Embroiled in the world of search marketing, we often have the idea that everyone knows about SEO and the benefits it can bring to the table. However, there’s an entire sector of the economy that may not know about it and, even when they do, put optimization on the bottom of the priority list. That sector is small business.
SEO is important for small businesses. According to the Waspbarcode.com Small Business Report, the percentage of small business owners who own websites is close to 56%. However, the fact remains that 82% of those business owners with a website fail to utilize the benefits of SEO.
Unfortunately, the world is filled with excuses for one thing or another. However, excuses won’t get things done with respect to anything in life, and they certainly won’t provide a solution to building your small business and realizing your entrepreneurial dreams. What will make a difference is figuring out how to surmount the obstacles that get in your way.
With that in mind, let’s examine some of the reasons why marketers and site owners fail to implement SEO.
1. They’re not aware of SEO’s benefits and power. Or, if they’re even remotely familiar, they think they’re too late to enter the game. Many small business owners simply assume they’re too late to compete against anyone who’s been in the game for a while. When that attitude takes hold, it doesn’t make sense to even bother.
Fact: It’s never too late to get started with optimization. Depending on the competition, you may not be able to rank for generic keywords, but there are always opportunities to rank and be seen if you know where to look.
2. Another fear of turning to SEO is there’s a perception that it costs too much to hire an SEO professional.
Fact: While it’s true that quality SEO professionals don’t work on pennies for the dollar, it’s always possible to negotiate the cost. Many business owners just aren’t sure of what results to expect. What you can expect when hiring an SEO professional is that they won’t wave a magic wand. Instead, we apply sound and solid strategies that are likely to yield desired results. Their goal is to help your website rise in search engine ranking.
3. Another fear that site owners cling to is the thought of not being able to keep up with industry trends and changes.
Fact: Keeping up with SEO does require a lot of work. The good thing is that SEO doesn’t change as much as it evolves. In fact, many of the good SEO building blocks haven’t changed in years. Shifts generally occur over an extended period, so there’s plenty of time to stay on point.
4. Many business owners actually have no idea of where they should actually start with respect to SEO. They’re also afraid that SEO can be a scam.
Fact: There are several easy ways to spot a scam search marketing agency. For example, no real SEO expert will guarantee a top spot in SERPS. While there are legitimate pay-on-performance agencies, this is not the same guaranteeing a #1 spot. If an agency guarantees top placement, be careful; they may not be on the up-and-up. One of the best things you can do as a small business owner is to educate yourself as much as you can about SEO practices.
Simply put, there are fears that business owners must find a way to overcome. Anyone with enough smarts and nerve to start a business has what it takes to step up to the plate to gain a better understanding of SEO and what it can accomplish for their business. SEO considers how people shop online for products and services, and the devices they prefer to use. SEO also takes into consideration how people shop on a local basis. Those small businesses that edge out the competition are willing to use SEO to their advantage.
The better a website ranks the more likely its traffic will increase. The lofty goal will always be the first page of Google, but it may not happen. Or, your site may not land on the second or third page of Google. However, SEO is a major improvement that can improve your site’s architecture, along with its links, to make it much easier for people to find your products and services. SEO and organic search should be a stress-free endeavor. Seek out the marketing professionals who can help bring your business up to speed, and keep in mind that success is a never-ending pursuit.
The Job of Today’s SEO Expert
The job for many SEO experts today is to challenge the skepticism and to help demonstrate how small businesses can benefit from SEO. Black hat SEO tactics left their mark on the optimization landscape—and not for the better. Some websites in the past were blocked for obvious reasons. There are business owners who may still think that SEO involves such practices.
Best practices, as far as Google is concerned, will always keep changing. Sometimes for site owners, it ends up being necessary to change SEO strategies overnight. Some site owners are afraid of the hassle and shy away from the idea of having to start over from scratch. The reality is there’s almost never a time when site owners need to start over from scratch.
Changes can be made that can keep the website performing well, such as content and making the site more relevant and accessible. As a small business owner, realize that you’re going to have to compete as long as your business opens its front doors. Study, research, and stay on top of your industry.