Being a small business is not an easy task. Most small businesses fail drastically in the very first year, while some will not even able to touch the 5-year mark. However, some established businesses may also fail if you do not adapt or act as per the changing trends.
For small businesses marketing is quite difficult and DIGITAL MARKETING is even more. The black-box nature of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be the trickiest form of marketing for any business. But when done well, you can make the most out of it.
In this post, we will discuss SEO as a marketing trick, particularly for small businesses. Today, through this post, our only aim is to arm you as a small business owner with the power and knowledge to make an informed decision while implementing any SEO strategy.
It is said that SEO and search engines will play a pivotal role in your business and its presence in the future. And the goal of today’s post is to share our experience and knowledge to help all small businesses out there make the best decision for their venture when it comes to SEO.
So, first and foremost, you must consider the following SEO areas before moving further:
- Website: A well-designed, mobile-friendly, and fast website is a must.
- Content: You must use content that tells why a consumer chooses you over others.
- Content Marketing: You can make the most out of informational articles and blogs to share knowledge with your wider audience.
- On-Page: Basic optimization of the pages is essential. So, look at the page titles, meta tags, and meta descriptions.
- Local SEO: If you are targeting locally, then it is imperative to consider local SEO for your business.
- Authority Building: Links are highly correlated with your strong search engine results.
- Credibility: Portfolios, testimonials, case studies, etc. can help you clinch the deal.
SEO can be a complicated tactic. So, it is imperative to understand your present situation as well as the marketplace to make the right decisions. Luckily, for small businesses we all can easily strip away the complexity and the conversion finishes of being about links, website design, and content.
Is SEO Suitable for Small Businesses?
Just keep in mind is that search engines are crucial as we all look for services and products with their help. In many cases, the search is a smart practice to get in front of your potential customers. Hence, it is a perfect marketing approach not just for small but every business irrespective of industry. But yes, you must consider the following points before taking further steps:
- Budget: Every digital marketing tactic including SEO requires some budget. So, check whether you have that ‘sufficient’ fund to compete with those ‘big boys’!
- Speed: SEO is a time-taking process and may take longer than your expectations to deliver the results. The duration may increase when you are in more competitive markets.
- Competition from Paid Ads: Today, more and more businesses that need instant results are shifting to paid ads. So, consider this point as well.
- Big Market Players: It is a bitter truth that some search terms are completely dominated by ‘titans’ and it can exceptionally be hard for you to compete.
If you are seeking organic search visibility, it must not only be counted on solely, specifically if you want quick results and have a long way to go! So, if you are having such aims, it is best not to participate in the turtle race of SEO, instead invest in PPC campaigns.
Small Business SEO and Essential Questions & Answers
So, you are in a dilemma whether to go for SEO services or not! Do, not worry! The following questions and answers will help you become a more educated business owner so that your SEO partner proves to be a secret weapon instead of a wooden leg!
How will you make my SEO better?
Well, this is an open question! As a small business, you surely want to sense the strategies followed by your SEO partner. Some of the best yet common SEO tactics include audits and fixes, local SEO, on-page optimization, page speed, content optimization, mobile optimization, keyword research, link building, etc.
What is your expertise or specialization in SEO?
See! SEO has multiple moving parts – Local, National, Technical, Content, Links, and Authority. Some small SEO agencies only focus on small parts. Hence, it is essential to ask this question to the potential SEO company to be rest assured that they are an ideal fit for your precise requirements.
What tasks will you do every month?
Well! You can expect a 3-month initial SEO process for your business. This typically includes technical audits and fixes, content creation, content optimization, on-page optimization, and link building.
What type of strategies will you follow for link building and authority?
It is a crucial question to ask. At this point, you need to understand how webpage rank works or whether natural links will be provided or not! You can expect to have some guest posts, PRs, blogs, etc. for this.
Do you and your team adhere to the guidelines of Google Webmaster?
Well! When you ask this question to your SEO company, it will show that you are an informed buyer. Believe us! Many low-quality SEO agencies will run away when you ask this question.
Have you ever worked for a company similar to mine? If yes, then can you provide me with examples or case studies?
It is always a good idea to get some case studies or examples of the same companies or domains that the potential SEO company has helped. This simple question will help you strengthen your belief in that company.
How do you measure the progress?
It is important to know which metrics or techniques the company will use to keep track of your success. The baseline here is keyword rankings. But, ideally, you want to see something more robust. Being a small business, you cannot expect much but may focus on the total organic search traffic!
Do you have any contracts?
You certainly do not want to get stuck in a long contract for zero results. So, ask them if they have a short-term or long-term or no contract policy for the clients.
How and what will your team report to me every month?
The reporting quality will completely depend on your budget to some extent; however, you will need reports having the visibility of tracked keywords, improvements in the results of these keywords, work was done including links, the work plan for the next month, and so on.
How often will your team review progress?
Here, you should expect an answer that can tell you what will be reviewed and when! Typically, a professional company offers 3-month or 6-month review options.
So, what is next?
That is a wrap! Ask the questions listed above to maximize the profits of this smart digital marketing practice. Just keep in mind that being a small business, you will have to face several challenges but it does not mean you have to compromise on quality. So, having a reliable partner is a must to achieve your business goals.