Out with the old, in with the new.
Long gone are the early days of the internet where putting up a website was enough to easily be found… Small businesses today have to invest heavily into SEO if they want to stand out.
The Case For SEO
Let’s look at the strategic reasons why your small business needs to invest in SEO. we begin with an accounting term: advertising expense. Your advertising budget doesn’t have to be enormous, but in business we also always say not to compromise on advertising. So how do you reconcile those two seemingly opposing thoughts? By choosing the right medium for your message.
Only the big “royalty” name brands like Coca Cola can afford to purchase Superbowl ads (read: multiple), daily international advertising across tv, radio, events, etc. Most small businesses barely have enough cash on hand to bootstrap and operate themselves already. Yet somehow giants have emerged from seemingly nowhere. Take for example OnePlus, the flagship phone company that launched its first phone on a $300 advertising budget. It was wildly successful. How could that be?
What is your advertising doing for you on a per-dollar basis?
For every dollar that you spend on advertising, how much revenue comes back into your pocket? Traditional media like TV and print returns, on average (we can’t speak for everybody) a lower return than online advertising in search and social media. If you’re on a budget and you need to advertise, forget newspapers, print flyers and TV. Try PPC advertising and link building instead.
You can target keywords and demographics
Let’s say you operate an upscale art shop. Your least expensive offering is worth $5,000. You want to advertise, but you want to cast a narrower net and only target those people who are above a certain arbitrary income bracket that you will set. With PPC advertising and Social Media advertising tools, there is a way to do filter by target audience. There is no such thing in print at TV. The best you can hope for there is that the channel/station/newspaper positions itself as upscale.
Even for organic search engine optimization, you can target certain search terms by conducting a combination of a strong link-building campaign and on-site SEO as well as use SEO tools purely for research, as you would with social media tools.
Your campaign is not fixed
SEO is a variable cost type of thing. You can choose different levels of “intensity”, you can ramp up or slow down your effort any time. More generally when you are working on an online SEO or Social Media (or any other type, actually), you have very flexible tools and pricing at your disposal.
You can A/B test
The “final nail in the coffin”, if you will, is that you can test out what you’re working and measure the KPI. And if you don’t like the results of strategy A, you can switch to strategy B.
What all if this means is that for your small business, putting money into an SEO strategy is one of the best things you can do for your marketing. It’s low cost, it’s flexible and it delivers higher per-dollar results than traditional media.