If you’re a small business owner, then you know that it’s important to stand out from your competition. And while advertising your business on social media and creating an effective website are solid ways to promote your goods or services, one of the most effective strategies is search engine optimization (SEO) marketing. In this post, we’ll go over what SEO is and why it’s so important for any business owner today. Then we’ll share our guide on how to find the right SEO agency for your small business.
What is SEO?
What is SEO? Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving the visibility of a website or webpage in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. SEO can be thought of as “writing” for the web in that it involves creating content to be placed on your site and on other sites that will be useful to your audience, which includes both humans and machines.
When you are looking for an SEO company to help grow your business online, you want to make sure they have experience with local businesses. Local businesses have different needs than large national companies because their customer base is more concentrated in one area.
Our Guide to Small Business SEO
SEO is a process that helps websites rank higher in search engines. In other words, it’s the way you get your business noticed. It’s also the most cost-effective way to market your website and services on the web. But what is SEO? How do you know if you need it? And which company should you use?
To start, here’s what we mean when we say “SEO:”
- Search engine optimization (SEO): The process of improving the visibility of a website or web page in organic (non-paid) search results on search engines by increasing its relevance for specific keyword phrases, by increasing its authority within the website niche through link building, etc., thus increasing traffic
Find the right SEO company for your small business
Finding the right SEO company for your small business is a lot like finding the right person to date. You want someone who understands you, who appreciates and values what you have to offer. You want them to be invested in your success, but also be willing to work with you through the bad times.
Here are some tips for finding that perfect match:
- Look for an expert in small business SEO
- Make sure they understand your industry and goals
- Check their reputation in the local community
Work with an SEO agency that can provide you with a full marketing strategy.
You need a full marketing strategy. You need a team that understands your business, your customers, and the competition, as well as the industry you’re in. You also need to have goals set for yourself and your company.
If you’re like most small businesses, though, this is something that can often be overlooked—but it’s vital if you want to get results from SEO efforts.
Keep up with trends and technology.
As a business owner, it’s important to stay abreast of the latest developments in SEO. Not only will this help you stay ahead of your competition and give your small business a competitive edge, but it also helps you understand and communicate with other industry professionals.
Businesses also need to be aware of new trends within their own industries. For example, if you are running a restaurant, knowing what types of food are popular right now can help guide your marketing strategies and even influence which products or services you offer at your establishment.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
With the popularity of SEO, many companies are springing up to offer their services. But not all are created equal. Some will promise you things that sound great but may be unrealistic for your business. As you’re searching for an SEO company, make sure they don’t make these types of promises:
- Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. If a company makes claims about how much traffic or sales they’ll drive to your site, ask them to prove it by showing proof from past clients with similar needs. Some legitimate agencies might be hesitant because they don’t want their competitors stealing their strategies, so consider asking if there’s any way to get references from other businesses before signing on the dotted line; this is usually enough information for most people looking into hiring someone new (though it may take time). If an agency provides clear evidence that the results advertised are achievable and sustainable, then go ahead and sign! Keep in mind though: even if someone says something will happen today doesn’t mean tomorrow either…or next week! Things take time even when everything goes smoothly.”
Research and references are important.
One of the most important things you can do when looking for an SEO company is to request references. A good SEO provider will be happy to provide them, and they should be able to give you a list of clients that are similar in size and industry to your business. This information will help you learn what the process was like for that particular client, and it may give you insight into how well this potential partner would fit with your needs as well.
When selecting references, it’s important not only that they are relevant, but also that they are trustworthy as well. If a company provides a reference but doesn’t want their name disclosed—or if they say something vague like “this person is real” or “this person is totally legit!”—that should raise red flags about the credibility of their claims when it comes time to work together directly with them on implementing search engine optimization strategies for your site. If a potential partner has nothing positive (or even neutral) things to say about past clients, then chances are good that it won’t work out either!
Talk about your budget and timeline.
The first thing you should discuss is your budget. The cost of SEO varies greatly based on the type of website, size, and industry. For example, a beginner’s guide to search engine optimization can be built for $1/per month while a large eCommerce site could cost $5/per month or more depending on its needs.
Once you understand what your budget is and what it will take to get your site up and running with SEO, you need to set realistic timelines. If it’s going to take six months for all of the work done by the SEO company (or at least halfway through), that means that they’ll need an estimated start date as well as an estimated finish date (and likely some milestones in between).
A deep understanding of local SEO is essential for any small business today.
Local SEO is critical for small businesses today. It can help you grow, build trust, build a reputation and attract new customers.
A deep understanding of local SEO is essential for any small business today. If a company doesn’t have an understanding of how to properly optimize its website for local search engines, it will lose out on significant opportunities to expand its reach and generate more leads. A good SEO company will be able to help you with this process by providing actionable advice that’s easy to implement into your marketing strategy.
As you can see, the right SEO company will have a deep understanding of local SEO and know how to get results. If they don’t have an in-depth knowledge of these factors, then it may be best to look elsewhere. The bottom line is that you want someone who can provide you with tangible results and return on investment (ROI).