Finding the Right SEO Service for Your Small Business
It’s a common myth that SEO is not essential for small businesses – like it’s a luxury exclusive to industry leaders.
SEO is a perfect acquisition channel for any business (big or small) looking to save time, boost visibility, and gain a competitive advantage without continually spending thousands of dollars on ads every month.
But despite the great returns SEO offers, over 50% of small business owners don’t have an SEO strategy. It’s more surprising that 22% are unwilling to invest in it.
How do you position your brand to tap into the wealth of opportunities SEO offers? Sit back, and let’s discover why you should incorporate SEO into your marketing strategy.
You’ll also learn how to choose the right SEO agency for your small business that will yield the maximum impact.
What is Small Business SEO?
Small business SEO is the process of optimizing your website to increase your visibility and credibility on search engine results pages, attract quality traffic, and rank high in response to relevant search queries to drive new business.
Small business SEO differs from local SEO as the latter helps businesses rank for location-specific searches. Local SEO is an offset of SEO strategy and can be applied to small business SEO to increase conversion rates. Also, it’s not size-specific, as it can be integrated into enterprise SEO as well.
Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses
SEO offers numerous benefits to small businesses, enabling them to compete successfully with larger brands.
Aside from gaining a competitive advantage, SEO helps to:
- Improve your conversion rates
Whether your goal is to increase organic traffic, generate high-quality leads, or increase overall revenue, SEO can help to improve your website conversion rate.
Search engines offer small businesses an incredible opportunity to reach ready-to-buy customers.
For example, targeting and ranking long-tail keywords in your industry increases your chances of attracting highly motivated visitors searching for your specific products and services.
Then, you can nurture this traffic through email marketing or publishing relevant and non-salesy content that converts them to customers.
In 2020 alone, over 4 billion people shopped online, and 92.96% of this global traffic came from search engines. 60% of marketers also affirm that SEO (inbound strategy) is their primary source of generating high-quality leads.
- Increase sales
By optimizing your website for buyer-intent keywords, you drive conversion-ready traffic to your site, which in turn increases your bottom-line revenue.
As you focus on increasing your rankings on the SERPs, you’re also building your website to attract modern-day buyers. This includes factors like faster loading times, excellent website architecture, mobile responsiveness, and intuitive user interface, all of which encourage users to spend time on your page and ultimately increase the likelihood of conversions.
- Boost your brand visibility and credibility
Ranking for a specific keyword on the SERPs increases your brand visibility locally and nationally.
When your content satisfies search intent and ticks Google’s content quality checklist, your pages will be visible to thousands of web visitors searching for a related product or service online.
Plus, appearing in the top search results establishes you as an expert and increases your chances of getting a backlink from other authoritative sites in your industry. These backlinks are often perceived as a vote of confidence in your brand’s expertise.
It doesn’t only help your SEO but also positions you as a thought leader in your industry, further strengthening your brand perception and credibility.
- A cost-effective way to generate quality leads
The average cost per click on Google ads ranges between $2-$4. If you get 10,000 clicks to your website, you’re expected to pay between $20,000 – $40,000, depending on your ad preferences. And the outcome can be uncertain in terms of conversion to paying customers.
With SEO, you don’t have to break the bank. As a small business owner, SEO offers a cost-effective yet sustainable means to get high-quality traffic to your site.
It’s often a myth that the investment in hiring an SEO professional or agency is high. If you saw what the average cost of SEO was, you’d be surprised. In the long run, SEO is a more reliable option for long-term lead acquisition and sustainable business growth.
- Gives you 24/7/365 promotion
Lastly, SEO helps to promote your business day in and day out. Unlike paid adverts that disappear after the allocated period, you can always reap the benefits of having an optimized website, even when you’re on vacation or seasonal holidays.
For example, consider a potential customer searching for a product or service related to yours late at night or during weekends when your business is closed. Thanks to SEO, this visitor can access vital information about your business on your website.
This constant online presence provides a long-term, sustainable promotion strategy that keeps you in front of potential customers when needed.
How to know if your small business needs SEO
Your small business needs SEO if you are experiencing:
Low online visibility
Is your website ranking on the 2nd or subsequent pages of the SERPs? If yes, it’ll be difficult for your customers to find you. Research proves that only 0.63% of Google searches click on the results from the second page.
Decreased conversion rates
Are you currently experiencing a decline in your conversion rates? Or do you find it challenging to acquire high-quality leads organically? Then, you need to optimize your website for higher conversion rates!
With the right optimization strategy, SEO can improve your website visibility while driving quality leads to your site at a low cost. Although SEO takes time, the best part is that it once it starts working, it compounds.
Inability to scale effectively
If you’re finding it hard to expand your business and reach a broader audience, you need SEO for your small business.
SEO offers several ways to reach diversified audiences from all over the world. The most exciting part is that you’ll have access to valuable data and insights on your customer preferences, which can inform your scaling strategies.
It also presents an excellent opportunity to identify market trends, threats, and potential opportunities based on real-time data.
Declining website traffic
Lastly, if you’re experiencing a consistent decline in website traffic, you must invest in quality SEO services.
Remember that the decline in web traffic may result from several factors, including technical issues, outdated content, using keywords that don’t match search intent, etc.
Why Hire an SEO Agency vs. Do It Yourself
If SEO isn’t your full-time job, entrusting it to the experts is advisable.
SEO agencies have a team of experienced professionals that specialize in SEO. They’ve spent years implementing tactics and they now know what works and what doesn’t work. They can discover potential issues hurting your web traffic and provide actionable suggestions for improvement. They are also well-informed of the latest trends and algorithm updates in SEO.
On the other hand, doing it yourself may yield results if you follow the right SEO strategies for rankings. But remember that SEO is time-consuming and requires undiluted attention to detail to generate meaningful impact. If you can’t invest this time, having an expert do it for you is better.
Read more on the advantages of hiring an SEO agency.
What will an SEO Agency Do?
An SEO agency helps to audit your website to discover ranking opportunities and threats, lay out actionable strategies to improve visibility, and generate other desired conversions.
They do this by:
- Understanding your brand goals and what you intend to achieve with SEO
- Analyzing your website and assessing factors affecting your on-page, op-page, and technical SEO
- Conducting in-depth customer research to create an ideal customer profile for your brand
- Conducting in-depth keyword research to determine which key phrases will drive maximum conversions
- Analyzing your competitors to discover their ranking strategies and how you can outrank them
- Accessing your website UI and UX to find out how to improve user behavior when navigating your site
- Creating a sturdy backlink profile through PR, guest blogging, content promotion, etc.
- Using hyper-targeting options to reach your customers right where they are
- Repurposing your content for distribution on various platforms (more visibility)
- Creating an effective SEO strategy that extends to content marketing, optimization, and distribution.
How to Choose a SMB SEO Provider
If you’re thinking of hiring an SEO agency, here are some tips that’ll help you make the best choice:
- Define what you intend to achieve
Before looking for an SMB SEO provider, it is imperative to outline what you intend to achieve with SEO. Success in your SEO campaigns should seamlessly align with your business goals and other marketing strategies.
Also, remember that SEO is an investment. Success in any strategic business investment requires careful planning.
So, set Sustainable, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely, and Scalable goals for your SEO strategy. Technically, sales are the most vital metric to track for any business. But before conversion, you need first to attract quality traffic and nurture them through quality content marketing.
A SMART(s) SEO goal is, for example, ‘Increasing organic traffic by 50% for my primary keyword in 60 days.’
This will help your choice agency know where and how to focus their efforts that will generate optimal results.
- Do your research
Now, it’s time to comb the internet to find a high-quality agency to bring the best value for your investment.
Start with an online search or ask your network for referrals. If they’ve worked with an agency that delivered exceptional results, ask them to forward their contacts your way. This saves you a lot of time searching for the right provider.
- Ask for case studies:
Once you get a couple of agency candidates, you need to streamline your options to find the perfect fit.
Ask the agency consultant for case studies of previous projects, particularly those similar to your specific use case.
For example, if you’re a small business eCommerce owner, you’ll want to see eCommerce case studies. The same applies to other sectors as well.
Also, each case study presented should be well-detailed. It should contain vitals like what the client wanted, the strategies they used to generate the results, the challenges they encountered, and how they could surmount them. Here’s an example:
Overall, the agency should have a proven track record of success.
- Evaluate the Agency’s Experience
Experience in SEO isn’t solely dependent on the number of years an agency has spent in the SEO industry.
SEO is more practical than theoretical. Often, experience in the SEO industry is better assessed by evaluating the agency’s track record in handling and delivering successful projects.
So, an agency with five years of experience and 30 projects across diverse niches is more qualified than another agency with 20 years of experience but has only handled ten projects.
That said, look out for agencies with a diverse portfolio. This shows they’re more competent and have a broader understanding of SEO practices.
- Check out customer reviews and testimonials.
Also, check out what other people are saying about them. You can see this directly on the agency’s website:
Or, on Google Business Profile Listing:
Online directories are also a great source of finding customer reviews:
- Review Their services and offerings
Lastly, check out their services to ensure they offer a holistic SEO strategy tailored to your needs.
An effective SEO strategy usually involves a multifaceted approach beyond keyword optimization. It covers the significant aspects of your website – on-page, off-page, technical, and local SEO.
So before you make a choice, you must ensure they offer a comprehensive package covering all these vitals.
In addition, a credible SEO agency for small businesses should be able to tailor their services to your business goals and objectives. No two companies are the same. So, ask if they’re willing to create a custom strategy that will generate the conversions you desire.
Read more on choosing an SEO agency that aligns with your goals.
What to Avoid
Here are the top mistakes to avoid when choosing the right SMB SEO agency for your website:
- Overlooking the provider’s means of communication:
Communication and transparency in reporting are crucial in SEO. As a business owner, you need an SEO agency that readily communicates the details of your SEO campaigns, shares progress reports, and is transparent about the strategies employed to get results. Any agency hesitant to explain their SEO strategies (at most, give you a brief of what they’ll be doing for your site) is a red flag.
- Agencies with minimal experience:
As I shared above, the number of years isn’t mutually exclusive to experience in SEO. But it shouldn’t be sidelined, either. Many SEOs disguise themselves under the ‘newness’ umbrella to exploit small businesses. Ensure that you follow the practices listed above before making a choice.
- Not defining your goals and objectives:
Any result will look like success if you don’t know what to expect from your SEO campaigns. Remember that there are many metrics to track, and unreliable agencies will present vanity metrics to lure you into a partnership. Be sure of what you want to achieve before making any investment.
- Agencies that promise immediate #1 rankings:
This is one of the easiest ways of discovering a snake oil salesman. SEO is unpredictable, most times. Search algorithms change daily, and it’s often hard to tell if what worked for Business A will work for another. A reliable SEO agency understands this and never makes any irrational promises. Instead, they suggest and implement proven strategies to help you grow sustainably. This may take months or years, but it yields the best ROI.
- Agencies with too-good-to-be-true rates
SEO isn’t cheap.
Any agency offering you stellar services at a meager price is likely seeking to siphon your funds. Ensure that you’re well informed of the market rates so that you won’t fall into the traps of these online scammers.
HigherVisibility is an award-winning SEO agency that utilizes real-time data to drive SEO growth. We’re a team of SEO specialists committed to just one goal: delivering the right results to our clients. Our process is designed to rejuvenate your website rankings and offer the best ROI.
We strongly believe SEO is a long-term strategy and not a rank-high-quick scheme. This is why we ONLY adopt ethical techniques and methods within Google guidelines.
You don’t have to guess what we’re doing or how we’re optimizing your site. Each month, you’ll receive a detailed report on your search rankings, link-building strategies, content marketing efforts, and other steps to improve your conversion rate.
We understand that SEO is an investment, and you aim to generate consistent revenue. So we work till we achieve (and even surpass) your goals. Get in touch with one of our SEO specialists to learn more about our business offerings.