If small businesses hope to compete with larger corporations in the same niche industry, then a solid SEO strategy is critical for organic customer discovery. This is especially true for those working with a more limited budget that need long-term, sustainable results.
Sure, paid ads will almost always assure your company’s visibility on any search engine or partner network. But at what cost?
Consider this scenario.
You own a local peanut butter company and have noticed that many of your new users discover your site through recipes on your site’s blog. You’ve also noticed many of these users end up buying peanut butter online. The logical marketing thing to do would be to of course get more traffic to these recipe blogs!
But paying for each click to a recipe page without a guaranteed conversion is not only risky—it’s expensive.
Take, for instance, the keyword peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes. At an average of $11 per click, your investment is almost guaranteed to never pay off, unless you’re selling a $12 jar of PB with every click. While our friends at Jif may be able to comfortably throw down a dollar every time someone clicks on their creamy peanut butter ad, Grandma Butters’ PB from down the street can never compete.
And this is exactly where SEO services for small business come in!
7 SEO services for small business for sustainable results
While SEO comes with a larger up-front investment than paid ads, you’ll see results grow sustainably over time for years to come. Think about SEO vs SEM like the difference between buying a steamer for your clothes to last years (SEO), versus paying for a dry cleaner every time you want to get those wrinkles out (SEM). In fact, inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound leads.
So, we can all agree that SEO is pretty important in any digital marketing mix. But, what kinds of services does this involve?
1. Keyword research
Keyword research is where all the magic starts! Essentially, this step helps you identify for which search terms you’re optimizing each individual page. So, if you’re that peanut butter company with an online shop, your page about pancakes would target peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes. Likewise, a product page for creamy peanut butter would target the phrase buy creamy peanut butter. Often keywords are pretty intuitive, but to maximize each page’s value and traffic, keyword research is a must.
This step acts as a cornerstone to other SEO services. However, if a client wants to do the optimization him or herself, then this is a good investment to start.
2. Content marketing
From landing pages about services to “how to” articles on a blog, content marketing is the meat of a healthy SEO strategy. You can only optimize so much on a website until you hit a wall with keywords and plateaued traffic. After that, you can start to create unique content that helps support your industry, brand, and service. Think the peanut butter pancakes blog example from earlier!
3. Content audit
Sometimes a website has content creation dating back years, which causes a bit of a hoarding situation. Not every one of these pages carries SEO value that drives organic traffic. Most of the time, these same pages are all but forgotten and not used at all. A content audit is what would happen if Marie Kondo met SEO. If an old, crusty page doesn’t spark joy or rank significantly for relevant keywords, it’s time to say sayonara.
Stale or thin pages can slow down a site and exhaust crawl budget, meaning a search engine may get tired of your behemoth site before it gets to the good stuff.
4. Page meta audit
Finagling the meta title and description aren’t just beneficial for SEO purposes. They can also help improve click-through-rates on search engine result pages. By auditing existing meta information, we can identify any missing ones and also fine-tune text to make sure the text matches user intent and the content itself.
Other digital marketing services that support SEO
When you hear about SEO, it typically revolves around on-page SEO, or rather things that you have control over on the visual side of your own website (keyword placement and internal linking, for example). However, there are a few other SEO services for small business that act as essential pieces to the SEO puzzle that are often overlooked.
Will your website rank for keywords over time without these? Probably. However, by not maximizing your SEO efforts across all channels, you’re certainly missing out on opportunities and letting competitors get ahead.
Here are some other services to think about:
- Digital PR —You may have heard of backlinking or link building. If not, this process essentially raises a domain’s relevancy for certain keywords and authority through signals from other domains. For example, if your local news outlet links back to a page on your site for “best plumbing service in Phoenix”, then your website’s relevancy for that search term will rise as well.
- Technical SEO —Think behind-the-scenes, technical vocabulary, and parts of your website you shouldn’t touch unless you know what you’re doing. Tech SEO includes the management of elements like Crawling, Indexing, Status Codes, Page Speed, Content, Site Structure, Mobile Usability, SSL, Structured Data, Migrations, and Rendering for websites.
- Social media—The link between social media and SEO is pretty vague, but there’s no doubt still a correlation between the two. Social helps share great SEO content. It also boost social signals to the page.
Different solutions for different needs
Of course, the number of SEO tactics and strategies to try goes on and on. However, these are a few of the staple SEO services for small business that will get you noticeable results.
Got questions on what SEO service your business would most benefit from? Let us know!