TechsPlace | Starting a business is one difficult venture, ensuring that it is an income generating and sustainable one is even more challenging. Any business owner would want to diversify their marketing efforts, maximize their reach and generate more sales. Amidst all these, your researches and advice from fellow business owners usually tell you – “You need to have a website”.
But no website owner wants to build just a website; every website created must rank on the first page and better yet, stand out in its category. All of these would be possible with the help of an SEO expert or an SEO agency. But what is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. It is a set of activities and processes that aim to improve a website’s ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) through relevant keywords, quality content and established authority by way of mentions and links. But not all small businesses can appreciate the need for SEO and even those small businesses which partnered with these SEO agencies were not impressed by it at all. Here are the 7 reasons why SEO agencies are unable to help small businesses:
Small businesses lack SEO understanding
Unless life is offered to you on a silver platter, you have probably worked your way to building a small business. Most business owners have probably saved enough to build one and leave their day jobs at the age of 40 to 50. As an SEO agency, you cannot expect anybody to just know about the complicated world of SEO while creating business strategies and make things work. SEO agencies need to dedicate time to explain in detail the importance of SEO for businesses even the small and start-up ones. Take time to understand the business owner’s goals for their business and align with what you can offer as an SEO agency.
Small businesses would rather spend money on something else
Cash flow is very important for small businesses and if they can have more money coming in than going out, they would definitely choose the first. As a small business, it takes time for your sales to pick-up and would rather keep expenses low and be conscious of spending. A good SEO agency must be able to present reach versus conversion targets that would be acceptable to you and are aligned with your business goals.
Long turn-around time
Although patience is a virtue, newly established businesses are always in a rush and they prefer quicker turn-around time on things. SEO, a cheaper alternative to paid ads, takes a long time to succeed. Placing pay-per-click ads on niche and related websites will be appreciated more by business owners as it would translate to faster engagements. SEO agencies must be able to communicate the idea of how organic traffic is more beneficial for a business’ search reputation, long-term.
Hard to track ROI
“This is a worthy investment.” That is a sales pitch that almost every salesperson uses, SEO agencies are no different. They have probably used this too and although SEO is worth giving a shot, there should also be a disclaimer that “Success does not happen overnight.” Tracking the return on investment on SEO is not impossible but it is complicated. And an SEO agency must always see the value of reporting – good or bad figures and be prepared to provide solutions on how to make clicks translate into conversion.
Small businesses lack content
Content is vital for SEO. A website is useless if there is nothing in it and obviously if a company is just starting there are no content, nor testimonials. This is how SEO agency’s creativity can help a client. Agencies can engage their clients by making them search for relevant content and devising a content fit for their brand. Original content is always better and it sets the brand apart.
Social Media Marketing is Enough
Creating a business page is as easy as 1-2-3. With the highly customizable interface of Facebook for business, the availability of Facebook and Instagram stories, and the emergence of Facebook Marketplace, it is now easy to find an extension of your website on social media. Other businesses would even prefer just having a Facebook page nowadays. Facebook’s own algorithm paved way for Facebook ads which are targeted based on interests and demographics making it a more appealing option for small business owners. SEO agencies must point out that although social media presence is important, it is just one contributing factor to the success of SEO efforts. Reviewing social media analytics vis-a-vis SEO analytics can make a business owner understand your point better.
It’s hard to go head on with the giants
A single step for a giant could mean a hundred more for someone small. In business, big companies combine both SEO and paid ads to make it work. Their good ranking can be attributed to both skill and money. And if you go back to Item No. 2, a paid search might be something small businesses might not venture into. The challenge to SEO agencies is to open their minds to possibilities. Admit it or not, paid ads can complement their SEO efforts and the exposure on better rankings for a period of time while working harder on the backend can prolong and even sustain this result.
For a small business owner, it is understandable to be skeptical about which activities to spend your energy and money on; especially that building a business always aim for profitability. Being open to new ideas to go hand in hand with your business can also present potential opportunities for you. For SEO agencies, it is always best to be attuned to your clients’ business goals. Over promising and setting your clients’ expectations too high might be a future dilemma for you too. Some good things do not always come for free, even SEO is not free. The flexibility to do digital marketing mix can bring you better results.
Author: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at Christian Marketing Experts and co-founder of Usman Digital Media. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.