Why isn’t SEO more popular among SMEs? Danielle Haley at FSE Online asks what smaller businesses might be doing wrong
There is still a widespread perception among SMEs that SEO is very expensive and does not represent good value for money. That’s only true for those that choose the wrong content strategy, or select SEO agencies that are interested in making a quick buck rather than delivering long-term benefits. It is true that there is no guarantee that investing in SEO will generate extra revenue for your business, in the same way that there is no guarantee that refurbishing your home will increase its market value. If a job isn’t done well, it won’t achieve its purpose.
Unfortunately, many SMEs simply do not have the time to consider the benefits of SEO or schedule calls or meetings with digital marketing companies. That’s why SEO is often treated like a form that gets sent to the bottom of the pile. In addition, some business that do try SEO may not get the results they want as quickly as they would like, or may have had unrealistic expectations.
The important tip here is this that a reliable, responsible company will always give you the benefit of the doubt. SEO campaigns take time, and good results do not happen quickly.
SEO is not just for big businesses
There is also a misconception that SEO is only for large companies with ample budgets, but in reality SEO campaigns can be tailored to companies of any size. A small, specialist business, for example, would require a small number of niche keywords on which to base its content, whereas a much larger company would need a greater variety of generic and specialist keywords.
Recognise the benefits
Unique, engaging and authoritative content that includes an appropriate number of keywords and key phrases is one of the most important elements of SEO and boosting your conversion rate. It will help your website to achieve a higher ranking on Google, because the search engine will identify the natural relationship between your business and your keywords. The more people visit your website, the more Google will recognise your business as the ‘authority’ for a particular search term.
According to the digital marketing company Leverable, companies that use SEO achieve a conversion rate that is more than eight times higher than outbound leads, and nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of business owners believed SEO ‘improved their bottom line’. In addition, leads established from SEO were found to be 61 per cent cheaper, overall, than outbound marketing.
SEO may seem expensive in the beginning, when you have yet to realise its potential, but in the long-term a well-executed campaign can offer incredible value for money. Consider the revenue benefits of your website rising from the third to the first page of Google, and imagine this over many months, even years. Good, responsible SEO campaigns take time to implement, but that also means that when results do happen, they won’t disappear overnight.
Improve your brand visibility
The more people who visit your website the more brand awareness you have in your target market. Improving brand visibility is particularly important for start-up businesses, and one critical element involves building a strong social media presence – get your website in front of people and if it is good, they will share it.