business search marketing

Why SEO *IS* for Small Business Owners

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Last week Jason Wiser started a discussion in the Christians in Business G+ community about an article written by Himanshu Sharma titled, Here is why SEO is not for Small Business Owners. The gist of it is…

SEO is no longer just adding keywords in the title tag and getting links from cheap directories… SEO has become more complex than ever. Therefore it is no longer a question of whether or not you can do it yourself. You need outside help. Period. The question that you should be asking is whether you can really “afford” SEO with a small budget. The answer is “No”.

Himanshu justifies his conclusion by listing a whole bunch of strategies and tactics involved in SEO today including:

  • Authorship
  • Social Media
  • Content development and marketing
  • Local Search
  • Co-Citations and co-occurrence
  • SEO Tools
  • Analytics
  • Fixing/avoiding Google penalties.
  • Reading blog posts 24/7 to keep up to date with the ever changing Search Engine Landscape.

The bottom line is that Himanshu concludes that SEO cannot be cost-effective for a small business, and therefore small businesses should focus on paid search ads such as Google AdWords which provide immediate results.

Himanshu is right in many respects.

  • SEO has become more complex than ever
  • SEO may involve all of the items listed above plus others he didn’t mention including keyword research, running ranking reports, monitoring search rankings
  • It takes a lot of effort to keep up with the ever changing search engine landscape
  • SEO takes months to get results while AdWords can provide immediate results

The problem with Himanshu’s conclusion…

… however, is that small businesses do not necessarily need to employ all the techniques he lists. Additionally, many small local businesses do not have a lot of competitors, and those competitors they do have often are not doing any SEO.

If you own a cupcake shop in Columbus, you’re a locksmith in Long Beach or a mobile auto detailer in Des Moines how many competitors do you have? 5? 15? It doesn’t take a whole lot of SEO mojo to make the first page of the search results. And with the right techniques and a moderate amount of work, a local small business site could be in the top 3 or even #1 within a few months.

The cost-effective SEO solution for small businesses

The challenge for most small business owners is they don’t have a good understanding of the complex strategies and tactics needed to do SEO well. And learning SEO, developing an SEO strategy, implementing it and then continue the ongoing work of monitoring and improving results is not most cost-effective use of their time.

But for the SEO professional who already understands SEO, has developed SEO strategies with proven results and has the tools and systems in place to do SEO efficiently, SEO for a small business does not have to cost a lot. For example, we at Ourchurch.Com offer a Local Business Search Marketing service for just $499 up front and $149 a month.

Can a small business afford $149/mo to be on the first page of Google?

When I compare that to the cost of other types of marketing and consider how many people are searching for products and services online, I can’t help but conclude a small business can’t afford not to be on the first page of Google.

And therefore…

SEO *IS* for Small Business Owners

You can read the full article, Here is why SEO is not for Small Business Owners, here if you like.

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.


    • Fantastic Paul. I couldn't have said it better myself. Small businesses may not be able to do everything, but you don't have to do everything to get traffic in the search engines and increase sales. Local businesses, especially, should be doing SE0 because they have so few competition. However, even national small businesses can benefit from SE0. It just depends on your competition and your niche. You just start with what you can do. Build that until your making a profit. Then add when you can. If you making a profit off of the work you're doing. Then it's a good investment.

      • Thanks Kurt! You make an import point that SEO is not an all or nothing proposition. SEO services can (and should) be tailored to meet a small business's needs and work within their budget.

    • The #1 take away / Sound byte from the article is, "many small local businesses do not have a lot of competitors, and those competitors they do have often are not doing any SEO." Great rebuttal Paul.

      • Thanks Jason. Small business owners need to understand they don't need to pay for world-class SEO, thousands of links, and every SEO technique in the book to succeed; they just need to be one step ahead of their competitors.

        Thanks for bringing the original article to my attention by discussing it in the Christians in Business G+ group!

    • SEO has evolved greatly from last decade or so, the importance has now shifted from just link building to social appearance and also to other new techniques like co-citation and co-occurence and Link Wheel etc. Many Changes have recently been taking place such as Google deciding to take panda into main stream of operations while making penguin a big update, Google not confirming the future panda updates and many more. The world of SEO is ever changing and dynamic to keep up with the pace one should be very active in doing research and development around the web for getting information on new techniques

    • In order to compete with large brands, small business owners must have an SEO strategy that offsets the often large difference in marketing budget. Because small businesses will not be able to outspend their larger counterparts on media acquisition, they must take a much more targeted and refined approach.

    • Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person’s
      web site link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do same in support of

    • User experience should be a vital part of your SEO campaign, it offers a true CTR and not the sudden 50% bounce rate most low-quality articles get.

    • Seo is a business which does not require a huge investment,but it include a lots of hard work and latest technology.So if you are looking in depth go for the post,from which i get many more things.

    • Thanks Paul Sharing This importing thing with us these. This is very great article which u mentioned here! Great work Paul and really thanks a lot