Is Small Business SEO Effective in 2020? | Muletown Digital

Is Small Business SEO Effective in 2020?

There is a lot of talk in digital marketing about the effectiveness of SEO. I think many businesses have done SEO in the past, and done it poorly, and there is this general feeling that it doesn’t work. We believe that to be false. 

Is SEO light speed fast? No. Is it easy? Honestly, no. Can it be super effective in helping you grow your business? Absolutely. In 2019 there is a stat floating about that says this “70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC”. PPC is is paid traffic from Google Ads or social media.

The thing with SEO is that it’s something that builds over time. It requires constant attention, and constant adaptation. If you’re not sure if your competition is doing SEO, here is a great way to tell.

Think about your audience or potential clients. If they were looking for your services what would they type into Google? If you’re a roofer you’d type in something like “metal roof replacement near me” or “roof installation” and see what comes up. 

It’s a safe bet that the top 5-10 results on that page are doing SEO. If you show up there without SEO – that’s awesome. It means your competition is low and you have the chance to go after a wider service area!

The Importance of SEO for Small Business Owners

Why is SEO so important to your business in 2020?

Search ranking is still one of the MOST powerful ways to drive traffic into your website. We’ve said this a thousand times, but a website is only as good as the traffic that ends up getting to it. Without having visitors, you could have saved your hard-earned money by just having a business card.

You might be thinking, can’t we just run Facebook ads or something? Yes, you definitely can run paid traffic to your site. It works like a billboard. Once you take it down, your traffic is gone. However, combined with SEO, it can work wonders for short-term and long-term growth!

SEO is the practice of driving traffic organically to your website that grows over a long period of time. It is NOT immediate, and it takes a large amount of technical and marketing understanding to pull it off correctly.

What is Google looking for when it comes to ranking your website?

To understand what Google (or other search engines) are looking for, you just have to stop and look at the mission of the search engine. Their primary job is to serve content to the users based on what they are asking. They also mention two other things in their mission: security and speed. So what is Google looking for from your web presence?

Consistency. Change. Growth. Security. Speed. Excellent Content. Organized Navigation. Hierarchy. Sitemaps. Robots.txt files. Error Handling.

These are technical ways of saying that they are looking for the best damn website they can find to answer the question or need the user is looking for. That is the blunt way of saying, you have to do a KILLER job of providing value through your website, or down the ranking poles you go.

You might be interested to know that typically the most traffic goes to the top 5 ranks in a search query. So if someone looks for “roof replacement” – Google will pull roofing companies near you and show you information about them. Almost 70% of the clicks on that page will go to the top 5 businesses listed. You want to be in that top 5.

SEO is a Bad Word

Every single time I have to talk about SEO with a client, I imagine saying something terrible, and my grandmother giving me “the look.” SEO is not a friendly topic for most business owners. We inherit many clients who have been screwed by their previous SEO agency. Here’s how that usually happens:

  1. The initial price is surprisingly cheap – $300/mo for top ranking. Twenty backlinks a week for $10.00.
  2. Insane promises of top-ranking are given. Nobody knows Google’s algorithm, and anyone who says they do is full of crap. They literally made it not to be figure-out-able. So if someone tells you that they know exactly how it works, you should run away.
  3. You get a massive and immediate traffic spike in your reports. You were ranked number 1,963 in week one, and by week two, your website is ranking 5 for the same keywords.
  4. They are going to write posts for your blog, but they never seem to quite make it to you. There is no schedule, and over time it turns into just optimizing your posts for you.
  5. They change directions super quickly – usually one week at a time.
  6. Soon you figure out that what they did to get you that rank jump is frowned up by google using keyword stuffing, dirty backlinking, spamming, or worse. (We’ve seen people get blacklisted for this type of magic).
  7. Your site is more broken than when you handed it over to the SEO agency. You have marks against you from Google. You’ve spent $5k and gone backward.

This story above is like a broken record in our business. It’s horrible, but it’s the truth. It’s the above that makes people cringe when you mention SEO. But like all things, there is a RIGHT way to do SEO and a WRONG way.

Realistic SEO expectations


How does Muletown Digital do SEO?

We work a little differently around these parts. Here’s how we approach Small Business SEO. Before I go further, I must mention that Corporations do NOT work the same way. The game is different when you throw in 7 figure budgets, so we’re talking strictly small business right now. If you want to connect about corporate, hit us up, we do that too!

  1. Audit your website: Yes, even if we built it. When you move from an excellent conversion website (driving leads to action) into a traffic generating website (SEO), you have to make adjustments no matter how great your site is!
  2. Audit your local visibility: We need to determine how your business appears (or doesn’t) in local search results.
  3. Security and speed fixes: If necessary, our team will work with you to fix any security or speed issues that will prohibit your SEO plan from working. Not many people do this, but we think it’s crucial.
  4. Choose a path: From there, we have two approaches. We have the entry-level plan where we start small, see what works, adjust, and keep growing you in small steps. Or we have the “we’re going to get this done two weeks ago” approach. Both are valid and have a different process, price points, and different speeds to get results.
  5. Monthly meeting: We meet with you every month. That’s our chance to talk through what’s going on in your results, and most importantly, what’s going to happen next. Not every strategy works, so there is no point in repeating a failure. When something is working, we exploit it for growth. When something isn’t working, we change directions.
  6. Ongoing recommendations: We WILL make website suggestions that do NOT fall within your SEO plan. SEO is to drive traffic, but if we’re seeing something happening to the traffic on your site, we’ll recommend that we (or someone else) fix it.
  7. Adjust as needed: You’re never locked into a single approach. We typically adjust your needs every 90 days directionally. If you want to do more, we can do more. If you need to cut back, we can adjust back down. Whatever we decide is usually set for at least 3 months at a time to allow for adjustments and growth.
  8. All encompassing: We do Local, On-Site, Off-Site, Content, and Technical SEO. That means we run the gamut. You don’t have to understand what’s happening because we know. Just let us do our job, and you can focus on the business we’re going to bring your way!  

Realistic SEO Expectations

We will not promise you top ranking in 1 month. We’re not going to lie to you to get your business. God’s honest truth is, we never know until we start what we’re going to be able to do for your business. What we do know is the best approach to get you results, so we’re going to start with that and adjust!

Typically our clients will start to see a significant rank change in the first 30-90 days, depending on the budget you have. From there, how many keywords and how fast depend on the budget and your industry. Competition can be fierce, and it changes the game frequently.

So what do we promise? Think of us as a fiduciary SEO expert. We treat your site like it’s our website. We won’t do things that aren’t necessary, we will do things the right way, and we’ll give you the best possible chance out there to get ranking! 

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