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Is SEO Worth It For Small Business?

When it comes to small business digital marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) can seem like a massively unnecessary extra expense. After all you’ve spent thousands of dollars getting your website developed, you’re bound to just start getting some website traffic… right? Well that depends on a heap of factors which I’ll take a look at here. But instead of asking: is SEO worth it for small business maybe we should instead be asking ourselves: how are most of my customers going to find me?

The biggest issue that I hear from my most small businesses that I work with is that they are seeing their competitors ‘all over Google’ but their own website doesn’t seem to appear. Or they google their business name and their website appears so everything’s fine online! The problem is that most of your potential customers may not know your business name and won’t be searching for it.

graphic on a laptop screen shoing SEO and all the different elements involved

What is SEO and How It Works

Let’s start by explaining what SEO is and how it works. As we’ve highlighted, SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is the process that an SEO consultant undertakes to improve your website’s visibility in Google and other search engines. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for a search engine to find your page, understand what it’s about and determine if it should feature your content on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Yes - there’s a lot of jargon in this industry but I’ll try and break it all down as we go along.

Many people confuse SEO and search engine marketing (SEM). SEO is about achieving organic, meaning non-paid, listings in the search results. Whereas SEM includes paid advertising e.g. Google Pay Per Click (PPC) ads to achieve short-term visibility in the ‘sponsored’ positions at the top and bottom of the results pages.

There are lots of factors that influence whether the pages of your website appear on Google including how old your website is, how much content you have on each page and whether it’s well-written, informative and easy to read by both a human and a website crawler.

And depending on how competitive your industry is, you may find that your business name naturally appears in the search results if you’ve been around for a while. However, if you want to appear online for more than just your business name you most likely need to invest in some SEO.

Why Is My Website Not Showing In Google Search?

If your website is not showing in Google it’s likely that it’s not properly search engine optimised. Many small business owners wrongly assume that their website developer will have done this for them. However, website design and development is a very different specialty than SEO.

The key to good SEO for small businesses is keyword research. A keyword is the term or phrase that people type into a search engine. And you might think you know what your potential customers are Googling to find the products and services you offer but I can pretty much guarantee that it will be different to what you think. What we’re looking for is those terms that have enough people searching for them but that aren’t so competitive that you’re unlikely to appear high up in the search results. So if you can find low-competition keywords that your target audience are likely to search for, with the right ‘search intent’ (e.g. transactional or commercial meaning that the searcher is looking to buy something) then that is where the magic will happen.

And it’s important to remember that every page of your website is a new opportunity to rank for a different keyword. So your SEO expert will ensure that all the key elements of your webpage, including the meta tags that Google reads, are optimised for the page-specific keywords you’re targeting. This is called on-page search engine optimisation.

Of course there’s a fair bit more to it than just adding keywords, which we’ll cover in a different blog post but this is a great starting point for most small businesses.

Does SEO Work For Small Business?

So does SEO work for small businesses? The answer is yes! Driving organic (free) traffic to your website is not that difficult or expensive if you have the right support. Assuming that your website is well designed and structured and that there are enough people searching for the products or services that you offer, SEO should do the heavy lifting of driving new customers and leads to your small business website.

If you think about it, the first thing we all do when we want to find a product or service is to immediately go online and do a Google search. And the reality is that your target customers will do exactly this. So it doesn’t really matter what size of business you are, SEO should be a key element of your digital marketing strategy.

Without it, you risk missing out on being accessible and visible to your most valuable clients in the critical early stages of the buying process. And you also potentially hand your competitors thousands of dollars in business.

Regardless of whether you’re targeting a local, national or international audience, your small business definitely needs SEO to have the best chance of growing. In fact, local SEO is often the most important and easiest to rank for. Can you really afford to let your competitors walk away with all your potential leads and sales?

How A Search Engine Marketing Consultant Can Help Your Small Business

SEO often gets a bad rap because there are so many unscrupulous operators out there but there are also many reputable, honest search engine marketing experts out there who can help your small business to generate good traffic and sales, enquiries or leads.

A good SEO consultant will start with understanding your target audience and then undertake a website audit to assess whether your website is functioning well. They will look at the competitor landscape in your niche and undertake detailed keyword research to highlight the keywords that present the best opportunities for your small business.

They will then do on page search engine optimisation on the relevant pages to give your web pages the best opportunity of appearing in the Google search results. This might include additional website content writing to help craft the perfect page to help drive traffic, increase your conversion rate and build brand expertise, authority and awareness. They will then make sure that your website has great internal linking, as this plays a crucial role in helping people navigate your website and helping Google to understand your page content.

So Is SEO Worth It For Small Business?

So is SEO worth it for your small business? The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, you really can’t afford NOT to SEO your website. After all, you’ve gone to the trouble of building your website, so why would you be happy for it not to do its job and be discovered by your target audience. Online advertising, whether on Google or paid social ads, offers great short-term results when done well. However, investing in a well optimised website delivers longer term visibility at a lower cost. Achieving good organic visibility and ranking for your most important keywords should be the ultimate goal. That's where we can help! If you’re ready to take your small business to the next level, contact our SEO specialist to get your website traffic pumping.

Contact our Brisbane SEO Consultant or enquire about our Sunshine Coast SEO services today.

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