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Why SEO Is Important For Small Businesses

Digital marketing is fantastic in helping small businesses grow and reach new potential customers and one of the most valuable channels for long-term growth is SEO.

Do you want to compete more effectively with competitors in your space? Do you want more visibility for your website? SEO may be the answer for you. 

SEO is crucial for businesses of all shapes and sizes and should be a core element of any long-term marketing strategy for small businesses with an online presence. But what does SEO really involve, and why is it important for small businesses?

What is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of improving your ranking in search engines to build more traffic from specific keyword-related searches that are relevant to your business. 

For example, if you’re a holiday cottage in Yorkshire, you’ll want to be visible when people are searching for “holiday cottage in Yorkshire” and other related words and phrases.


The main goal of SEO - get your website seen by searchers that could then become customers.

Why small businesses need SEO

There are billions of searches happening on search engines every day, so having visibility for relevant, lucrative keywords can be game-changing for small businesses and the traffic their website is receiving.

SEO can really increase consideration for your brand and get you seen amongst your competitors. It’s important to note that not only are you competing with your direct competitors on the SERPs (search engine results pages), but you’re also competing with bloggers, publishers and big brands with large budgets.

SEO is totally different to a service like social media marketing where you’re reaching consumers right at the beginning of their buying journey (see diagram below). If someone is searching for something that your brand offers, you can make the assumption that they’re already interested in purchasing the product or service. Therefore, having visibility further down a user’s buying journey can have a real impact on potential sales and conversions.


How much does SEO cost for small businesses?

Small businesses don’t necessarily have the same marketing budget that larger companies are able to access and can’t always rely on paid marketing activities. It’s easy enough to set up a PPC campaign, target your keywords, get more traffic and make sales, but all of that costs money, and the cost of PPC management isn't always cheap.

SEO is something that if done correctly, can drive traffic to your website, for free! Although it may initially seem like a daunting task and a lot of work, good SEO can continue driving traffic to your site for nothing and is far more sustainable. 

As is the case with the price of digital marketing services, the cost of SEO varies depending on a number of factors, this could include website size, pricing models, agency experience, hours needed and much more.

How to improve your SEO

Unfortunately, there’s not much in the way of quick wins, it’s far more of a long-term strategy, but is something your small business should be focusing on to gain an edge on your competition.

There are two clear routes you can take as a business owner looking to improve your SEO:

Hire an agency

Staying on top of the ever-changing world of SEO and digital marketing can be difficult. Google are constantly updating their algorithms and ranking factors, so sometimes it’s better to get an expert involved.

Digital marketing agencies are experts in their field and the benefits of using them can be tremendous. Usually, an agency will have years of experience helping clients grow their online presence and are well placed to help other businesses grow digitally. 

(If you’d like a no-obligation chat with an experienced SEO agency, feel free to get in touch!)

Take on the task yourself

SEO is a chunky subject, and we’d therefore always recommend that an expert will always be able to get stuck in more detail. However, If budgets are tight, or you’re keen to get stuck in yourself, some basic SEO work can be achievable.

There are some great resources that can help you brush up on some knowledge... The likes of Moz, Ahrefs and SEMRush provide ‘beginners guides’ that can walk you through the basics of SEO. You can also read our post - 3 SEO Tips to Enhance Your Business.

We’d usually recommend starting with a few areas that can all make a big difference to your SEO:

  1. Keyword Research: What keywords should your business be visible for? Also, look at what keywords are your competitors ranking for.

  2. Technical SEO - focus here on things like website speed, broken links, and canonicals.

  3. On-Page optimisations - content quality and frequency, on-page keyword targeting, page titles, meta descriptions, internal linking

  4. Google Business Profile - is it up to date and complete?

  5. Link Building (how many quality, authoritative external sites link to your website).

Be warned though, there’s a LOT to learn and it’s something that is ongoing and can take a little time to show results.

Is SEO good for small businesses?

SEO should be a vital part of any digital marketing strategy for small businesses. It’s an area that when done correctly, can have huge long-term benefits for your business.

In order to survive, small businesses have to be adaptable and competitive, so visibility in search puts you in front of many new potential customers and can give you an edge over your competitors.

Small business SEO is free, and can help you stand out in a crowded channel!

For further SEO tips and digital marketing advice check out the rest of our blog!

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