One thing that becomes more and more clear to me as the years go by in the SEO industry, is that small business SEO is its own animal. In fact, many companies that call themselves small business SEO companies really are not. Many of the big agency tools that just track websites will cost the entire monthly budget of a small business, and that is just to track what is going on, not to necessarily do anything about it. So when we talk about small businesses, we are talking about actual small businesses that need to make the right decision every month and spend their money wisely to bring in new customers. Not businesses that can throw a lot of money around to explore whether things work. Our plans are for businesses that need something to work as efficiently as possible.
To do that, you need to be flexible to deal with constant change in all steps of the formula. Cookie-cutter plans are a big waste of money for any business that is in a competitive market, and most are. Let’s take a quick look at the S.E.C.R.E.T. formula below that has gotten us tremendous success helping small businesses since 2006. This is why we are the best at what we do. In fact, I don’t know anyone else that really does what we do.
Why Small Businesses Need a Different Approach to SEO
With so many moving pieces including the Google algorithm, your competition, your own resources, and more, SEO can seem complicated and difficult. However, there is a reason that when SEO is done right it is regularly ranked the top marketing tactic for ROI. SEO works if you know what you are doing. The tough part is finding someone that knows what they are doing. With proven success over 15 years in the industry, the one thing we can promise you is change, and our flexible plans use change as a strength to help you outrank and outperform competitors who use old tactics or the wrong tactics to succeed. A little more about our S.E.C.R.E.T. Formula is below.
S.E.C.R.E.T. Formula for Small Business SEO Success
- Search Engine Ranking Factors: Google is in constant flux with its algorithm. They make little tweaks every day and historically have had at least one or two broad core updates each year that substantially change the search landscape. Typically these changes are a result of Google getting better at measuring things they have stressed all along, or punishing those that are trying to game the system. Though there are literally hundreds of individual ranking factors, each industry and even each search have different weights for what matters. Everything is relative so in one search you may need a lightning-fast page speed while in the next below average may still be able to rank because Google finds speed a little less important to the user.
- External Market Situation: What are your competitors doing? As mentioned above, everything is relative. Are your competitors all providing excellent content and great page speed as you step into the market, or do you have an opening to use better content to sneak past them? Maybe you have a stronger link profile than your competitors but never built out the content to target the right searches. Did a new national brand just enter or leave your market? Did the pandemic just substantially change how your industry serves its customers? As you can see, there is constant flux here as well. Understanding your market situation and how to prosper in it and take advantage of the opportunities is crucial, but every market is different and has different soft spots.
- Current Strengths and Weaknesses: This goes hand in hand with the market situation. When starting an SEO plan we need to identify what your current strengths and weaknesses are and how they align with your target searches and market. By identifying where you need work for the searches you are targeting, you can put resources in the right places to move you forward. Our experience helps decide how to do this every month. Again, this can change regularly with new hires, new product and service offerings, or even new markets. We need to be ready to adjust to these changes on a month-to-month basis and continue to move you forward and up the rankings.
- Resources Available: Do you have someone on staff who is a great writer? Maybe you built your own website and are great with technical updates and fixes. Maybe you are so busy you don’t have time to worry about any of it except a quick nod of approval as the numbers come in. We build a plan that uses your strengths and resources so you aren’t paying for things you already have but are getting assistance in the areas you really need it.
- External Support: That’s us. We step in with years of constant monitoring and understanding of the search landscape. I go to all the best conferences and read all the industry surveys and research. I know which experts to follow and who is just tooting their own horn with BS. Understanding what not to do is just as important as understanding what to do. We know what matters for your searches and combine all of the above pieces of the puzzle to create the perfect plan to move you forward, utilizing the strengths you already have but filling in and improving on your weaknesses to get you ranking and get customers.
- Timeline Requirements: We know this doesn’t all exist in a bubble. It is important to have a timeframe in mind. Unfortunately, though SEO is very effective, it is never just a push of a button. It is an ongoing process and a slow build. For businesses that need immediate results, we can supplement their SEO plan with paid search which brings immediate traffic to your site and can also help give you an idea of what sells and what maybe needs more work. The services that sell well with the paid search are often the ones to invest in first for SEO. We will be upfront with you about your positioning in the market and how long it may take to make progress. Rest assured that whatever your budget and plan, we use your budget the best way each month to move the needle and get you ranking for new customers. Time is always important, and having a realistic grasp of how soon and how long is critical.
Small Business SEO Success since 2006
We have been doing this for a long time. With that, we have seen a lot of other companies come and go. Doing it the right way will make you last. That’s why we are still here and running strong. If you want to do it the right way and have us help you make your small business SEO easy and manageable, please reach out and get started with your own SECRET plan for small business SEO success.