Want to make a digital marketing agency run for the hills? Tell them you’re a small business wanting to perform SEO. The truth is, most small businesses don’t have the budget or patience to compete in this space against their giant competitor! Or do they? 2017 Web.com Small Business Digital Trends Report highlights, only a sad 17% of small business owners plan to invest in SEO. Crazy right?  In a business world where the internet is everything, how can you not afford to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Why small business and SEO has no awerness

Here’s the root issue. Big businesses know your pain and they are investing huge to rise and maintain top positions in the search engines hoping you won’t compete for the local space.

Food for thought!

  • According to eMarketer, over 80% of customers used a search engine to find local products or services in 2017. In most cases, the searcher lived within 5 miles of the business location
  • The survey also found that search engines take the lead when it comes to consumer trust and accuracy compared to all other sources
  • The number of daily searches on Google – 3.5 billion Just thought I’d throw that in
  • Printed listings (yellow pages etc…) had the lowest overall reach in 2017

Stats on how Internet user search for local SEO

What does this mean for small business? We’re here to demystify the above statements and tell you that you should commit to SEO and you can’t afford not to!

Many small businesses hold onto misconceptions that SEO is a high-priced “advantage” that only big enterprises can afford. The reality is in the world of digital marketing, the high cost of search engine optimization doesn’t always guarantee success. In fact, it’s often more difficult for the big national brands to rank in multiple cities as opposed to your small business that needs visibility in a smaller geography. There are many affordable tactics that can be done which the average small business owner should take advantage of. Remember though, SEO isn’t just one tactic, but a combination of deliverables along with the skill sets needed to execute those tactics that deliver the best results. With that said, when we say affordable, a reality check is needed. You cannot expect quality SEO for $300 a month but not all businesses need to spend $3000 either.

So, why are you the small business owner so turned off by SEO?

  • The cost doesn’t produce an overnight result or return. Yes, this is true, but like most things in business cost and time are an unfortunate hardship we must all endure. Google doesn’t just give away top organic positions because you just launched a website and/or spent a few months on SEO. Truth is for most; the positive impact can take up to a year to feel. For those who hang on though, by the end of year 1 to 2, you’re most likely the king of the online castle.

 

  • It’s freakin complicated. Straight out, unless you have ninja brain, you are not running a business and doing SEO on your own. It just won’t work! You need a Digital Marketing Agency like ours that spends a solid number of hours per week staying up to date on the shifts and changes that happen almost daily. I can tell you with certainty that at this moment the average quality internet marketing agency knows 97% of what they need to know to perform effective SEO. But by the time tomorrow rolls around, they know 70%. Yes, that’s how fast s#!t changes in this business. Keeping up is half the battle!

 

  • Good help is hard to find. Nothing and I mean nothing can be closer to the truth. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard business owners both big and small tell us “I tried SEO and it just didn’t work”. Equally, we can’t tell you how many self-proclaimed “SEO experts” or as they like to be called “SEO Ninja’s, Guru’s or Mavericks” we’ve spoken to who just don’t have a clue. Don’t fall for the hype and empty promises. In case you were wondering, great SEO companies have dozens of current case studies, tons of positive reviews and more importantly, they also RANK in search engines. Choose carefully and invest in the right agency and you will see ROI.

 

Here’s why small business & SEO should be the sexiest word you’ve ever heard:

 

  • Google loves local. That’s right, proximity wins. Dry cleaners near me, Hardware stores near me, Physiotherapists in near me… You get the point. According to Moz the industry leader in everything SEO, “Proximity to the searcher is the new #1 local search ranking factor”. Straight up, Google wants to deliver results which are relevant to a specific locality based on the IP address of the user at the time of search. If you’re a local small business, don’t you want this traffic? Gotta SEO!

 

  • Good digital marketing agency can nail local SEO results. If you run a brick-and-mortar shop in your community, you need SEO… Local doctors, dentist, lawyers, dry cleaners, plumbers, physio, massage and the list goes on. A good SEO company can get your small business amazing results in search by increasing the visibility of your business and driving your website to the top of local listings without breaking the bank. This will help your company reach its target demographic and drive the leads and sales you need to scale your business.

 

  • Local SEO helps build your brand. Brand awareness is and always will be at the heart of business growth. Without brand visibility you just can’t scale. SEO is one of the best ways to give your brand a boost. Why? High search engine rankings make you more credible while at the same time providing visually appealing exposure in local search. Below, you can see one of our local businesses received 43,000 views in local maps listings in just 1 month. That’s brand visibility!

Local Ottawa company stas dominating local SEO

 

Last call:

Prior to 2014, outranking national brands in search results was almost an impossible feat. Fortunately, Google now gives local businesses an opportunity to compete in a big way! By developing a local search engine strategy, you now have the potential of bringing your customers to your local business simply by investing the right amount of time and money with the right agency.

And the numbers don’t lie.

  • 72%of consumers who perform a local search, visit a store within 5 miles of their current location
  • 61%of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site
  • 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information
  • 97% searched online to find a local business (Source: Hubspot)
  • 88%of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations
  • 86%of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
  • 78%of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase
  • 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day
  • 18%of location-based mobile searches result in a sale within one day
  • 97% of people find out more about a local company through the internet in 2017 (BrightLocal)
  • 56% of local stores are yet to claim their local listing on Google
  • More than 50% of ‘near me’ searches result in a store visit (Mediapost)

 

About WSI Ottawa:

WSI eStrategies is an Ottawa based Digital Marketing Agency specializing in SEO, Paid Search, Web Design, Analytics, Social Media Marketing and LinkedIn Social Selling training. They are a reliable team of professionals who understand business goals and know how to leverage the power of the Internet to drive leads and sales. Makes sense, they’ve been doing it for more than 20 years!

Looking to take your small business to the next level? contact WSI today for your free WSI Webscan.