The many small businesses required online marketing far more than their larger corporate brothers. The big guys can swing fat SEO budgets around as they “explore” unlike social media outlets and “experiment” with social engagement as an change customer service strategy.
A small business owner who has been around for a while is often particularly distressed with the migration to online marketing. You set up shop, bought your yellow pages ad, and then had a modest budget for other media outlets such as radio, newsprint, fliers, coupons and perhaps local television.
1. The Rules Keep Changing
Last year’s large Panda updates were the obvious big SEO news. It was, as algorithm updates go, a major change that impacted 12 percent of Google’s search results. And SEO shop phones across the country rang off the hook from small business owners who were scrambling to figure out what it all meant for their traffic. And SEO is about as far from that as possible because the rules keep changing.
2. The ROI Calculation is Difficult
As much as the small business world begrudged the yellow pages for its monopolistic stronghold over them, it was a known quantity. In many respects, pay-per-click (PPC) ads corrupted through Google AdWords are the modern day equivalent of the yellow pages.
When small business turns to SEO out of desperation, they are looking for a gaudier option.
3. Fear of Ending Up on Google’s Blacklist
Step back for a moment and think about another area in business where the suggestion is something along the lines of “this could be a great long-term investment that will promote your business or it might take you down entirely.”
4. SEO Seems Overly Technical
Particularly in light of the risks related with hiring an overly-chippy SEO firm. But small business owners don’t have time for this. They can’t step away from their shop, store or van to take a three-day seminar on the conflict between on-site and off-site SEO. They don’t desire to know the importance of long-tail vs. head-term strategies.
5. “SEO Doesn’t Work”
The final, and perhaps most important, conclude that small business hates SEO is that it is often perceived to “not work.” Sure, sure, the comments section will fill up with statements such as “not if you hire me” and “not if you do it right.”
On a competitive keyword phrase you can be looking at years of effort to make it to position 1, if ever. For a Fortune 100 company with billions of Wall Street dollars at its disposal, this may be OK. But not on Main Street.
Small business needs SEO, but it feels like SEO has not yet figured out that it needs small business.
A good SEO needs to assist their small business customer see that the basic tenets of Google’s ranking system have been the same for years. Even as social signals are incorporated, and thin content is removed from Google, it will be in a assessed fashion with plenty of time to react.