Small business SEO (search engine optimisation) is often something that the owners try to avoid like the plague. Whether this stems from a bad past experience, a misconception, or the mere fact that there are just not enough hours (or dollar bills) in the day, is all relative to the business owner.
Many claim “it’s just too hard” and you know what? They are right. SEO is more difficult for small business owners, and here’s 5 reasons why:
1. Less Money to Spend
Part of the reason that small businesses are unable to match the search engine optimisation efforts of corporations is the budget constraints of small business.
Large corporations with multimillion dollar marketing budgets can simply buy up all of the outbound marketing avenues and force out small business competition. Small businesses do not have this option and therefore must be much more judicious about the resources that they spend on search engine optimisation.
2. Less Time to Spend
Small businesses usually have less staff to handle the day to day operations of the company and most people are wearing more than one hat.
This means that all in-house search engine optimisation is really being done by a range of staff that are not qualified, nor have the time to give 100% concentration. With so many high priority tasks, SEO often falls to the wayside.
As you may well know SEO is not something that can be done once and then forgotten about. It requires a lot of time and dedication to make sure content is being updated, web pages are being optimised and analytics are being monitored to gain insight into areas that need more tweaking.
3. It’s Difficult to Stay Up to Date With All the Changes
Led by Google, the major search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to try to improve search results for their users.
It is essential that you keep up with all of the changes as best as you can, however this is a full-time job in itself.
The major search engines do not come out with any official warnings when they update their algorithms. It is up to each individual business to monitor their position in the search engine rankings and tweak their strategy according to how their listing falls.
4. Larger Businesses Have Been Established Online a lot Longer and Know How to Play the Game
The major search engines all abide by theory of seniority. This means that websites that have been on the Internet longer receive more trust from the major search engines and therefore better rankings in the listings.
It can take up to 12 months for a new website to obtain the listing that it deserves within the major search engines because of this seniority consideration.
Not only that, but large businesses that have been on the Internet for a long period of time have had time to learn how to play the SEO game and understand the concept of algorithm changes, allowing them to create a much better optimisation campaign for themselves.
5. Small Businesses Have Less Leverage When it Comes to Link Building and Gaining Exposure
Usually, small businesses will not be able to get in touch with the webmasters of top ranked websites, such as .gov and .edu platforms. Obtaining links from these high quality websites can be essential to maximising a search engine listing.
New websites will also have a much harder time gaining exposure. No one wants to trust a new website until it has been established, making link building and guest posting options more difficult to obtain.
SEO: Don’t Let it Go!
Regardless of how difficult SEO is for you now, you should definitely not give up your SEO efforts!
Your website is a tool that can gain your business exposure, letting people know about your products and services. It may not seem like a lot, but your website has the potential to supercharge consumer interest in your business, and ultimately increase your businesses profit.
If you find your SEO efforts are restricted by one of the factors mentioned, you need to focus on the basics until you get on your feet and can either afford to hire an SEO expert or undertake an SEO course (either for yourself, or a member of your work team) so you are better equipped.
Focus on creating quality content for your website and focus on long tail keywords which may also include local search terms. For example, instead of having ‘garden maintenance’ as your keyword you might choose to have ‘garden maintenance [location]’.
It’s difficult owning a small business and trying to get it off the ground, and though SEO can be challenging for a small business, it can also be a very rewarding investment for a business too.