Small business and SEO
I have dealt with a number of small and medium businesses over last few years and found massive interest surge on organic search marketing. There were a common believe “SEO” is a silver bullet solution for all your organic search related problems, you can hire a “guru” and he will use some “Mantra” so you will be ranking all over the web overnight. There are many “SEO” companies all over the world still promising you top ranking at a very lucrative price by spinning article or changing meta tags on your site.
Let’s focus on if organic search marketing worth it for small businesses. Hubspot has done some great research to reveal average cost per lead on different marketing channels (outbound and inbound)
They have found inbound channels have 61% less cost per lead, and that’s huge. This can easily justify investing more on inbound channels. However to achieve desired results you need to have a well-structured inbound marketing campaign. I am not quite sure about other countries but the problem here in Australia is we do not have enough agencies offering great quality inbound marketing products for small business at a cost they can afford. I am not saying we don’t have great search marketing agencies here, but they are mainly targeting larger organisation (ideally paying over 50K a year). Companies with smaller budgets (5K – 30K a year) being approached by agencies doing more harm than good to their web presence. Let’s have a look at some of the product offering from some well-known (screenshots are taken from 1st page “seo companies” keyword search on Google from QLD location) SEO companies.
Fig: Evidence of spammy activities on proposed SEO campaign
It’s hard to believe establish agencies are offering these garbage as product mainly targeting small to medium businesses. It is the time to understand making your site visible on the web to acquire qualified leads is not going to happen with employing these agencies, you might see some short term traffic increase on back of these spammy tactics but likely be penalised by all major search engines for trying to manipulate the ranking algorithms.
A good organic search campaign will be well structured to address every aspects of your campaign which include Research, On-page optimisation, Local Search Optimisation, Off-page Optimisation, Performance optimisation and proper reporting. You can read my previous article on organic campaign structure here. I understand this is not easy to deliver all these on small budget however if your agency use the right tools and have strategies well-structured this campaign can be delivered to any small business on around 10K yearly budget and will deliver great sustainable results for your business.
I have been working long time now for enterprise clients and now I am using my experiences to build a number of process and tools to improve efficiency of small business organic search marketing to deliver similar organic search products only big enterprises been enjoying thus for. I have successfully deployed a number of process include Keyword Research and Mapping, Onsite and Link Audit, Reporting, where I was able to accelerated task completion time by 600% without compromising on quality. I am working on complete inbound marketing solution using my knowledge of organic marketing, leading data sources and tools and custom made tools exclusively tailored to deliver on my goals.