SEO Strategies Not Central To Most Small Businesses’ Marketing

For most small businesses, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are on the backburner, despite search engines’ popularity among consumers as a product research and purchasing platform. Data from business-to-business research, ratings and review firm Clutch show that only 36 percent of small businesses have an SEO strategy, while 38 percent plan to invest in SEO in the future.

Of the SEO activities small businesses do pursue, social media marketing (63 percent) and mobile-friendly websites (54 percent) top the list of what they are spending time and money on. Having a mobile-friendly website can help small businesses rank in search results, especially because of Google's mobile-first index.

Nearly half of small businesses (48 percent) invest in content marketing for SEO. Content marketing helps small businesses attract potential customers and guide them through their purchasing journey. The quality and clarity of online content is important as it optimizes websites for voice search. However, Clutch found that only 21 percent of small businesses invest in voice search optimization for SEO. Other SEO activities small businesses pursue include keyword research (51 percent) and link building (28 percent).

Small businesses’ SEO is more likely to rely on in-house employees rather than hiring an SEO agency—54 percent vs. 28 percent, respectively. In an analysis of its findings, Clutch notes that in-house staff are less expensive than an SEO agency and offer small businesses more control over their SEO strategies, although they may lack the expertise of SEO agencies.

Clutch has found that the primary SEO metrics that small businesses track are website traffic (25 percent) and leads and conversions (19 percent). Other metrics tracked include backlinks (14 percent) and keyword rankings (13 percent).

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