basic Online Brand Presence for Your Business?
If you have a very small business website that just shows basic contact and service information, and isn’t using content marketing as a lead generator, then you won’t need a great deal of SEO work. But you do need to ensure that the basic content you have is SEO-friendly in order to ensure that your business shows up first for brand name searches.
If you don’t employ basic SEO principles, your website might not feature on page 1 for brand name searches, let alone at the top! To ensure that potential customers can find your business when they search your brand name, you must check that your website is set up for SEO at its most basic level. This would involve one-off SEO work to audit your website to check its setup and get a list of priority SEO tasks.
Again, depending on the suggested strategies, you could implement changes in-house or let the SEO consultant fix them for you. And, as in the previous scenario, costs can be spread over a number of months if budgets are an issue.
Not Sure Where to Start with SEO?
There are many more different business scenarios that might require some help with SEO services. Every business is unique, as are business websites. How much work your website needs will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- How old the website is and how much un-optimized content it already has.
- Technical set-up – some websites are set for SEO and it’s just a case of adding keywords and optimising the content to bring things up to speed. But some websites aren’t built for SEO, so a peek behind the scenes is needed. The more technical and structural issues your website has, the more SEO work will be needed.
- Is your website a priority for driving online sales and leads? If so, you need to dedicate some time and energy to SEO.
- If you have good sales figures but want to experiment with SEO to see how it can work for your small business, you can invest a smaller amount each month and track results over a longer time frame.
Every business website needs some SEO – it’s just a case of discovering your SEO strengths & weaknesses to work out what work is needed and in what order. The best way to get started with SEO for any small business is with an SEO audit. This is a full website report that will give you lots of information on how your website is currently performing in the search engine rankings, what keywords you rank for, a look at site speed, on-page & off-page optimization, and lots of other useful data!
This data is analysed and then your small business will get a set of recommendations as to what SEO strategy would best suit your business and its goals. Not only that but tasks will be prioritised in order of importance so that you know what to focus on first.
Learn more about audits and how they can help your business to get on Google by reading: What is an SEO Audit?
Request a FREE Snapshot SEO Audit
This is a report that analyzes your website for SEO best practices and gives your website an overall SEO health score.
Here at Virtually Optimized, we offer a free Snapshot Audit that helps small businesses to gain clarity on SEO strategy and the health of their website. Request your free SEO Audit today and learn:
- Which keywords your business website ranks for
- If your web pages are optimised for SEO
- Recommendations for priority SEO tasks to boost your score
- What kinds of tasks and skills are needed to get your business SEO sorted