Link-building, keyword research and optimization, value-additive content, guest blogging, social media engagement, paid search, SEO audits—you probably know where we’re going with this list.
It’s a list of some of the best-known SEO strategies. There are others as well: mobile optimization, Mobile Accelerated Pages (MAPS), URL and media optimization, optimizing for Amazon and voice search—you get the picture.
We’re sure you’ve heard that small business SEO helps drive traffic and sales, and improves your CTR. But what if we told you that there’s more to it?
1. The State of Small Businesses
You might be fooled by the sheer number of small businesses that are popping up around you. In 2018, for example, there were 30.2 billion small businesses in the U.S. alone. In 2019, this number rose to 30.7 billion. According to the World Bank, 90% of the world’s businesses are SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises)—these account for over 50% of the world’s employment. Now, you might look at these numbers and think: jeez, the future sure looks bright for small businesses. But that’s only because you’re looking at the glass half-full.
It’s half-empty, too.
For instance: yes, there are millions (billions!) of small businesses in the country. But this also means that there’s more competition than ever—the market’s tougher to make it in.
There’s a reason why most small businesses can’t make it past their first five years: because whether you’re a plumbing service provider in a small town up North in Anchorage or a deep dish pizza maestro in South Side Chicago, there are other small businesses exactly like yours.
SEO strategies help you stand out.
2. Small Businesses Die Quicker Than You’d Imagine
While extolling, in numbers, the success of small businesses, most bloggers leave out a glaring truth: not all small businesses survive. In fact, 8 out of 10 businesses fail.
80% survive the one-year mark. Of course, in their first year, they still have cash reserves and funds. First-year goals include expanding the business and establishing a presence—as opposed to raking in big profits.
Only about half of the surviving 80%, however survive their first five years in business. With funds depleting and meager profits being generated, between 45–51% of surviving small businesses die out before they can surpass their 5-year mark.
Out of those that remain, only 3 out of 10 businesses make it to the 10-year mark—which is the bare minimum as a marker of success.
SEO strategies are the tools a business needs if it wants to survive in the digital age.
According to Forbes, disruption is the new normal. Regardless of how in vogue your business idea is, the chances are that it will be disrupted at some point. This could be anything, from a nasty rival to advancements in technology, or—ding!—a global pandemic. They say prevention is the best cure—and this rings true for small businesses. Looking ahead and anticipating change is crucial for preparing for a rainy day.
Of course, we aren’t saying that could have seen the future to anticipate the coronavirus pandemic. What we mean to say is that being prepared for future disruptions is a large part of a small business’s missions and visions—and for good reason. Small businesses don’t have large cash reserves to start with, and next to nothing when it comes to steady cash flows that can help them weather a long-winded storm.
What you can do, though, is adapt—and SEO strategies are the surest, quickest way of doing so.
4. Changing Population
We’re all traveling in time—it’s called aging. So while you might think your customer base or target audience is young, they’re growing old every day. In simpler terms: the population is changing. Most traditional businesses change neither their product nor their business strategy over time—and that’s a fatal error on their part.
But here’s the thing: change isn’t always bad. But when most of your business and SEO campaigns are targeted at young folk, you’re missing out on baby boomers, who possess, collectively, the majority of the world’s wealth.
Of course, that isn’t to say that millennials and Gen Z—the biggest online shoppers at the moment and the future wealth-holders—aren’t equally important. The idea is to develop parallel SEO campaigns for all the different audiences that you have. If you restrict yourself to one audience, you’re leaving a lot of potential leads on the table, which is a huge blunder with regard to generating long-term, steady income. Most small businesses make this mistake, which is unfortunate, because it’s one of the reasons why they fail.
With the pandemic having hit us hard, even baby boomers have resorted to online shopping and e-commerce; the idea that “old people” don’t use the internet for shopping has now grown absolutely stale. Everyone uses the internet now: from your grandmother to her youngest, eight-year-old grandchild.
5. And Finally: The Pandemic
Although the pandemic has hit businesses hard across the board, small businesses have been hit the hardest. Whether or not you were able to bag federal funds doesn’t matter either. Life is slowly but gradually creeping back to normal. If you’re keen on dragging your small business out of the dredges of financial and commercial doom, SEO campaigns should be your first order of business—literally.
Start driving traffic back to your website, solidify your digital presence, and jump up rankings on SERPS to ensure greater sales and CTRs—and do all through a reliable small business SEO service that can provide you with a long-term vision right from the get-go.
- 5 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Aggressive SEO Strategies - July 10, 2020