Everyone talks about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and how important is to get on page one of search engines. You hear that you need expensive SEO and that it should payoff. We say that you do not need expensive SEO and here is why…
I am sure I will annoy many people with this statement, and many will disagree, but I stand by my words. Most small businesses do not need expensive SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Few things to point out before I start. First, my focus is on small service businesses, like locksmiths, plumbers, handymen, etc. Though I believe that above said applies for most small businesses that are not internet based.
Second, I am not saying that your small business website does not need SEO at all – I am talking that you do not need expensive SEO that ranges from $500 to a few thousand dollars a month.
Third, as for everything in life, there are exceptions to this, but those are relatively rare.
SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. Taken from Wikipedia, read more by clicking here.
In simple words by using a wide range of techniques you can place your website on the first page of Google and other search engines.
You Need Expensive SEO – it will pay off! So they say.
Everyone talks about SEO, and why it is a must. They underline how important organic search results are. Ultimately they offer to place your small business website on page one, in the top 10, of Google and other search engines with their bullet proof system that includes an extensive list of methods (full of tech terms) they use to achieve that.
Nice! Now, let’s use some common sense. There are ten places on the Google’s first page plus ads, right? Say you are a locksmit in San Francisco, just bought great locksmith website design package and someone googles for a locksmith in San Francisco. If you clicked on the link, you saw that first results are paid ads. Next four are results from Yelp, and then we have five locksmith companies and one more listing. You might see slightly different results since Google records your habits and place higher results they believe are relevant to you. Speaking of that, if you see your website on the first page from your computer most likely no one else do, check it from another computer. Most reliable results you will see from public computers as you can find in libraries.
Five or six spots are available for your locksmith business and hundreds of other locksmith businesses in San Francisco. You are getting my point, do you?
There isn’t enough space on Google’s first page! Companies you see there spent years to get that position and won’t let it go without a fight. And that fight costs! A lot! Notice that things get a little better if you narrow your search to a more specific location, like Alameda, but not too much. Try it yourself.
The point is that most likely you will invest a couple of thousands of dollars, and you even won’t get on the first page. But for the sake of fair argument let’s say a miracle happen, you find real experts, and you do end up on the first page after several months…
My business is on the bottom of the first page! WOO-HOO!
An average user looks at two or three top results. Numerous studies were done on this subject. You can check one here. Depending on your business type and what people are looking for you will most likely get just a few clicks a month or even not a single one unless you are positioned on top of page one.
Let’s say you are running 24/7 emergency locksmith service and you hardly can offer something that your competitors will not offer. Do you honestly expect that someone who locked out of his home (or a car) at 2 am will go to the bottom of the page? He most certainly will not.
So, when will thousands of dollars invested in SEO payoff? My best guess is never!
You should also keep in mind that investing in SEO is not a one-time investment. To keep your position, you will have to pay month after month, and even that will not guarantee that your website’s position won’t drop since Google and others often change criteria for ranking, also know as algorithm changes.
I got the point – I am doomed… No, you are not!
If you were planning to use or already paying for SEO services you should check if goals you set are achievable. Goals greatly depend on business you are running. If one sale of a product or a service will make you a profit of $2.000, you should use a different strategy than a business where one sale makes $50 profit. So, carefully evaluate your goals, you might need expensive SEO after all.
Most small businesses do not need expensive SEO. They should focus on affordable SEO services,make sure that their website has good on-page SEO, and rank for less competitive keywords focusing on the smallest possible area with your SEO as it should bring best results.
They should should turn to some cost effective solutions and do some or all things listed below. Many are low-cost while others are free.
- Your small business website design must be modern, responsive, and user-friendly. Check 6 Reasons Why You Might Need a New Business Website
- Write a blog, do not underestimate the importance of blogging for small businesses!
- Maximize your presence and rankings at review websites like Yelp (free and paid)
- Use social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. to promote your business (free)
- Advertise on social media websites (low-cost)
- Keep your existing clients and attract new with list building (free or low-cost)
- Use your existing clients for mouth-to-mouth advertisement (free)
- Use old-school methods of promotions (flyers, offering discounts, free service, etc.)
By using things from the above (free or low-cost, compared to SEO), combined with with affordable SEO services you will see great results. We’ll say it again – if you are like most small businesses, you do not need expensive SEO!
We would love to help you or just to hear your thoughts! Please don’t hesitate to contact us!