Why Small Businesses Need SEO to be Successful

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More than 70% of online consumers start their quest for a product, service or support call using a search engine. If you’re a small business, how can you honestly afford NOT to be associated with this massive audience?

The bottom line is that you cannot afford to miss such opportunities — and today — we’ll discuss how you as a small business owner can use search to drive more business from people who have never even heard of you before.

It really is a beautiful thing.

Why You Need SEO

As a small business owner, you probably have a tiny marketing budget if one actually exists at all. The beauty of search engine optimization though is that it’s completely free for you to take advantage of assuming that you have the courage to edit some web pages.

There are literally hundreds of tools available to use that will allow you to download, edit and even research some simple elements of search engine optimization.

Beyond that, search engine optimization will provide your business with a long history of leads without any recurring costs. For example, if you optimize your site effectively as a Florist in Menlo Park — visitors can find you years from now. If you were to actually spend money advertising the same message — your newspaper, magazine ads and radio commercials would’ve all been out of print or in the trash by that same time.

So, to recap here — we’re talking about free traffic, from qualified leads, who are interested in your service. And all that’s required from you is a little bit of passion and patience.

Ultimately, you should consult with a professional search engine optimization service provider to make the most of your plans. Out of the box though, there are a number of things that you can do to help market your business on the Internet.

Quick Tips to Get You Started

There’s no excuses left for your brick and mortar business to be left on the outside of Google Local. If you have a Google Account, you can quickly submit your business profile to the industry giant and receive free promotion.

To add or edit your business on Google Local, head on over to:

Better still, you have the opportunity to have your customers’ rate your business using the same Google Local features — so if you’re proud of what you bring to the table, encourage your clients to get involved!

Now, head on over and do the same exact thing on…

Now that you have informed the biggest search providers in the world with information on your business — start researching the basics of on site optimization or hire a professional to assist you with a solid plan to follow through on!

Sujan Patel is Director of Search at Single Grain, which specializes in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing

Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel has over 12 years of digital marketing experience and has helped hundreds of clients increase web traffic, boost user acquisition, and grow their... Read Full Bio
Sujan Patel
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  • Halfdeck

    “Ultimately, you should consult with a professional search engine optimization service provider to make the most of your plans. ”

    If you’re a small business, go to Google Groups Webmasters Help. Not only do you get advice from Googlers like Adam Lasnik and other insightful SEOs, you get your advice for free.

    Only when you need to hire viral marketers, or link monkeys should a small business look for an SEO firm. Absolutely do not pay for on-page optimization, URL restructuring, or pay to have questions answered (e.g. do nofollow tags block anchor text? why doesn’t link: command return any results? why are my pages supplemental?).

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    I think there’s also a question of time, staff and ROI HalfDeck.

    I’ve worked with small businesses before that do not have the time, know how or staff to perform their own SEO or link building in-house, and when working with an SEO firm for a small contract ($10K or so, which is much much less than a paid employee) the return on investment is amazing.

  • Halfdeck

    “the return on investment is amazing.”

    Loren, what exactly was the ROI for that 10K?

    There’s alot an SEO firm has to offer, but my point is there are some things a small business should never pay for.

    For one thing, don’t pay for consultation. Pay for someone to get things done. For example, pay to have someone build links for you; don’t pay to have someone tell you where to get links or that you need a more balanced link profile.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Agreed HalfDeck, pay for action, not words.

  • Marco Dal Pozzo

    Loren, which are exactly the activities you provide for the amount you indicate in your comment ?
    Which SEO actions do you perform for $10K ?

    I’m Italian and want to start a SEO activity (for small business because for the big one there are very important SEO firm against which I’m not able to compete) but I don’t have idea on prices I should practice.

  • Om

    most of person want RIO (Return on Investment

  • Business SEO – Terry Reeves

    This page is definitely a keeper. i have added it to my recommended list of readings for potential clients.

  • Business SEO – Terry Reeves

    As to the debate in the comments. Every week I talk to small business owners who don’t have a clue: about html, about ftp, about directory structure, about meta tags, about header tags…

    I don’t mind offering some relevant advice at no cost. However, some small businesses need action and the person who knows how to perform the actions.

    Owning an automobile does not make you a mechanic =)

  • SEO Web Design

    Small business needs local search engine optimization to overcome their budget in advertising. Get free natural traffic and convert them via landing pages. But before we move on in that, definitely you need to submit your address onto Google local maps and next which is equally important is to add your local contact details which includes the mailing address onto your contact page.

  • Internet Marketing

    There are significant parts that can play a part in SEO which is also easy to apply. However, to attain good SEO, small business will definitely need skilled seo consultants

  • inregistrare domenii

    some business owners just dont get it , especially the time and money required for high ranking…

  • Chris

    great post. I’ve been doing SEO for a while and I’m currently trying to reach out to local businesses to gain more clients. I’ve mostly worked with online startups, social causes and stuff like that.

    But I’m looking to expand, any tips on “cold e-mailing” local businesses?

    I’ll definitely be posting a link and some results of this post on my Search Engine Optimization blog

  • Jonathan

    Seo is a must, If your interested in web optimization for your site, there is a free site for uploading video ads for your business, they also have image uploads if you are not yet up to videos. The more sites you can link to the greater your market will be. They have a free link exchange as well.


  • Dachary Carey

    I have to agree with Loren – there’s a big question of staffing, availability and ROI when it comes to SEO. I write SEO content for people as a big part of my regular job (freelance writer), and have consulted with a few of my Web design clients about SEO, and there’s such a huge knowledge base to cover that many of my small business clients would rather just pay someone to get it done than invest the man-hours in doing it themselves – especially when their hours are better used doing whatever made their business successful in the first place.

    SEO is huge, but hiring the right professional can make a big difference in your ROI and SEO success.

  • RichardSEO

    Hey that's a really good n informative piece of writing. glad you are helping people out with these topics. for more information and reference about SEO, Please visit http://www.seositecheckup.com/articles/16 and keep writing such good stuff.

  • RichardSEO

    Hey that's a really good n informative piece of writing. glad you are helping people out with these topics. for more information and reference about SEO, Please visit http://www.seositecheckup.com/articles/16 and keep writing such good stuff.