As a small business owner, it can be tough to decide exactly how and where to spend your marketing dollars. After all, you don’t have an unlimited budget and the ability to just spend, spend, spend without any real results. You’ve probably heard that at least part of your budget, though, should go to SEO, but is optimisation different for small businesses than it is for larger ones? Moreover, can you find an SEO agency for small business the way you can for larger companies?
The Difference in Optimisation Practices
Optimisation, no matter what the size of the business, comes down to addressing what Google wants to see in a website – good architecture that makes it easy for customers to navigate from one section of the website to another, a design that looks great and works well on any screen size, content that is optimised for customers’ questions and preferred keywords, continually helpful content, and links that point to that site as an authority in the field, among other things.
Where things begin to get different for small businesses, though, is the fact that their sites really are different. Most small business websites were built by the owner of the business, or at least by someone fairly close to the owner, and that can mean that they’re not as well optimised from the outset. Bigger businesses tend to have sites that designed by top firms from day one, so they’re created with optimisation in mind. While this doesn’t put small businesses at a disadvantage when it comes to optimisation, it does mean the process can take a bit longer.
The other difference when it comes to optimising sites for small businesses is that content doesn’t typically come out of small businesses as quickly or as regularly as it does out of larger companies. Content has long been considered key to better search engine rankings, but there’s a fairly easy way for smaller companies to address this potential problem – pair with a content specialist or at least create a content calendar to help generate content on a regular basis that answers any potential questions a customer might have for a company like yours. If you’re not sure you can follow through, work with a copywriter to continually generate the presence you need for stronger SEO.
How to Find an SEO Agency That Caters to Small Businesses
As you begin to search for an SEO company to meet your needs, one of the first things you’ll want to avoid is clicking on the one in that top spot on Google. Sure, it sounds like an attractive proposition, but the reality is that there are hundreds of SEO companies out there ready to help, and some of them may even specialise in small business SEO and be nearby. Why aren’t they popping up as your top result? It could be your search terms. It could be another factor you’ve overlooked. The simple truth is that there are some great providers out there ready to cater to the needs of your company, but focusing your search on the top result in Google isn’t ever going to help you find them.
Beyond avoiding that top ranked agency, you’ll want to use your connections to meet with a company that can help. Small businesses are great at making genuine connections with other vendors and their customers, and those connections can be incredibly powerful as you try to find the right SEO agency to meet your needs. Build your shortlist from the recommendations of those that surround you on a daily basis.
Once you have a shortlist, let the reviews, testimonials, and case studies you can find speak for themselves. These are the spaces where you’ll discover whether they can live up to the promises they make in their own marketing literature.
Finally, see if they specialise in your personal SEO goals. You want a team that has expertise in helping small companies like yours achieve higher traffic ratings, better sales, or simply get into those featured snippets so more people will turn to you as a thought leader.
SEO for small business really is a different game, and understanding that from the start can help you connect with the right team.