SEO for Small Businesses: Why You (Still) Need It, How to Make it Work for You

You’ve seen the proverbial memo that you need search engine optimization—so you got it. And you chose the company that delivers results, so you’ve made it to the top of the search engine results pages for a lot of keywords. Now what?

If you think you don’t need SEO anymore, think again. Your small business needs SEO as much today as it did when you opened your doors. It’s just how SEO is performed may be different for your small business now.

Why You Need SEO

Small businesses have always relied on public directories to help them get found by new customers. That still happens today; the difference is that potential customers are looking online, not in the Yellow Pages. So, your small business still needs to show up in the organic results for relevant searches…and you can’t rely on listings in other online directories like Angie’s List or Manta or Thumbtack.

To get found on Page 1 of organic search engine results, your website has to be engineered for optimal search engine performance. That still requires SEO.

How SEO Works

SEO is the engineering that makes your website search-engine friendly, and it’s gotten progressively more technical and sophisticated. It’s not enough to just have a website. Your website needs to feature:

  • Quality content

Your website needs to provide relevant, value-added information for users. Of course, your content must continue to incorporate keywords (search terms) relevant to your products, services, industry, brand, etc. But now those keywords must also be tailored to different search methods—e.g., long-tail keyword phrases for optimal performance in voice-activated searches.

Quality content should also include original, customized images that both provide the visual appeal users want and boost your website’s image-driven search performance.

  • Keyword-rich and structured meta data

Search engines “read” a lot more text than what is published for viewers to scan/read. All that text needs to be optimized for keyword searches and structured to render a more visually appealing presentation in the search results themselves, so your website is more enticing and likely to be clicked on.

  • Search engine-preferred coding

The very architecture of your website needs to conform to coding practices favored by search engines.

SEO is both an art and a science that requires balancing both the highly technical, data-driven and purely human aspects of search marketing.

How to Make SEO Work for Your Small Business

There are hundreds of businesses vying to get found by the same terms you are. Typically, the companies/websites with the biggest budgets get the top spots on the results pages for highly competitive short keyword terms, like “auto body collision” or “divorce lawyer.”

But that does not mean that SEO won’t work for your small business or for a business with a small(ish) SEO budget. At, we make SEO work for you by:

  • Optimizing your website for your geographic location in addition to competitive keywords
  • Capturing traffic from much less competitive search terms—i.e., keyword phrases that are used less frequently but are much more specific. For instance: “collision repair shop in Goddard, Kansas” instead of “auto body collision”; “divorce attorney with experience working with military families” instead of “divorce lawyer.”

We also make sure that your small business’ SEO boosts visibility in other results presentations, like Google’s Local Pack—the top results (usually two to four) pinned to a Google map—and ecommerce listings.

If there are new phrases or platforms where you think your target market could find you, contact us to schedule a consultation. We are happy to explore new techniques and strategies to improve your small business’ SEO ROI.