How is SEO Important for Small Businesses?

As a small business, you may be more focused on retaining customers and staying afloat with the COVID-19 pandemic tightening budgets, but through SEO, you can significantly expand your online presence and turn Google into your primary channel for getting customers.

benefits of seo for small businesses

Table of Contents

Helpful summary

Overview: We emphasize the significance of SEO for small businesses, highlighting how it can transform Google into a primary customer acquisition channel, especially during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why Trust Us: We’re an SEO agency that has a proven track record of growing small businesses. Our MentorCruise case study showcases our expertise. A tailored SEO strategy led to a 1600% increase in year-on-year revenue and 100% growth in monthly trials, showing tangible results in digital marketing for small businesses.

Why It Matters: SEO is pivotal for small businesses to expand their online presence, reach a wider audience, and enhance customer acquisition. Effective SEO leads to higher website traffic and faster indexing, which in turn can increase revenue.

Action Points: We recommend consistently creating high-quality content and maintaining a writing inbox filled with robust content ideas. This approach will improve website traffic, search engine indexing speed, and ultimately revenue.

Further Research: To complement this strategy, small businesses should explore additional SEO tools and techniques, and consider the benefits of hiring an SEO services company for more comprehensive and professional guidance.

Need help in SEO?

As a small business, you may be more focused on retaining customers and staying afloat with the COVID-19 pandemic tightening budgets, but through SEO, you can significantly expand your online presence and turn Google into your primary channel for getting customers.

How can small businesses take advantage of SEO?

Google has reported that between 2015 - 2017, user searches for “____ near me today/tonight” increased by 900%. This wasn’t just limited to things like restaurants and movie theatres, but also products as varied as “cowboy boots” to “tarragon”.

As a small business, you may be more focused on retaining customers and staying afloat with the COVID-19 pandemic tightening budgets, but through SEO, you can significantly expand your online presence and turn it into your primary channel for getting customers.

In this blog post, we will show you should consider expanding your SEO strategy, and the best ways to achieve results.

Why listen to us about SEO for small businesses?

Understanding the crucial role of SEO for small businesses. At Embarque.io, we have first-hand experience in boost traffic and revenue for small businesses through SEO. For instance, take our work with MentorCruise

By implementing a revenue-driven SEO strategy, we dramatically increased their year on year revenue growth by 1,600% and monthly trials by 100%​​. This illustrates our commitment to delivering tangible results, directly addressing the challenges small businesses face in the digital landscape.

Our approach has consistently led to significant traffic and revenue growth for small businesses, showcasing our expertise in transforming SEO challenges into opportunities for sustained success.

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the act of tailoring your business to be easily searched for on the internet. This means that when a potential customer searches for keywords related to the services you offer, your business will be one of the first results shown to them.

Search engines aim to be as reliable as possible, and so actively look for the best websites to show its users. SEO is about making it easy for the search engine algorithm to choose your business to show its users above others.

Achieving this is often a long-term, complex job made up of different parts that can yield significant results:

How can SEO benefit small businesses?

Key takeaways

SEO allows you to:

Expanding your reach

As a small business owner, you might be tempted to approach building prospective customers through traditional marketing techniques, such as ads and doing offline marketing initiatives.

But by growing a strong customer base through high-quality content that’s searchable online, you can expand your outreach by getting to the front page of Google in your local listings, and even compete on an international scale if your product can benefit from this.

Think about it from the perspective of a potential customer: how many times have you typed in the relevant keywords, and just clicked the first two or three websites you found?

And in comparison: when was the last time you opened a Yellow Pages?

Most of us are used to getting the information we need online in the shortest period of time with as little effort put into research as possible. This is particularly relevant for e-commerce stores, as 43% of revenue comes from organic traffic, compared to just 26% of traffic resulting from ads.

As you experience more traffic, the major search engines will consider your business something of an expert on the topics involved and will showcase your business at a faster pace for relevant topics.

Reducing your bounce rate

What’s that sound? It’s the sound of your potential customers leaving your website when they find it difficult to navigate or find the information they’re searching for.

Reduce your bounce rate by putting your customers’ needs first. This in turn will improve your rankings with search engines.

The best way to do this is to make sure your content is trustworthy, and always focused on benefitting the customer.

A key element is making your business accessible on all types of devices.

If I can easily find what I’m looking for on your website while I’m using my laptop, but on your mobile site I keep accidentally clicking the link next to the one I’m after, I’m going to look elsewhere pretty quickly.

Converting clicks into loyal customers

A seamless and conversion-driven user experience encourages potential clients to become loyal customers and drive an increase in revenue of around 4-8%. More site visits means higher chances for that conversion to happen.

We also understand that the biggest ROI of any marketing channel is through email. Through triggered email forms and lead magnets, you can get email subscriptions to later turn into clients.

If your business has a consistent, friendly and useful digital presence, you can expect an increased revenue from search traffic and retention of this traffic. This in turn will lead to repeat customers who are more likely to talk about your product with their friends.

Supports your content marketing strategy

SEO supports content marketing by optimizing for relevant keywords, enhancing user experience through on-page elements, and building quality backlinks. Content marketing, in turn, produces valuable and shareable content that expands reach, addresses specific queries, and engages users. The collaboration ensures sustainable impact and long-term success, aligning with search engine algorithms and user needs. Together, SEO and content marketing create a powerful strategy for improving online visibility and attracting organic traffic.

SEO, for example, played a crucial role in supporting Cleanvoice's content marketing strategy. By targeting emerging topics and conducting extensive market and keyword analysis, Cleanvoice positioned itself to rank higher over time. With our comprehensive content plan and a content update system, they achieved impressive results, including a monthly SEO traffic increase of over 30k and a high click-through-rate (CTR) of 7.9%. Overall, tailored SEO helped Cleanvoice drive significant growth in website traffic and visibility.

Cost-effective

SEO stands out as a cost-effective marketing strategy, notably in comparison to pay-per-click (PPC) and other paid methods. Handling SEO in-house incurs minimal direct costs, making it a budget-friendly option, especially when time is invested instead of money.

Compared to digital advertising, SEO reduces customer acquisition costs by an impressive average of 87.41%, emphasizing its financial efficiency. The consensus among marketers, with 70% considering SEO more effective than PPC, highlights its effectiveness in organic visibility and audience engagement.

Beyond cost savings, the quantitative benefits of SEO are compelling, driving over 1,000% more traffic than organic social media. This increased visibility not only enhances brand presence but also significantly improves the potential for converting visitors into customers.

Don’t break the bank

One of the main benefits of really smart, targeted SEO is that you can see measurable growth without needing an enormous marketing budget.

Sure, you could hire a bunch of social media influencers and say “go make a TikTok about my business”, and hope it works out, but why pay a lot of money for something that might not bring in much growth?

Spending a small amount of your marketing budget on SEO is a more effective digital marketing strategy than paying your nephew and his friends $75 per post to rave about “this one website that solves all your problems!”

People are more likely to trust a business when it’s one of the first results they find on Google.

Remember: Search engines aren’t going away any time soon. A survey completed by The Manifest found that in 2020, only 30% of small businesses were using SEO as one of their marketing strategies.

It’s a lot more cost effective to get ahead with affordable, long-term marketing SEO now than it is to come in and try and beat the competition when the other 70% realize what they’re missing.

Tools to use

SEO may involve an upfront investment, but if you’re focused on starting cheap, you can get started with these following tools.

Should I invest in expensive SEO tools as a small business owner?

If you have the time to learn how to use them, yes. Otherwise, no. Unless you’re dead set about learning about SEO, investing in expensive SEO tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush that you’ll have to pay around $180 per month may not be the best option for you as a small business owner.

With an ever-growing list of priorities, you might not be able to get the returns that you want as you do not have enough time to learn how to fully take advantage of these platforms.

If you have the budget for expensive SEO tools, consider hiring a freelancer or an agency to do the bulk of the work for you. This way, you can focus on other areas that require expansion, whilst your SEO strategy is under execution.

Why hire an SEO company for small businesses?

If you’ve managed to follow along so far, you might be wondering why you should hire an outside company to help with your SEO services.

It can improve your business on a local and global scale scale

We’ve already told you the growing opportunities for small businesses to take advantage of online search engines, as a larger portion of the world goes online.

SEO will help your business show up as one of the results these customers find when they search for your product “near me”.

One key question to ask yourself as a small business is “should I even try to compete with much bigger, global businesses?”

The answer is: yes, but only if I’m smart about it.

You may never be able to outrank giant companies with an unlimited marketing budget, but with an effective content strategy, you can rank for underserved and overlooked keywords that your competitors may have failed to identify.

Let’s use soap as a broad example. Chances are, if you search for “soap” on your preferred search engine, the biggest results will be giant corporations like Dove and Lush, who you’ll never be able to outrank. But let’s start going more specific:

“Buy soap” → Too broad and simple.

“Buy soap in” → Already more targeted. There is bound to be less competition in more local areas.

“Buy natural soap for X skin” → This target more niche types of soap that may be less competitive.

You get the point.

By targeting keywords that are still widely searched, but perhaps not as obviously targeted as those main searches, you can improve your business’ local SEO rankings to compete with the companies with much bigger resources.

Ongoing support and content updates

While SEO might seem simple, the truth is it’s an ongoing project. The internet is a rapidly changing place - as new content is uploaded, websites must stay up to date in order to remain relevant.

How often have you searched for a resolution to a technical problem, and specifically chosen the results that are most recent? Even if your tech is a few years older, you assume someone having the issue last month will have the most up to date solution, compared to someone who had the same problem in 2011.

Even if the resolution is the same on both pages, you’re more likely to click the one whose online content appears to be continually updated and checked.

Measurable results

As a premium content marketing agency offering unrivalled rates, we are focused on providing results and agility over anything else. Just go through our Samples page to see the quality of the content we provide, and compare it with those offered by other agencies.

We broke down one example of this measurable growth on our blog post covering our work for MentorCruise. Through our SEO services we helped them increase their monthly, recurring revenue by 107%, and their monthly trials by 100%.

Cost-effective

Choosing to enlist the services of a professional SEO company proves to be a cost-effective decision, particularly when weighed against the hefty expenses associated with maintaining an in-house marketing team.

 In-house teams demand an average annual cost of around $250,000, covering salaries, taxes, insurance, retirement plans, and equipment. In contrast, outsourcing SEO services typically ranges from $1,500 to $5,000 per month or $9,000 to $24,000 per year, presenting a significant cost-saving opportunity.

At Embarque, we offer flexible content packages that scale with your budget. Our pricing ranges from $570 to $2500 per month, depending on the package you choose. We also provide a project manager at any rate and volume, and offer a 20% discount with a long-term plan. For custom quotes or more customized options, you can contact us directly.

Moreover, the financial benefits extend as external SEO agencies often come equipped with necessary marketing software and tools, alleviating the need for additional investments in this area. This inclusive approach contributes further to the overall cost-effectiveness of hiring an agency.

Client satisfaction data reinforces the wisdom of allocating a robust budget for SEO services. Clients spending over $500 per month on SEO services are reported to be 53.3% more likely to express extreme satisfaction compared to their counterparts with lower monthly expenditures. This underscores the correlation between a higher budget for SEO services and the quality of outcomes, affirming the value of professional SEO services in achieving optimal results.

Time-saving

Engaging the services of an SEO company proves to be a time-saving strategy, primarily due to the continuous and time-intensive nature of the SEO process. SEO demands extensive hours dedicated to research, optimization, and ongoing maintenance. By outsourcing these responsibilities to a specialized agency, businesses can redirect their focus towards other crucial aspects of their operations, thereby optimizing their time management and overall efficiency.

One notable factor contributing to the time-saving aspect of hiring an SEO agency is the high turnover rate among SEO providers. A substantial 65% of businesses have experienced working with multiple SEO providers, and 25% have engaged with three or more. This suggests a significant amount of time spent on the transition between providers, time that could be more efficiently utilized by partnering with a reliable and consistent agency.

Moreover, the widespread preference for agencies over in-house marketing employees further underscores the time-saving benefits associated with outsourcing SEO. A staggering 81% of companies express a clear preference for hiring an SEO agency. This preference is indicative of the recognition that agencies bring specialized expertise and efficiency to the table, enabling businesses to streamline their SEO efforts without the need for extensive in-house management.

In summary

The importance of SEO for small businesses cannot be understated. In today’s world of increased reliance on search engines and online content, it’s not enough to be passive and hope that customers will eventually find your content if you’re offering the best services.

Your competitors are boosting their ranking on search engines to grow their business and increase their revenue. Why wouldn’t you?

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