Search engine optimization or SEO is an internet tool that can impact your business pretty significantly. Large corporations invest a lot of money and resources into leveraging this tool to the fullest to benefit from the high search rankings it yields. Smaller businesses have the same opportunity to leverage this tool, at a fraction of the cost, and still benefit from improved search ranking. So why are more than half of small businesses missing the SEO boat? A couple of reasons come to mind. And you may have your own reason, which we’d love to hear about in the comments below.
Fear of the unknown
As a small or mid-sized business owner, no doubt you have your hands full running the day-to-day aspects of your company. Keeping pace with changes in SEO may likely at the bottom of your priorities list. The trend away from SEO indicated in the chart could be related to a hesitation or fear of the unknown around things like internet advertising. If you lack an online strategy or reliable partner to help you with that strategy, then you may have already ‘thrown away’ good money with little return. Add to that the growing complexity of the internet and the misconceptions we mentioned in our last post, and business owners may be avoiding the topic entirely. And we can’t overlook the fact that the early days of SEO, with scammers running amok and company reputations being damaged, may also be playing a part in this trend.
The learning curve
Combine that lack of time with a low level of interest and SEO simply drops out of sight. Yes, understanding SEO takes effort, planning, ongoing review and testing. Then there’s the volatility of search engine marketing itself with changes happening every few months. These facts make the learning curve seem understandably steep. However, most of our clients are far from the expert level of understanding when it comes to SEO. Their basic understanding enables them to make sound strategic choices and manage us as their outsourced partner to implement and track performance.
The money issue
“Tens of thousands of dollars must be invested to make any real progress with an SEO campaign.” Fortunately, that statement is not accurate. But this belief could be contributing to the numbers and the trend in the chart we included from eMarketer.com. In reality, the level of investment depends on your online strategy, goals and desired return. Every business is different, every business has a different strategy, and every business wants a different result. Large corporations rely on their SEO campaigns to produce significant results. A smaller business may look to simply supplement their current marketing plan. Cost does not have to be a barrier for small business.
What is your reason for not implementing an SEO marketing campaign? We’d love to hear your opinions. Please leave us a comment.