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DO NOT hire an SEO! If you have a local business, this is your guide

Before I start writing down what SEO strategies a local business must execute to be successful online, I think I should quickly explain what SEO is.

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SEO is the development, maintenance and improvement of the website to have more options to appear in search engines such as Google for example. Many people refer to SEO as the same as digital marketing, but SEO is really only a small branch of online marketing. This is made up of SEO, social media advertising, Google Adwords, Email Marketing, and many other things. If we had to choose for this reason, in most cases, a branch of marketing that is going to give us the best results in the medium term, it will be SEO. And the reason is simple: SEO is the easiest channel to get free clients every month without having to invest more money, but I will explain this later.

In this article I am going to end the myth that SEO does not pay off for local businesses because you really only have to do 2 things.

My plan is to provide this publication with a guide to both small and medium-sized businesses and freelancers trying to get new customers through the internet.

The inspiration to write this article came from a long conversation with two acquaintances of mine about the relevance of betting on internet advertising for a business. One of the two had just opened a restaurant in Barcelona and the other was a partner in a law firm, also in the Catalan capital.

Both had hired various marketing agencies or SEO consultants throughout their respective careers but had always come to the same conclusion: they were not getting the numbers and the SEO results were taking too long for them.

And the reason is simple. Neither online marketing nor SEO itself is made up of one or two tasks. There are many points that one can improve and develop to try to get a better position in the search engines and get more customers through the website itself.

If you have a multinational company that works a lot online, these are usually the most important aspects of SEO:

-Technical aspects of the page such as speed, amount of code, structure, etc.

-Link building both internal and external

-User experience, the usability of the web

-Local SEO and Google Maps

-Increase of keywords on the web with more content

-Branding

– and several other points.

And does all this have to be done by anyone who has a website?

Well the reason is simply NO. Although all these aspects and several others influence the positioning and conversion and therefore the online success of a website, many of them require a lot of dedication and time. Both are things that most employers do not have and that is why it forces them to commission someone with these jobs. But this external person will also have to dedicate that amount of time and at the end of the month, they will write a high invoice with an amount that is often not profitable for local companies. For a website that is trying to compete nationally and whose profitability is very scalable, it may make sense, but for the vast majority of physical or smaller businesses, it does not.

You have to understand that online, giants like Amazon, Tripadvisor, Facebook and many more are campaigning to improve all these points on their pages and compete with these giants, so logically it is not easy and sometimes useless.

They will almost always beat you if you are not willing to invest a reasonable amount of money. And this is what most marketing agencies try when you contact them. They look at your project and create a plan that maybe they can make you compete with these internet giants. But of course, they do not take into account that your resources are not infinite and that after a few months at the latest you NEED to see results reflected in extra income … Otherwise your business could even be in danger. But this day when you finally start to see new customers on your website in most cases never comes so fast. So the entrepreneurs cancel the contract with the marketing agency and give up.

But the failure was not really theirs because although they know their own business, they do not have the knowledge or the sufficient tools to evaluate the agency’s approach beforehand. The mistake that these agencies make in the vast majority of cases is that they do not sufficiently segregate between the different sizes of companies to which they propose budgets.

And this is the key mistake!

It is not the same to create an online strategy for a business that has advertising resources of € 10,000 per month and a prospect of possibly billing amounts of many million euros per year than preparing a marketing plan for example for a wholesale clothing store or a hairdresser that may not even reach 100,000 euros in annual profit right now.

Of course, in theory practically all businesses could grow to be multinational and multi-million dollar brands. The best example is Inditex, which started selling gowns and tracksuits and has now become one of the most important companies in its sector worldwide. But one cannot deny that perhaps the possibilities of doing marketing for Inditex have changed over time … In its first year, it is sure that thousands and thousands of euros were not spent on advertising like now.

So what do local businesses have to do to be successful with their website?

Well, go little by little and focus first on what will generate more customers quickly.

Oh sure, but what does this mean in plain words? Go for it! To make it easier to generalize this online strategy scheme, I am going to focus only on SEO, improving the website to get clients from search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo without paying for it. Of course, for many businesses it can make a lot of sense to do Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Email Marketing or sell on Amazon or Wallapop. But these options should always be complementary to SEO because in the long term, the only thing that will constantly generate customers for free is SEO. If paid advertising gives us good results, then go ahead of course but I repeat: the result will always be better if the page is optimized for SEO.

So the most important points for a local business are the following two:

  1. Focus on Google Maps: 46% of all searches on Google are local and it is relatively easy to compete here !! You have to find out which words you want to appear on Google Maps for and then create a strategy to proactively get 5-star reviews. And here it is not useful to ask only the 20 friends that one has to write something good !! You have to get real opinions and have a plan to combat bad opinions so that even these are favorable for our business. You cannot imagine how quickly you will be able to fill your premises with customers if you find the key here.
  2. Create a Blog: it is very, very important to constantly grow a web page and give it content. Even your appearance on Google Maps depends on the quality of your web page. I know it’s a lot of work but it’s 100% worth it. It is important that the publications are not only boring text or a photo without great explanation, but they have to be publications that are worth reading. I advise you to let a professional write them because it can be hours for someone inexperienced to think weekly about good topics and to write them properly. If you are not well aware of the benefits of having a blog, read my post on whether it is important to have a blog.

And that’s it really…. Do not complicate your life and do not even do it yourself. With my team we have a Basic SEO Plan for Local Businesses from only € 10 per month without permanence. Let professionals do it for you and when your company starts to grow we will set out to improve other things. If you only focus on these two points, Google Maps and your blog, your business will grow and you will get more customers. Both points go together and should never be separated in most cases.

Do not invest in social networks if you are not very clear that your client is right there and that the easiest way to reach him is through that channel. Let us analyze your business for free and give you a battle plan. Together with you, we will develop a step-by-step plan to be very clear about how to reach your client without spending too much money. But the bare minimum is the small business SEO base plan I just described.

And for 10 euros a month you can outsource it … Are you really going to break your head for 10 euros?

contact me now and let’s grow your business together.

Author

Paras Sharma