Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the skill of improving your website in ways that will help users find it better. These tweaks by your SEO consultant may seem small, however, when all the improvements are in place it can help rank your website higher in Google and make it more user-friendly. So the question is, with less competition for a small town business, is SEO worth the money?
The short answer is, it really depends. Every business is unique and so is every website. Therefore a small town business website should undergo an initial review to see if SEO can potentially make an impact.
If you are the only person in town offering your service/products, then you probably don’t need it.
However, if your customers are buying products or going to someone else for the services you offer, then you may need to consider SEO. Especially if those ‘lost customers’ are finding your competitors online.
If your target customers are making some of the 5 billion Google searches made every day – is your website and business capitalising on that?
What is your website doing for your small town business?
A lot of businesses, pay a lot of money to get a website. But then what? What is the actual reason they have a website and what is it doing for the business?
These are important questions any business owner in a small town should ask. There’s no doubt that you’re paying web hosting and ongoing costs, so what’s that investment actually doing for you?
If your website is for the purpose of potential customers carrying out a credibility check on you or something of the like, and you don’t care about people finding your website through Google, then SEO isn’t for you.
However, if your potential customers are searching on Google (and other search engines aka Bing) for your business, or businesses like yours, then considering SEO is wise.
What would an SEO consultant do for a small town business?
Again, this will depend on the business. However, the key elements your SEO consultant should consider are:
- Is your website showing up on Google?
- Does it look good on the search engine result pages and entice people to click?
- Pro tip: type site:yourdomain.com.au into Google and it will show you all the pages on your website which are in Google’s index (like you can see here for GCD) then you be the judge, would you click on one of those results?
- Does your website have high-quality and fresh content?
- Can people find your business on both Google Maps, Bing Maps and Apple Maps?
- Is your website fast and easy to access on all devices?
- Is your website secure?
That’s all fair enough, but what will an SEO actually do for your website? Here are a few of the many tasks they may do for you:
- Review how your website is structured and provide advice on a more SEO-friendly structure
- Review the content on your website and ensure it matches what people are actually searching for in Google by conducting SEO keyword research
- Providing you with technical advice on website development (e.g. website hosting, redirects, error pages, speed stats, website security, structured data)
- Creation of useful content for your website
- Improving your local SEO efforts (e.g. Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Maps, citations and consistent NAPW across these; business name, address, phone and website)
- SEO training for you and your staff
- Working on optimised and good looking meta titles and descriptions so your website gives a good first impression on Google
How much will SEO cost for a small town business?
Yes, I am going to say it again, it really depends on your type of business. For a typical service business with a basic website, you’d probably be looking at around $500 for an initial SEO audit to provide recommendations on what needs to be done. If you want the SEO specialist to help you implement the changes, then it’d be a cost on top of this.
You’ll find that most specialists will be able to customise a quote to suit your specific needs. You may only need a Google My Business listing and have it optimised. Or perhaps just a tidy up of your website.
However in our opinion, if you want to do it properly, then give your SEO the time to do a proper health check and implementation. It’ll put you in a much better position moving forward.
How do you know if SEO is working for your small town business?
This is where reporting and understanding your analytics comes in. A lot of small business owners simply don’t have the time to analyse if their efforts/investment into SEO is even worth it. Well, you need to make this a priority to work out whether it’s working I’m afraid to say.
If you are an ongoing SEO plan then your specialist should provide you with a monthly report to let you know how your target keywords are ranking, how much traffic is coming to your website and if they are interacting with your website/what are they doing on your website.
Sometimes it’s not as easy as just looking at the stats for a local business though. You’ll find that small town folk will jump on a website and then either call or go directly to the business. So these offline interactions with a brand need to be considered too.
At the end of the day, after 12 months of doing SEO, are you getting more business? Hopefully, the answer is yes. Otherwise, you may need to change your SEO strategy or look at another form of marketing.
If your target audience is searching online for businesses like yours, then you should consider SEO. It’s not a speedy marketing strategy. It can take up to 12 months for a business to see the value of ongoing SEO help. But there are some perks you’ll see in the first few months with SEO and if you hang in there, well you may just become an advocate for SEO like me and many businesses I have worked with.
The key is to find a great SEO consultant who is honest and provides you with real, specific feedback about your business and how they can go about improving your online presence.
If you need help, whether it’s someone to work on your SEO or just advice on picking an SEO consultant in your small town, please don’t hesitate to contact us.