Why SEO *IS* for Small Business Owners

Christian small business seoLast week Jason Wiser started a discussion in the Christians in Business G+ community about an article written by Himanshu Sharma titled, Here is why SEO is not for Small Business Owners. The gist of it is…

SEO is no longer just adding keywords in the title tag and getting links from cheap directories… SEO has become more complex than ever. Therefore it is no longer a question of whether or not you can do it yourself. You need outside help. Period. The question that you should be asking is whether you can really “afford” SEO with a small budget. The answer is “No”.

Himanshu justifies his conclusion by listing a whole bunch of strategies and tactics involved in SEO today including:

  • Authorship
  • Social Media
  • Content development and marketing
  • Local Search
  • Co-Citations and co-occurrence
  • SEO Tools
  • Analytics
  • Fixing/avoiding Google penalties.
  • Reading blog posts 24/7 to keep up to date with the ever changing Search Engine Landscape.

The bottom line is that Himanshu concludes that SEO cannot be cost-effective for a small business, and therefore small businesses should focus on paid search ads such as Google AdWords which provide immediate results.

Himanshu is right in many respects.

  • SEO has become more complex than ever
  • SEO may involve all of the items listed above plus others he didn’t mention including keyword research, running ranking reports, monitoring search rankings
  • It takes a lot of effort to keep up with the ever changing search engine landscape
  • SEO takes months to get results while AdWords can provide immediate results

The problem with Himanshu’s conclusion…

… however, is that small businesses do not necessarily need to employ all the techniques he lists. Additionally, many small local businesses do not have a lot of competitors, and those competitors they do have often are not doing any SEO.

If you own a cupcake shop in Columbus, you’re a locksmith in Long Beach or a mobile auto detailer in Des Moines how many competitors do you have? 5? 15? It doesn’t take a whole lot of SEO mojo to make the first page of the search results. And with the right techniques and a moderate amount of work, a local small business site could be in the top 3 or even #1 within a few months.

The cost-effective SEO solution for small businesses

The challenge for most small business owners is they don’t have a good understanding of the complex strategies and tactics needed to do SEO well. And learning SEO, developing an SEO strategy, implementing it and then continue the ongoing work of monitoring and improving results is not most cost-effective use of their time.

But for the SEO professional who already understands SEO, has developed SEO strategies with proven results and has the tools and systems in place to do SEO efficiently, SEO for a small business does not have to cost a lot. For example, we at Ourchurch.Com offer a Local Business Search Marketing service for just $499 up front and $149 a month.

Can a small business afford $149/mo to be on the first page of Google?

When I compare that to the cost of other types of marketing and consider how many people are searching for products and services online, I can’t help but conclude a small business can’t afford not to be on the first page of Google.

And therefore…

SEO *IS* for Small Business Owners

You can read the full article, Here is why SEO is not for Small Business Owners, here if you like.

You’re thoughts?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

11 Responses to “Why SEO *IS* for Small Business Owners”

  1. Fantastic Paul. I couldn't have said it better myself. Small businesses may not be able to do everything, but you don't have to do everything to get traffic in the search engines and increase sales. Local businesses, especially, should be doing SE0 because they have so few competition. However, even national small businesses can benefit from SE0. It just depends on your competition and your niche. You just start with what you can do. Build that until your making a profit. Then add when you can. If you making a profit off of the work you're doing. Then it's a good investment.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Apr 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Kurt! You make an import point that SEO is not an all or nothing proposition. SEO services can (and should) be tailored to meet a small business's needs and work within their budget.

  2. Webination Station Apr 24, 2013 at 10:56 am

    The #1 take away / Sound byte from the article is, "many small local businesses do not have a lot of competitors, and those competitors they do have often are not doing any SEO." Great rebuttal Paul.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Apr 24, 2013 at 11:32 am

      Thanks Jason. Small business owners need to understand they don't need to pay for world-class SEO, thousands of links, and every SEO technique in the book to succeed; they just need to be one step ahead of their competitors.

      Thanks for bringing the original article to my attention by discussing it in the Christians in Business G+ group!

  3. Great post! I love reading this stuff. Keep up the good work!

  4. SEO has evolved greatly from last decade or so, the importance has now shifted from just link building to social appearance and also to other new techniques like co-citation and co-occurence and Link Wheel etc. Many Changes have recently been taking place such as Google deciding to take panda into main stream of operations while making penguin a big update, Google not confirming the future panda updates and many more. The world of SEO is ever changing and dynamic to keep up with the pace one should be very active in doing research and development around the web for getting information on new techniques

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