Asking the Question: What Can SEO Do for Your Small Business?

In the modern marketing world, there seems to have developed this assumption regarding SEO, in that SEO undoubtedly and unequivocally always leads to increased sales. Business owners often seek out professional SEO work with the belief that ranking higher on Google means they'll have more business overall.  

Certainly, we can’t deny the importance or the impact of SEO when it comes to ranking and visibility. I’m in no way suggesting it isn’t important or that it doesn’t work.  

 

What Does It Mean When SEO Works?

But that’s just it - let’s look at what it means for search engine optimization to work. Sure, the analytics will show you the results of effective SEO being an increase in traffic to your site. More people seeing and learning about you is almost certainly a good thing!
Typically, on Google, I generally rank at the top 1 to 5 positions when searched. And yet, I would say that (much) less than 10% of my business is actually the result of my SEO ranking. Because of the business I operate, ranking higher on Google doesn’t mean I’ll have more sales.

Most of my clients find me from referrals or from seeing the work that I’ve done for other sites. But when it comes to my ranking, that’s mostly about something entirely different than sales: it’s about my credibility.  

It Ain't All That

Small business owners take note: The truth is that where you rank on Google does not exclusively impact your actual sales. SEO might rank you higher, but depending on your business, it’s realistically going to get you one of those two things: sales or credibility.  

Recently, I had a client, the owner of a small business, ask me about working with her to create a website, and I when I asked her, “Why do you think you need a website?”, she said it would help her reach customers and increase sales. Like so many others, she believes it would help.   

It Depends...

I told her yes, it would help, but it wouldn’t be the so-called silver bullet for her business. The reality is that her business is not one that customers are actively searching for online. This is what makes all the difference.   

Depending on your industry and your business, customers may be searching for your services online, but they also may not be.   

Let’s Look at an Example

A consumer in need of a great, local electrician to fix some wiring in their home is highly likely to look at Google for their local services. The same cannot be said of someone who’s perhaps looking for an accountant, during tax season, who often rely more on referrals rather than searches.
The type of business you have and the market you’re in are of huge significance when it comes to determining just how effective SEO will be at increasing your sales. So, before you find yourself willingly spending good money on SEO work, make sure that it’s going to be the right decision for you and your business.

If you're unsure - feel free to reach out :)


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