SEO is one of the dominant marketing channels that are available for businesses today. In addition, it is one of the most valuable marketing channels for small businesses. However, the word SEO can make businesses think that its reserved only for hot tech startups or large corporations with big budgets.
This is a huge misconception.
The environment of SEO is actually extremely conducive to small businesses and even with our own work with different clients, we have seen some of the best success with small businesses. In today’s article we’ll go over why SEO is conducive to small businesses and why it is so important for small businesses.
Why SEO is Conducive to Small Business
To understand why SEO is good for small businesses, we need to look at two factors of search engines:
Locality & Proximity
Number of Keyword Variations and Options
1. Locality & Proximity
A large part of why SEO is conducive to small businesses is Google’s emphasis on locality and proximity for its users. Google has heavily leaned more and more on providing users of the search engine hyper local and relevant results. This is best exemplified when you are looking for a local restaurant or store to visit.
Google has a private interest to give their users local results that their users can quickly go to. Therefore, it benefits them to return highly relevant, well rated, local businesses. This is where many small businesses can carve a niche out for themselves.
Because of the local game, the size of the competition and arena becomes much smaller when you engage in Local SEO. Therefore, small businesses who want to compete in Local SEO do not need to worry about businesses outside of the local city or area. This makes the SEO game much more manageable. Instead of competing with everyone in the world, you have a small number of businesses you are competing with in the your local area.
Local SEO is where a lot of small businesses can win. And even for those businesses who want to set their sites beyond their local area, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore trying to rank in your local area.
We have worked with many businesses who have let us know that their business does not only want to work in their local area. They want to go beyond the city, county or state. This is a perfectly achievable SEO goal, however, going beyond your immediate location does not mean that you should ignore Local SEO.
You can accomplish both. We have helped businesses attain both, where we have won and attained top Google rankings in their local area, while also extending their reach beyond the local proximity.
2. Number of Keywords and Options
The other reason that SEO is a great option for small businesses is the otherwise infinite possibilities of search results. What we mean here is that what people are searching for is essentially infinite. Every year, 16 - 20% of searches are completely new to Google. This means that there are huge amount of searches that Google is seeing someone search for for the very first time.
What this means for small businesses is that Google’s databases of searches and search results grow every day. There is no company with a large enough budget that can monopolize and rank for all these searches. First off, it would take a lot of resources, but it is utterly impossible for businesses to keep track of all these new searches.
This means that there is always potential for businesses to find new pastures and searches that their competitors or businesses are not ranking for. Many businesses assume that whatever keyword first comes to their mind when someone is looking for someone like them is the only keyword that people use. Like we mentioned above, that is not the case.
Many people use many different variations of keywords to start their search for someone like you. Therefore, for small businesses, when you do some keyword research you’d be surprised about what opportunities you can find to start ranking.
To take this factor and go just a bit more advanced, let’s combine the locality and proximity factor. Large businesses who have to compete on a statewide, nationwide or global level, will have to manage thousands of locations and on top of that research hundreds of thousands of keywords.
There will be keyword opportunities that they not only overlook, but also willingly ignore. For them, they don’t want to hit all the small target, they want to go for big oceans where if they invest time and focus they will get their return. This leaves markets open for small businesses.
Why SEO is Important for Small Business
SEO is important for small businesses because it is another channel that they can use to compete with the large companies and their own competitors. Small businesses do not have the luxury of national or global brand recognition.
Marketing and advertising is a competition to be top of mind and with small ad budgets, small businesses cannot afford the spend for widespread exposure on Facebook ads, product placements on hit tv shows and large scale features on publications.
Small businesses are fighting an uphill battle.
SEO provides small businesses the opportunity to circumvent this battle to be top of mind. SEO is about optimizing for searches where people are looking for a service, product or information that your business provides.
Searchers have a question or want that is top of mind, but they don’t have a particular business or brand that is top of mind. This is why SEO is important, it gives businesses the opportunity to compete for those people who want the service, but are not married to a particular brand or business.
There is always opportunity for small businesses to compete and be successful in SEO. Don’t let the idea that only large businesses and funded startups can do SEO stop you from engaging, there is a lot of opportunity and leads available to those who find the right opportunities and commit to success in SEO.