Small business SEO. Is it worth it?
Let’s be honest, COVID-19 has affected just about every aspect of our lives. From how we go “out” to eat to how we shop, consumers are going online to search for what they need more than ever. Simultaneously, businesses are having to adapt how their existing and potential clients find them. Gone are the days of relying on radio, word-of-mouth marketing or newspapers. Local search engine optimization (aka, local SEO and small business SEO packages), Google My Business, local citations and business listings, digital advertising and an entire suite of SEO services related to digital marketing is how we shop.
Today we’re going to take a look at how a local SEO package can turn just a website visitor into a customer and how important it is for a business to be relevant in the digital space. But first, do the goals of a well thought out SEO strategy make it worth the cost?
Yes and no. I met a potential customer a couple of years ago in the home services space. More specifically, his company provided electricians, plumbers, heating and air conditioning services. As part of his digital marketing strategy, he was using Google PPC (pay-per-click) advertising – which is definitely one of the services that X3 provides and includes in the online marketing strategy for many of our customers. His spend with Google was about $6,000 per month which is a healthy spend and was paying for itself with a roughly 1:1 direct return on investment. Where he lost money however, was in how he was managing his PPC campaigns.
This gentleman was doing all of the keyword research, competitor analysis, conversion goals, and other work to run his campaigns all on his own which is quite common among many small business owners. When I asked him how many hours a week he spent managing his ads, he told me about 10 hours per week (40 hours per month for those playing along). I then asked him what his hourly rate was for he and his employees, he told me it was a baseline of $100 per hour. This means that he was taking an additional $4000 in his own time and adding it to his cost each month. When you add to that the fact that he had to learn all of the management and tools to run his campaigns, he’s probably coming out in the negative.
Now, I know that I’m talking about a pay-per-click strategy here but much of the keyword research is the same as it is with search engine optimization (SEO). At X3, it’s our job to know what Google is looking for and to pay attention to key algorithm and strategy updates. While PPC or small business SEO packages certainly aren’t free, the knowledge which an agency like ours holds means that we know how to attract the “eyes” or major search engines and bring the digital customer to your door.
What do small business SEO packages include?
At X3 we focus on value because cost – as all good small business owners know – is a terrible indicator of the positive return a service brings. With that in mind, let’s take a look at just what one of X3’s small business SEO packages might include
– Keyword Strategy
This would include a set of relevant keywords to the business in question. With local organic search being the primary focus of our imaginary small business, these keywords would need to tightly define how a business would like to be found in local search which would result in not just “tire kicker” leads but leads which are intent on buying their product or service.
– On Page Optimization
This can include a wide variety of things which all fall under established (and shifting) guidelines. To name a few: site map, keyword research, code validation, meta & title tags and image & video optimization to name a few. Google webmaster guidelines help to define these and every single piece of the puzzle can help result in more organic traffic.
– Link Building
If me and 99 of my closest friends were at a bar (minus the ridiculous COVID-19 thing) and someone said, “Hey everyone! Can you recommend a good plumber?” and five of us pointed at Bob of Bob’s plumbing, we would be creating what amounts to a real-world backlink. We are using our social proof to create a link to Bob. When it comes to building high quality backlinks on the internet, the same principle holds true for a great SEO strategy. A link for Bob’s plumbing on a local business directory like a chamber of commerce helps to increase Bob’s search engine rankings by telling potential customers that his business is trusted.
– Content Marketing
There is a saying in the SEO marketing world: “Content is king”. To a very large degree this holds true. When we refer to content creation what we’re primarily talking about are additional pages on a website which may describe services and the like. We’re also speaking of blog posts like the one you’re reading now. Adding content to a website on a consistent, ongoing basis is one of the biggest factors in small business SEO and can even result in potential customers seeing links to your site on social media outlets.
Should we hire an SEO agency or try to handle search engine optimization on my own?
I like to use this analogy a lot: Can I replace my own roof? Absolutely. I can go on any number of instructional websites (including YouTube) and find out exactly what I need to do; what supplies and tools to buy, where to buy them and how to do the installation. In fact, I could probably do all of that for less money than hiring a roofer. However, just looking at the amount of time it would take for me to learn all of that, not to mention the inevitable mistakes would put me so far behind in terms of being cost effective that I would be MUCH better off hiring a professional.
So back to the original question: Should we hire and SEO agency or try to handle it on your own? First, no, you shouldn’t hire an agency, you should hire X3. Period.
Hiring an SEO firm (ahem – X3 – ahem) means you’re hiring someone who is used to providing business SEO services. We are SEO experts in each aspect of the game. This includes content marketing, Technical SEO, Google algorithm updates, on and off page optimization, content analysis just to name a few.
I’ll go back to an earlier point here as well; if you had a machine which you could put a dollar into and get 2 back, you’d be camped out in front of that machine all day long. That’s what happens when you work with SEO professional like us at X3. We do everything we can to make sure your search ranking outstrips the other guys, even in highly competitive industries which includes SEO for roofers in Colorado where there are over 5,000 licensed roofers to compete with. Our small business SEO packages are designed to make you dominate your competition online while simultaneously bring you trust, results and clarity.
The Bottom Line
At X3 we are SEO professionals. It is our job to maximize your marketing budget so your digital marketing efforts can turn search engines into that put-one-in-get-two-back money machine I mentioned earlier. It’s also our job to show you how your money is being spent and provide the trust, results and clarity so you can account for each dollar and track conversion goals to see that money grow. Let’s talk.