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Is SEO Worth It for Small Business?

Do you SEO?

If that question already has your head spinning, then keep reading!

SEO is here to stay, and if it’s not already, it should be a vital component of your marketing strategy whether you 100% understand how to leverage the techniques or hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO.

SEO doesn’t have to be this elusive thing that only marketers understand, and it definitely shouldn’t break the bank. Once you know what’s at the core of a successful SEO strategy, you can pick and choose what you want to do as a small business owner and what’s in the budget.

In this article, we'll cover the basics of SEO, how to leverage an SEO strategy, the costs of SEO for small businesses, and a checklist you can use today to help you gain that competitive advantage. We'll also take a look at the future of search and how this may impact your small business SEO strategy.

Let's dive in and find out why SEO is worth it for small businesses!

Why SEO For Small Businesses Matters

What is SEO?

In order to understand why SEO matters, let’s define SEO.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a set of techniques to improve a website's visibility on search engines like Google and Bing.

The whole point of SEO is to get your business website in front of people who are searching for something your business could potentially help them with.

SEO is like a matchmaker that connects customers to businesses. When your business ranks for something your customer is searching for, you become the perfect match!

SEO involves a combination of on-page and off-page optimization techniques that make your website more appealing to search engines.

  • On-page optimization involves optimizing your website's content, structure, and HTML code. This includes adding relevant keywords to your website's content, optimizing meta descriptions and title tags, and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.

This is the most common type of SEO as you know it today. Developing the content and keywords will take the most time, and we’ll get you started on that later in this article. It’s a time-saving bonus if you are knowledgeable in your website backend to update the title tags and meta descriptions.

Curious about what your custom SEO plan might look like? Get in touch with Ritch Reps for a discovery call.

  • Off-page optimization involves building backlinks to your website from other high-quality websites and increasing engagement with shares on social media. Backlinks are essentially endorsements from other websites that tell search engines your website is trustworthy and relevant.

The strategy here can greatly depend on the type of business you own and your existing presence on social media. Just remember, we all have to start somewhere! Backlinking can take time to gain traction.

  • Technical SEO involves making sure that your website is optimized for website crawlers and site indexing. Basically, it’s making sure that your site is functioning at 100%.

There are amazing SEO tools for small business owners that we will get into later in this article. They all can help you run a site audit and quickly identify speed issues, duplicate content, and broken links. This is a great starting point for small business owners and has the most immediate improvements you can see right away.

As a small business owner, your time is limited, and why would you invest in something that might make your website appear higher on the search engine ranking pages? Well, that’s the name of the game, and the most important thing you can do is leverage your business expertise and knowledge to develop an SEO strategy around your unique content pillars and keywords that will set you apart from competitors.

The benefits of SEO for your small business far outweigh ignoring the marketing technique.

  • Increasing organic search

  • Improves brand awareness

  • Gives you business credibility

  • See where your money goes - Quantifiable!

Are Small Businesses Playing a Fair Game?

Have you ever wondered about the point of SEO if you simply can’t compete with a large business, publishers, big brands, and all kinds of other informational sources that appear in search results?

The real question is, do you need to compete?

Yes, but it also depends on your business. Maybe you are working off of referrals - and that’s amazing! Even if that is true, the more visibility, the more traffic, and the likelihood of steady customers.

Your greatest advantage is knowing your understanding of your USP and your ideal customer.

Local SEO vs. SEO

Your small business has the greatest advantage of utilizing local SEO if you indeed provide products or services at a local level, with a brick-and-mortar location. There is a great opportunity to leverage local SEO techniques, as 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information.

In today’s digital marketing landscape, studies have shown that social media algorithms prioritize local SEO, meaning that your social media pages need to be optimized for local searches.

Small business SEO is uniquely challenging in that you probably don’t have a dedicated SEO team or a lot of time to stay up to date on all the latest developments in search. And your budget might not be as forgiving.

SEO in your Inbound Marketing Strategy

The intention of your inbound marketing strategy is to attract, attract and attract!

An SEO strategy should be considered in all your inbound marketing channels, including social media and blogs.

It goes even deeper. The secret to a successful SEO strategy is all about choosing the right keywords and phrases that reflect your unique business offerings and offer real solutions to your target audience. A good starting point in this process is asking yourself, “What does your business want to be known for?”.

For the sake of this article, the key takeaway is that any good SEO strategy should include keyword research focused on relevant topics for your business and your customers.

So you don’t have time to create all of this optimized content?

This is a common and very real reaction to staying consistent in your content and then staying up on your optimization.

But here's the thing - content is essential for driving results and supporting your customers. And that content should be optimized for search so that the right customers find the right business.

What’s on Your Small Business SEO Checklist?

Here are the 5 SEO steps you can start using today.

  1. Research target audience and keywords, and define content pillars

    1. Knowing your business and how it can help your customers is the foundation for any SEO strategy.

  2. Fix your technical SEO issues

    1. If your website is taking too long to load, is this something you would wait for as the customer?

  3. On-Page SEO - Optimize your website content on every page.

    1. Use a free site audit SEO tool to identify the performance of

      1. Title tags and subheadings.

      2. Images and videos.

      3. Meta description.

      4. Body content.

      5. Internal links.

  4. Optimize your Google Business Profile

  5. Check your Online Reputation - what shows up when you search?

    1. Manage Local Business Listings & Citations

How Much Does SEO Cost for Small Business Owners?

Now that you know where the SEO strategy starts, you can take control of your SEO budget. A big part of agency costs is from the initial research and development of keywords that will rank your business. Once your content is defined, it becomes a constant game of optimization for your keywords and staying in the know about the latest trends and algorithm changes.

Things to look out for that impact the cost.

  • Website size and age

  • Market and your competition

  • Do you know your keywords?

Whether you or an agency is handling your SEO, be sure to measure and track all of your efforts! Measuring the success of your SEO strategy involves tracking your website's rankings, traffic, and conversions over time.

Low-Cost SEO Tools for Small Business Owners

If you are looking to keep your SEO costs low, start with these free to minimum costs tools to explore your keywords and run a site audit for a starting point.

  • Google Analytics

  • Google Keyword Planner

  • SEMRush

  • Google Trends

  • Answer the Public

  • Ahrefs website checker

ROI on SEO for Small Businesses?

So you invested in SEO for your small business. Great! You may be wondering just how long it will take to see results.

If you’re just starting out with a new SEO strategy, it can be anywhere between 6-12 months or longer, depending on your market and competition.

According to FirstPagesAge, the predicted ROI for SEO in 2023 for many industries is 600%. I would say that makes SEO a very relevant and valuable marketing tool. Search, and SEO optimization will continue to evolve with the advancement of technology and AI tools.

Some data shows Google processes over 99,000 searches every single second.

So, is it worth it?


SEO is a long-game strategy.

If you are planning for long-term success then get started on your checklist today.

Want to see what your custom marketing solution would look like with Ritch Reps

Chat with us or contact us here!

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