If you own a small online business, it is important to make sure you’re as visible as possible to new customers. This means that your customers need to be able to find you through an organic keyword search using a search engine. SEO for small businesses helps your website to rank more highly in a list of search engine results, making it easier for new customers to find you.
However, running an SEO campaign for your small business takes a lot of skill and knowledge. Many small business owners attempt to do their own SEO but lack the necessary know-how. Furthermore, it can be daunting to try and get to grips with the different processes that SEO involves. For this reason, many people decide to hire professional small business SEO services.
In this article, we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of using low-cost SEO services for small businesses. We’ll explain everything you need to know about how SEO strategies increase your online visibility, the benefits of SEO for small businesses and how to choose the best low-cost SEO company. This will help you make the best decision for your business and help to improve your sales and revenue.
What is SEO for small business?
Search engines want to show their users webpages that are up-to-date, authoritative and valuable. Websites that offer a great user experience get ranked more highly in search engine result lists, so it’s easier for customers to find and use them. Search engines such as Google use algorithms to decide which webpages provide the best value to users based on keyword searches.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It encompasses a range of techniques that help a web page to rank more highly in search engine results by including the features that search engine algorithms prefer. This means that when someone searches for keywords closely related to your business area, your site will appear as close to the top of the results list as possible. This helps to direct meaningful traffic to your site and can help increase your sales. Techniques such as keyword placing, content marketing, and link building are examples of SEO techniques.
Why is small business SEO important?
SEO is important for small businesses because it makes it easier for new customers to find you. When you rank more highly in search engine result pages, this drives more customers to your page who are already interested in the service or product that you have to offer.
However, it is not all about search engine results. Fortunately, the factors that search engines like are also factors that make a user-friendly website. This means that customers will have a great experience when browsing an SEO-friendly webpage. This helps to give a good impression of your company and should help increase the amount of traffic to your website that converts into actual sales. So, small business SEO is great for you and great for your customers.
Finally, great SEO helps you get noticed in a competitive online marketplace. As most big and small businesses employ SEO techniques on their websites, you will need to do the same in order to keep up. In fact, SEO helps to level the playing field somewhat between you and your big competitors.
What is SEO outsourcing?
SEO outsourcing means giving the task of dealing with the SEO on your website to a specialist company. Fortunately, there are plenty of great and low-cost SEO companies for small businesses out there. They can be a great solution, especially if you don’t have the time or expertise to take care of your site’s SEO yourself.
You can choose to outsource your businesses SEO to a local company or pay to have it done offshore. Countries such as India and China have lots of online SEO companies that serve overseas clients.
Many small businesses choose to use local SEO companies because it gives them the opportunity to meet in person with their SEO team. This type of outsourcing also has the advantage of no language barrier and being in the same time zone. However, outsourcing to a small business SEO company in the USA is an expensive option. In fact, the rates charged may be unaffordable for many small business owners.
Outsourcing overseas allows you to access services from highly skilled professionals for low rates. However, it is important to make sure that there is a point of contact that speaks fluent English and that there is some overlap in time zones. Whichever option you choose, it is vital to make sure that you’re comfortable that the SEO company you are using is genuine and professional. We’ll talk more about how to choose the best small business SEO services later in the article.
What are the advantages of using a small business SEO service?
There are various advantages of outsourcing SEO for your small business. These include:
While you’ll have to commit to a regular financial outlay for SEO services, this can actually be more cost effective in the long run. Using a professional service is more likely to yield better and faster results than attempting to do SEO yourself. This should lead to an increase in your business revenues, more than paying back the amount of money that you put into SEO services. It is also cheaper than hiring a dedicated member staff to handle SEO in-house.
Trying to do your site’s SEO yourself without the necessary expertise is very time-consuming. Furthermore, you’ll have to commit to spending time on SEO in the long term if you want lasting results. Using a dedicated SEO company gets the job done quicker and frees you up to deal with aspects of your business in which you are an expert. This means more time to engage with customers and provide a great service, both of which are also important to your business.
Whether you choose an onshore or offshore SEO company, as long as it is reputable, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your SEO is being handled by experts. This means that they will know the most effective and efficient ways to get great results and will be up to date with the ever-changing search engine algorithms. Keeping on top of changing requirements of search engines is a complicated business, so using a dedicated small business SEO company is the best way to keep your website current.
Good small business SEO companies will have invested in expensive and advanced technology to help them provide the best service to their customers. This type of technology is out of reach for most small businesses to own in-house. Using a low-cost SEO company for small businesses allows you access to the benefits of this technology without having to buy yourself or learn to use it.
As we mentioned above, your site’s SEO will constantly need updating in order to keep you visible. This is a major commitment in terms of time put in. Using an SEO company gives a long-term solution for making sure that your site is regularly updated with high-quality content and continues to rank highly in search engine results.
What are the disadvantages of outsourcing my SEO?
As we already mentioned, you’ll probably find that using a small business SEO company is the most cost-effective solution for your business in the long term. However, it does require regular financial outlay. It is important to make sure that your business can afford to pay for the services in the long term before you start working with an SEO company.
Of course, if you do SEO in-house then you will have total control over the process. Trusting an outside company with a website is a big deal for some small business owners. However, reputable small business SEO companies will work closely with you to make sure that they understand your brand identity and voice and will communicate every step of the way to make sure you’re happy with the end result.
Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous small business SEO companies out there. Using a low-quality service is unlikely to give you the results you want and could even damage your website. This is a major pitfall of using small business SEO services, especially if you are outsourcing overseas. However, with a bit of know-how, you can choose an SEO company that is genuine and will help grow your business. We will explain how in the next section.
How do I choose a small business SEO service?
As we mentioned above, not all small business SEO services are equal. It is important to choose a reputable and genuine company if you want to get good results. So, it is important to know how to choose the best SEO companies for small businesses. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the right decision:
Beware of very cheap offers
While great SEO services shouldn’t cost the earth, you should be wary if the price you’re being quoted sounds too good to be true. A very cheap price indicates that a company isn’t using trained experts, are doing a rushed job or make use of unethical techniques that could hurt your business.
White Hat SEO
One of the most important things you should check is that the service you’re considering uses white hat SEO techniques only. White hat SEO refers to ethical techniques for improving your site’s rankings such as link building and content marketing.
Black hat SEO techniques tend to produce quick results at first, but they will hurt your business in the long run. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous companies use black hat techniques. These methods are unethical and are not allowed by search engines. If they detected on your website, you could be hit with a penalty or even banned from the search engine. Black hat techniques also provide a poor user experience for your customers, so they should be avoided at all costs.
Check references and reviews
A good small business SEO company will be happy to provide reviews and references from their existing customers. Check out their online reviews as well to make sure that they seem genuine and that they are providing a good service.
Ask about communication
Make sure that you have a dedicated point of contact to discuss any queries or issues. This person should be a fluent English speaker and you should know how when to contact them. A good SEO company will also have a schedule to provide you with regular feedback on how your campaign is going and discuss the next steps. You should have the schedule in writing before you part with any money.
Can I do my small business SEO myself?
Doing SEO well requires a lot of time and expertise, so we don’t usually recommend attempting to handle it yourself. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it is easy to accidentally use techniques that could damage your website or get you penalised. If you don’t use the correct techniques and keep your site regularly updated and maintained, your SEO campaign won’t be successful. It can also take a lot of time that you could otherwise be using to provide a great service to customers.
However, doing your own SEO isn’t impossible. You’ll need to make sure that you can dedicate the time you need to do SEO properly. You’ll also need to educate yourself extensively on SEO techniques. If you’re interested in finding out more about doing your own SEO, check out our article on A Beginner’s Guide to Small Business SEO.
The bottom line
While there are some disadvantages of using a small business SEO service, generally the many advantages make it a good decision for most small businesses. Using an SEO service means that you’ll get expertly run campaign using modern technology that helps to grow your business quickly and save you time.
If you want to discuss SEO services for your small business, our friendly team at Small Business SEO can help. Get in touch today to discuss how we can optimize your company website to take your business to the next level