4 Reasons SMBs Think They Don’t Need SEO & How Marketers Should Respond

It may seem like everyone understands the value of SEO by now. However, some small business owners are still unconvinced that their companies could benefit. Much of this is due to misconceptions about what SEO is and how it works. To sell to business owners who have such a mindset, you need to uncover their reasons for skepticism and demonstrate why they are wrong.

1. Black Hat Tactics Ruined Their Perception of SEO

Many small businesses either have had the experience of working with a scam SEO service or know someone else that has. Such agencies use of black hat tactics may have led to a huge decrease in rankings or even caused Google to block the website. Some companies may even think that this is what SEO involves and be unwilling to put their business at such risk.

To convince these businesses, you need to clarify the difference between black hat techniques and acceptable practices. Explain why using the right tactics will never get you in trouble with Google.

2. Best Practices Are Always Changing

Businesses that have experienced a major Google algorithm change have seen how it can be necessary to change an SEO strategy overnight. They may be put off if they think there is the chance they’ll need to keep starting from scratch.

Explain how algorithm changes are actually beneficial for small businesses, as they are designed to bring users to more useful results for their search queries. For instance, talk about how it can remove competitors who are using black hat tactics and how changes often favor local businesses.

Furthermore, demonstrate how it is almost never necessary to start over completely. Rather, businesses just need to make changes to keep their websites performing well in search. Show how  throughout the history of SEO, content has remained a key factor. The main changes have always related to making websites and content more accessible and relevant.

3. It’s Impossible to Compete

Small businesses may believe that they are unable to compete due to their size, their time online, or both. Whereas these are valid concerns, you can show how it is possible to overcome these challenges with small-business SEO solutions — for instance, with hyperlocal search terms, online reviews, and your contacts for guest blogging.

4. Traditional Advertising Is an Alternative

Small business owners are looking for fast results and may see traditional advertising as a better alternative to SEO. Although outbound marketing can still be useful for local companies, its impact is insignificant compared to SEO.

Present the ROI of different forms of advertising compared to the ROI of SEO. Show how outbound marketing tactics have consistently seen a drop in ROI over the years, whereas SEO continues to increase in importance. In addition, explain how a website and its content have a lasting effect on visibility and how the action businesses take now can make a difference into the long term.

For all the above cases, one of the best things you can do is present case studies demonstrating how you supported businesses with their SEO. Talk about exactly what you did and what you achieved using terminology the client understands. When you make SEO understandable, any small business will see that it is a necessity.

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