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Is SEO Worth It For Small Business?

Updated: Jul 2

“Is SEO worth it for small business?” This is one of my least favorite content marketing questions from small business owners and entrepreneurs. But that isn't because their concerns are silly.

They're just asking the wrong question. Here's what you should be asking:

“How do I make SEO strategy worth it for my small business?”

small business owner working on SEO, is it worth it
Learn 5 ways to make SEO worth it for small business owners.

I've spent 15+ years providing SEO services, quality content marketing and optimized copywriting to startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs. The most valuable lesson I've learned in 15 years — every good SEO strategy can be scaled to your budget.

Here are the 5 SEO tactics every small business can use right now to crush search engine optimization:

  1. Keyword strategy. The road to good SEO results starts with keyword selection. Use my simple keyword development process to outline and select high-ranking copy ideas for your digital marketing strategy.

  2. Smart SEO tool selection. There are a few killer SEO tools that offer scaled pricing for small businesses and entrepreneurs. I'll show you which ones to pick, and where to find them.

  3. Focused SEO copywriting. I'll show you how great SEO copywriting took a blog from zero to 600,000 monthly impressions and 3 revenue streams in 12 months — with zero ad spend. It all starts with focused SEO copywriting services.

  4. Local SEO. Global SEO is for international sales. Local SEO is for Main Street. We'll look at a few ways to optimize your small business content for local search engine results, as well as a few directories to claim and list your business.

  5. Free Google insights. Utilize free tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console and your Google My Business Profile to gain insight on how to boost your content's SEO value.

Ready to jumpstart your small business SEO strategy? Claim a free consultation and let's get going!

Keyword Strategy for Small Business Content Marketing

Every blog article and webpage must begin with primary keyword selection. But quality SEO results require picking the best possible keyword for your content.

keyword strategy for small business seo content
The right keyword is essential for small business SEO strategy.

Don't write content and then choose a keyword. Instead, find a quality keyword that meets relevance, popularity and competition criteria, then optimize your copy around the keyword.

How important is choosing the right keyword? Nearly 95% of all keywords get 10 monthly searches or fewer (Ahrefs). If keyword selection isn't part of your SEO strategy, your search engine ranking ends up in the toilet — or you'll rank for keywords your potential customer will never find.

Keyword 101: Your 6 Step Starter Guide

Here's a 6 step starter guide to keyword selection designed to enhance brand awareness and improve SERP placement.

  1. Determine relevance. Decide the general concept of your next article, then find relevant keywords that align with your topic. 

  2. Gauge popularity. Popular keywords are a great equalizer, especially for small and local business SEO. Be realistic — Ahrefs estimates over 91% of search volumes in Google Keyword Planner are overestimates. Still, pick relevant keywords that offer the highest monthly search volume in your content category.

  3. Evaluate popularity vs. competition. If competition is high for a keyword, you'll have a harder time ranking without extremely high content quality (and the help of Google Ads). Find low to medium-range competition paired with high search volume.

  4. Leave room for re-evaluation here. If you can't find a primary keyword with high search intent and reasonable competition, it's better to ditch your proposed topic and find a new content strategy.

  5. Identify related long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are search queries of 4 or more words. They currently make up 70% of all search traffic (Embryo). Dive deeper into your primary keyword and find long-tail search terms that align with it. Use these as secondary search terms for your copy.

  6. Build content around primary keyword. Select one primary keyword and its related long-tail keywords, and start building your content.

Need a hand with keyword strategy? Let's have a free chat about how to get started.

The Right SEO Tools for Small Business Owners

Determined to make DIY SEO work? You'll need a fleet of strong SEO tools to make it happen. A good SEO tool delivers expert analytics in an easy-to-read format at a competitive price point. 

SEO professional using tools for small business
The right SEO tools help small business owners compete for SERP on a smaller budget.

Find tools that keep SEO cost down and build your knowledge up, and add them to your daily digital marketing workflow.

4 SEO Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Use

I believe every small business owner benefits from using these 4 SEO tools.

  1. Google Search Console. Pair your website with Google Search Console and gain access to a host of free analytics and tools. Update your sitemap, track click through rates (CTR) and conversions, and research your SERP placement for target keywords. You'll gain valuable insight on how to improve your content, and which pieces of copy are working best.

  2. Google Analytics. Google Analytics is tied in with Google Search Console. Use it for basic content evaluation like impressions, clicks and website traffic. As you learn, start tracking new user count, user activity by cohort, and month-over-month growth by device type.

  3. Semrush. Semrush is a great tool for small business ecommerce websites. Start with free tools like Website Authority Checker, then branch out into on-page SEO, local SEO and competitor SEO analysis tools. If you use Shopify, sign up for their Ecommerce Booster tool.

  4. Ahrefs. My copywriting and SEO agency uses Ahrefs site audit and site explorer tools — and so can any small business owner. Ahrefs also offers a tremendous Beginner's Guide to SEO that I recommend if you're new to SEO.

Need help claiming SEO tools and setting up accounts? I'm happy to lend a hand.

Focused Copywriting Boosts SEO Performance

Good copywriting isn't just compelling content — it requires measurable results. As a former contract employer once told me, “Prove your content is worth my money.

focused seo copywriting on laptop for organic search results
Focused SEO copywriting helps small business owners achieve organic search results - and stay there.

Digital copywriting must achieve 5 Cs: click, capture, convince, cater and convert. Write with focused intent and distinct measurables in mind, and search engine optimization occurs naturally over time. 

This is extremely helpful for small business owners with tight marketing budgets. In the case of one home services brand, high-level SEO copywriting achieved more in one year than they ever imagined.

SEO Copywriting Case Study: Zero Ad Spend, Big Results.

In 12 months, I took a home services blog with less than 200 weekly impressions to nearly 600,000 impressions per month. We achieved this with zero ad spending — no Google Ads, no paid digital marketing campaigns, nothing. Just pure organic search.

The core of our strategy was simple. We did high-level keyword research, crafted concise and compelling copy, and engaged in proper internal linking and backlink strategy. After a year, we expected to see quality results and the beginnings of a strong Google presence.

Here's what we achieved:

  • 120 unique blog articles

  • 587,000+ impressions per month

  • 143 top 5 Google keywords

  • 530 top 10 Google keywords

  • Multiple Google featured snippets

We also established 3 unique revenue streams — affiliate marketing, paid backlinks, and guest post services. 

Not bad for a 100% organic content marketing strategy. All it takes is the right approach to SEO copywriting.

Want your own organic search success story? Let's make your blog the next big thing.

Create a Local SEO Campaign Strategy

Local search is a core component of effective SEO strategy for small business owners. Local business directories are the “word of mouth” of digital marketing — get people talking positively about you online, and your local customer base expands.

sign posts of local business directories for great seo
Claim your small business in local directories to boost your local search presence.

Unlike increasing costs of print advertising, billboards and hard copy marketing, your profile is free to claim and setup in most local business directories. 

If you have a small budget for local search, look into Semrush Local and BrightLocal subscriptions for advanced insights into local search trends, habits and opportunities.

7 Local SEO Business Directories to Use

Claim your business profile on these 7 local business directories and enhance your local SEO strategy:

  1. Better Business Bureau. No business directory holds the authority of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Claim your business listing, maintain a A or A+ rating, and savvy consumers will find you.

  2. Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a social networking site that connects local business with potential customers. Take advantage of easy posting and updates and a generally friendly user base.

  3. Chamber of Commerce. Join your local Chamber of Commerce's online directory. This resource is especially valuable for B2B brands who rely on securing other local businesses as new clients.

  4. Yelp. Perhaps the best known social network for local business reviews. Yelp has a broad user base and a lot of eyeballs, but it does take a good deal of curation and attention.

  5. Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor is like “Yelp for out-of-towners”. If your business thrives on visitors, tourists or other travelers, claim it on Tripadvisor immediately. 

  6. Apple Maps. Many companies neglect to claim their business profile on Apple Maps. (Not everyone uses Google Maps!) Take advantage of their absence and make your presence known.

  7. Thumbtack. Thumbtack is great for service businesses and entrepreneurs that need local customers. Home services, financial services and repair pros do their lead generation through Thumbtack.

Hate doing the "busy work" of local SEO? I'm happy to do it for you - just tell me what you need!

Make Google Do Free SEO Work For You

Google search volume is astounding — 8.5 billion searches per day, and 2 trillion per year (HubSpot). It's even more amazing that the largest search engine on Earth offers free SEO service for even the smallest business.

Google offers multiple quality SEO tools for brands and businesses. Each has a unique set of benefits. Want enhanced visibility on Google SERPs, with the ability to offer updates and drive reviews? Claim your Google Business Profile. Need insights on search volume and click through rate (CTR)? Pair your website with Google Search Console.

If you aren't utilizing these Google SEO services as part of your small business marketing strategy, you're losing. Plain and simple.

4 Google Services Every Small Business Should Use

Capitalize on the free analytics and SEO tool suite offered by Google! Use these 4 services to enhance your small business in Google search:

  1. Google Search Console. Track keyword volume, impressions, clicks and SERP rankings.

  2. Google Analytics. Track engagement by user type, conversion percentage and other advanced sales metrics.

  3. Google My Business. Claim your business with Google My Business and develop your profile for search engine results pages. Set hours of operation, update customers with new information, promote sales and increase engagement by requesting Google reviews from satisfied clients.

  4. Google Trends. Track keywords, breakout search terms and regional search data with Google Trends.

Is SEO Worth It For Small Business? Absolutely.

The real question small business owners are asking is, “Can I afford quality SEO services?” And the real answer is yes.

Find an SEO expert that understands how to build a cost effective marketing strategy around affordable, effective SEO solutions. These small business SEO solutions include:

  • A focused content marketing campaign with expert keyword analysis, content cluster development and skilled copywriting.

  • A fleet of affordable (or free) SEO tools, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and platforms like Semrush and Ahrefs.

  • A measurable local SEO plan that tracks engagement and drives website traffic using listings, social media platforms, and your Google Business profile.

I'd love to be your SEO consultant. I offer a unique balance between a healthy respect for your small business budget, and the depth of experience to offer measurable SEO success on your terms.

Don't just ask if SEO is worth it — let's work together and make it worth it for you.


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