To what extent do small businesses recognize the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid online advertising for being found online? Igor Shvydkoy, Marketing and Business Development Consultant at Promodo, shared his thoughts on new survey findings about small business engagement in SEO and online advertising.
He emphasized the interconnected nature of many digital marketing channels and called for a comprehensive approach to digital marketing in general, and SEO in particular.
Embracing An Integrated Approach to SEO
Being present online is very important for companies seeking to grow. However, half of small businesses in the US that maintain a company website do not engage in SEO, which lowers their odds of being found online, according to a new survey conducted by Clutch.
Besides spurring growth, SEO, or the process of showing up high on a search engine page in response to a query, allows businesses to manage their online reputation, build authority in specific industry areas, attract customers, and bolster relationships with existing customers.
What steps should small businesses take to launch a successful SEO strategy?
Small businesses favor onsite optimization and local search optimization to improve their SEO. In fact, 57 percent of small businesses employ these two tactics the most, followed by the creation of quality content that earns links (25%). However, Igor Shvydkoy argues that these tactics alone are not enough.
“An integrated approach to SEO emphasizes the importance of building your brand presence online overall, rather than just striving for higher rankings for particular keywords. The approach for ranking higher in Google has changed completely.” – says Igor Shvydkoy.
For example, if a business’ main goal is conversion and lead generation, it must focus on not only improving onsite usability but also creating quality content that helps people use its products and navigate its service offerings.
“Conversions are influenced by onsite factors, such as website look and feel – user experience (UX) – and page load speed, to name a few, as well as other business-related factors, such as pricing and quality of products and services.” – says Igor Shvydkoy.
Advice for Small Businesses Launching an SEO Strategy
Despite low engagement in SEO at the beginning of the year, small businesses plan to give more thought to this digital marketing channel in the future. In fact, 60 percent of small businesses plan to implement a SEO strategy by 2017 or later.
In response to this finding, Igor Shvydkoy advised small businesses to boost their knowledge of SEO and hire an SEO agency to help implement an effective strategy.
The process of selecting a SEO company can be complicated, especially for small businesses that are constrained by a small budget. However, SEO agencies offer a number of benefits, most important are their expertise and knowledge.
“Practice is the best source of knowledge. You can hire a SEO provider that will not only offer you SEO services but also educate you. Find an SEO agency with a transparent workflow so that you can see what they do and how they do it. Then, you can learn from them.” – says Igor Shvydkoy.
The Future of Digital Marketing in the Small Business Market
Overall, an effective digital marketing strategy requires engagement in more than just SEO. Paid online advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing are other ways small businesses can be found online.
“In the future, more and more businesses will come to the conclusion that an effective digital marketing strategy should be integrated. The best output will occur when business owners do SEO, advertising, and social media simultaneously.” – says Igor Shvydkoy.