Is SEO good for small businesses? The short answer is yes. Your customers are on search engines and they are looking for businesses like yours. Ranking highly on Google will almost certainly drive highly qualified leads and sales.
Is SEO right for your small business?
To determine if SEO is a good fit for your business and your marketing goals needs a little more thought and we will cover everything you need to consider to make an informed choice in this article.
Confused? Get a free SEO audit and SEO battle plan for your business that shows you exactly what you need to do to rank – more details.
SEO & Digital Marketing – Where to Start?
One of the biggest challenges with digital marketing is knowing where to start. The landscape can be confusing and the various advertising platforms are often complicated to navigate and can eat up your marketing budget with little to show for your efforts.
Broadly speaking, the two main options for small business marketing in the digital age are social media sites and search engines. Both have utility in the right situation yet the right choice will depend upon the type of business, competition, and the total volume of leads that you need to keep you busy.
For most small businesses, and particularly local businesses, we tend to recommend looking at search marketing first. This takes the form of Google Ads, SEO or local SEO.
On a search engine, you get in front of a customer at the exact time that they have a requirement, as they search for the products or services you provide. So, it is important to appear high on the page and it is equally important to say the right things so you persuade that user to click on your website.
Understanding the Search Results
The first step here is to understand the search engine results pages (often referred to as SERPs) for the keywords you wish to target.
A search for “plumber” shows the below:
This breaks down into:
- 4 x ads
- Find results on
- 3 x map results
- People also ask (questions)
- 10 x organic links (blue links)
- 10 x related searches
So the key opportunities here are:
- Google Ads
- Map listings
- Third-party sites linked here (Checkatrade etc)
If this search term is refined to be “plumber near me” or “plumber Sutton Coldfield” for instance, then the results change somewhat and we see more local businesses and fewer of the portals like Yell, Checkatrade, etc.
Note: Directory Sites
There are many sites that list businesses in a given location in a given category. Sites like Checkatrade and Yell can all have some utility, however, a user has to click a link on a search engine and then go and select you again. In our experience, if you can win links here, on the search results page, then you will have far improved results.
Is SEO a good fit for you at this point in time?
The search results vary for every industry, keyword, and location, so to determine whether SEO is a good fit, you need to search and review the results. If you see businesses like you listed in the local and organic results then yes – it is highly likely that SEO is a good fit.
However, you have to consider a few factors here when determining if SEO is the right tactic for you at this point in time.
- Where are you currently?
- How fast do you need business?
This is a key consideration. SEO can be right for your business and not right for your business at this point in time. To explain, if you are currently not ranking on the first couple of pages of Google at the moment and you need leads now, then SEO being a slower tactic is probably not a good fit (unless you can look at SEO in tandem with some Google Ads).
If, however, you are doing okay and just want to improve things or you are bottom of the first page and just want to get into the top 5 spots that tend to generate leads and you don’t need a return overnight, then SEO is likely a great fit.
Another factor to consider is the amount of business you need to generate. SEO, for many small businesses, tends to be highly localised. If you have a big team and need to cover a large geographical area, you may need to look at a combined approach using Google Ads and SEO to generate the volume you need.
Search Engine Statistics
Still on the fence? Let me just give you some quick stats that may help change your mind:
- There are around 6 billion searches on Google every day (Source: oberlo)
- 46% of searches are looking for local information or businesses (Source: GoGulf)
- 97% of potential customers learn about small local businesses online than anywhere else (source: SEOTribunal)
- 92% of clicks go to the first page of search results (Source: Moz)
- 75% of clicks go to the top 3 search results (Source: Backlinko)
In a nutshell, most of your customers will jump on a search engine and click on the top 3 results – if you are not there, then you are losing business.
If you are not working on your SEO to improve your visibility on Google then you risk falling ever further behind your competitors.
From Click to Customer
One final point to take into consideration here is that ranking highly on Google and getting those clicks is only part of the picture.
- You have to identify the keywords that will drive customers to your business
- You have to ensure you rank in the top 3 results for these keywords
- You have to ensure your listings are generating clicks (CTR)
- Your website has to be accessible on all devices
- You should have a strong call to action (CTA) that generates leads
This is a little process we like to call KRCCC (not really – that is a terrible acronym – I promise no more SEO jokes, dear reader).
The nutshell here is that ranking is just part of the picture – you have to consider all the steps in the chain to turn clicks into customers.
Is SEO Good for Small Businesses?
There is no doubt that for most small businesses SEO is an essential marketing tactic that ensures you show up when people search for what you offer. SEO helps ensure you are at the top of the page and you look the part to help generate sales and leads for your small business.
If you want to look at how to improve your SEO, our beginner’s guide and small business SEO tips articles are a good place to start:
Alternatively, you can speak to an agency to help you improve your visibility and our guide to choosing a local agency can help there:
Get a FREE SEO audit and SEO battle plan from a highly experienced SEO consultant for your business that shows you exactly what you need to do to rank – more details.