Most small businesses think it is impossible to compete with the big guns in the industry on search engines. Many are now moved to ask if SEO is worth it for a small business.
In this article, you find out why small businesses struggle with SEO. Also, you know if SEO is worth it or not for these small businesses.
Small Business Explained
For the purpose of this article, small businesses are websites or blogs earning from $0 to $999 monthly. In addition, any local business whose total net profit is less than $5,000 can also be referred to as a small business.
A blog owned by just one person and owns $1,000 is not a small business.
The Challenge With SEO For A Small Business
The major SEO challenge for small businesses is the fear of not being able to compete with the big sites in their industry.
Big sites today have a lot of budgets to spend on SEO, especially link building. This reinforces their dominance on Search engines.
In an ideal world, link-building is the hardest part of SEO but for brands, it is not so difficult with money.
This further emphasizes my point that Google’s search engine (algorithm) is very biased in how it ranks each piece of content. Google allocates traffic to sites based on perceived ‘authority’ instead of ranking each individual content based on quality.
With this, it is easy for big sites to always outrank smaller sites even for key phrases more relevant to the smaller site.
For example, consider this query – best bikes 2022. Forbes is second place ahead of Cycling Weekly, which is a better bicycle information source than Forbes. In addition, Cycling Weely’s article is much more detailed with over 7,000 words than Forbes’ 4606.
Google trusts Forbes more because it is a well-known brand. Hence, would have a better chance at ranking on almost any keyword they want.
This example typifies how SEO can be difficult for small businesses that have little or no budget. Hence, one of the reasons why it is worth asking if SEO is worth it for small a business.
Why Small Businesses Should Continue With SEO
Despite the obvious challenge small businesses face, SEO should still be a top priority for the following reasons.
SEO is the best Marketing Strategy There is
SEO is by far the best marketing strategy there is and that is one of the reasons why SEO is worth it for a small business.
As of 2022, there are 4.9 billion active internet users worldwide. That’s 62% of the world’s total population. In addition, almost 30 percent of global web traffic is generated via online search usage.
The point here is that there is a large market for every business on the internet despite the stiff competition, hence, SEO is the best shot you have to garner online visibility.
Based on our findings, about 70% of small businesses invest in SEO. That means it’s still worth the effort.
Competition or budget should never stop you from tapping into that large chunk of the market.
SEO is cheaper in the long run
People say SEO is free but I do not believe that. Even though you don’t pay directly for the traffic, SEO must have cost you some resources including money.
Anyway, my point here is that apart from SEO, the most common source of getting traffic is paid advertisement. Overall, the cost per traffic of SEO is always cheaper than that of paid ads.
In essence, SEO is always more profitable and cheaper than paid ads. For this reason, small businesses must invest in SEO.
It is well worth the effort over time
In truth, SEO will not give you immediate results. It takes time and consistency. That is why SEO is a marathon and not a race.
People who don’t know this are easily frustrated when they do not get immediate results.
However, when you do the right things CONSISTENTLY, SEO would yield good results over time.
Therefore, it is important for a small business to invest their little resources in SEO because it is worth it.
How Small Businesses Can Beat Competition From The Big Players In Their Industry
Although small businesses do not always have the budget of the big players in their industry, they can still get a huge chunk of targeted traffic from Search engines when some things are done right. Let’s consider some of them.
Intelligent Keyword Research
However, it is a foundational basis for being successful in SEO despite a limited budget.
Target keywords that SEO tools deem low volume say, 5 to 10 and above. Why? These keywords are being ignored by others and deemed useless.
Hardly would big sites want to cover such a topic.
The majority of smaller sites go for keywords with 100 to 1,000 search volume.
Here is your chance to stay out of competition and rank your articles in the top 5 on the SERP.
This strategy works 100% for small businesses especially when it is implemented at the early stage.
In case, you are not too familiar with how Keyword research works, the video below would help a lot.
Own Your Traffic
The thing about SEO is that it will always bring new people to your website every day. So if you do not find a way to keep these people, they are likely to never return to your site.
SEO is a favor but you must take the fullest advantage of it.
Therefore, it is important to own your traffic so that these people would have a reason to revisit your site.
The following strategies would help you own your traffic.
Collecting the emails of your website visitors is one of the best ways to own your traffic. Why? Building a rapport with these ones via email would give them a reason to revisit your site.
Pasting email collection forms around your site would not make your visitors subscribe to your newsletter.
Two things would help you get more conversions for email collection:
1. Popup forms
Find a way to set up a popup for email collection. More than anything else, Popups convert most.
2. Irresistible offer
Offer genuine value in exchange for their emails otherwise, you won’t get as much conversion. You could offer a downloadable PDF, worksheet, or any document that is proven to get the attention of your audience – something they would not say NO to.
All in all, pay attention to how you write your email newsletter so you do not lose your subscribers.
Setup Push Notifications
Push notifications is a good way to keep and own your audience. Each time you have new content, your readers would get a notification of it on their browser and would likely revisit your site.
If you use WordPress, I strongly recommend Webpusr for this service. It is simple, free, and effective.
Build A Social Media Community
Your target audience must have a favorite social media platform. Discover that platform and focus squarely on it instead of trying to be active on all Social Media platforms.
Try to build a community on this platform. As your community grows bigger, occasionally send traffic to your website.
Facebook Page, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc are all examples of where you can build a community.
However, note that your community cannot grow if all you do is send links to your site.
Own Space and Publish On FREE Publishing Platforms
There are many free publishing platforms on the internet that could help you own your traffic.
Some examples are Quora, Medium, Substack, etc.
On these platforms, you could republish some content on your site to garner some of the already-established attention on the platforms.
As you publish on these platforms, you are building a community and owning your traffic, not to mention how effective it is for your SEO campaign.
Is SEO worth it for a small business? Yes, certainly. With intelligent keyword research and owning your traffic, small businesses can a good number of traffic from search engines even with little or no budget.
Of course, more traffic means more income or sales.
However, when a small business is gradually growing, it must spend money on these things in order to grow further while improving its SEO.