Beginning with SEO

What small business owners should know when it comes to SEO

7 min readFeb 23, 2024

You may already have heard that during the first year of business, most companies focus on staying afloat and surviving in the market. However, you can also contribute to a stable financial future. One of the best ways is to prioritize the growth of the business and increase your company's chances.

Choosing the right growth strategy for your business is the key to success. It would be best to have SEO to market your business effectively today. Let's dive into and explain how SEO works for business, how you can use it to help your company’s growth, and the impact of SEO on your business.

Key Takeaways

Starting a small business involves extensive market research of your target audience and competitors.

“Acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of the industry and gaining a profound understanding of it.”

It is essential to create a comprehensive business plan that includes a detailed description of the product or service, target customers, financial projections, and other crucial details.

Understanding the legal requirements of starting your business involves knowledge of business registration, permits, licensing, and other regulatory requirements.

There are multiple startup funding channels, including self-financing, external funding from networks, and government or corporate grants and loans.

Small Business SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, improves your website’s visibility on search engines like Google. While people search to be more relevant and the pages more easily findable. The goal of Search Engine Optimization is to help attract website visitors. And to encourage them to come back and rank on the first page of Google whenever searched as a result.

Why is SEO vital for Business Owners' Success?

(SEO) is one of the most successful online strategies. For any business, it is essential to have a solid online presence.

SEO helps businesses increase their visibility and target their customers. The main goal of SEO is to improve website visibility and attract visitors, resulting in a higher Google ranking.

To improve your business’s online visibility and drive more traffic to your website. You should consider utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM) strategies.

Marketing has a crucial role in growing a business. You can improve your business through social media. The key to growing your business is understanding the qualities that can help maintain it.

What is the ROI of SEO for small businesses?

The fact is that Google owns the world of search engines and has for more than a decade.

Although Google still dominates the global search market in 2023, Microsoft has seen some incremental gains in recent times. Google retains an 83.49% share of the global market, although this has fallen from 89.95% in the past three years; during the same timeframe, Bing’s share has risen from 6.43% up to 9.19%.

As a business owner, how should you start SEO?

Here are the key steps to start an SEO project:

Analyze where your website stands in terms of SEO

Tracking SEO results is critical to understanding whether an SEO strategy works. You can evaluate a website’s search engine optimization by utilizing a tool.

Develop a solid website structure.

Creating a website structure is critical for any successful website and SEO project. This makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for and helps search engines understand what the website is about.

Start the Keyword research process.

Users type keywords into the search engine, ranging from one word to an entire phrase. Keywords can be found using tools like Google Keyword Planner and Keyword Generators.

Create a content marketing strategy by using relevant keywords

Use keywords to write other content, such as articles or pages. You must stay constant, publish as often as possible, and stay within your niche while creating content, which is a prolonged process. Being relevant to your content creation helps search engines understand what your website is about.

Analyze your website’s technical SEO

One crucial factor in your website's success is technical SEO. Technical SEO is all about your website’s technical structure, the absence of errors, and good semantic practices. Google Search Console can suggest ways to improve your technical SEO and resolve technical issues.

Three types of SEO:

  • Technical SEO
  • On-site SEO
  • Off-site SEO

Social Media SEO

Social media SEO optimizes social media profiles and content to increase visibility. Because social media doesn't directly contribute to your SEO ranking, you can share the same links on the platform to increase your exposure.

SEO social media helps your content reach a broader audience through various channels. In addition, you will be more discovered, increasing your chances of linking to build. Social media, sharing your location and business profile, and creating a local presence.

For example, you can authorize your brand to build on a platform like Instagram.

E-commerce SEO

E-commerce SEO optimizing online stores to improve their rankings on result pages. Search engine optimization is key in driving customers because 33% of e-commerce traffic comes from organic searches.

Some tips to improve your store’s SEO efforts:

  • Optimize your e-commerce site for mobile users! Encourage your customers with enhanced title tags. The content is grammatically correct and free from spelling and punctuation errors.
  • Reviews and ratings from customers are essential.

How to learn SEO?

You can learn SEO in different ways. For example, you can attend at least one or two search conferences annually.

In addition, you must be aware of the latest SEO news, do research, and practice, and it should become your habit. You must keep up-to-date; experience is one of the best ways to advance your skills.

And here are other options, free or paid:

  • Websites, blogs.
  • Books and eBooks.
  • Videos.
  • Podcasts.
  • Webinars.
  • Conferences, events, and meetups.
  • Course, training, and certification programs.
  • Groups (e.g., social media, Slack)
  • Newsletters.

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing, commonly abbreviated as SEM, is a form of online advertising where businesses pay to display their ads on search engine results pages. SEM refers to a form of digital marketing known as Paid Search Marketing. Search engine marketing’s importance is:

  • Sponsored content appears at the top and bottom of search engine results pages, increasing your online visibility. And this can increase your brand awareness.
  • Reach your target audience: Sem allows you to choose a keyword your customers search for, allowing you to reach your desired audience more effectively and efficiently.
  • Campaigns are manageable: Businesses only pay for sponsored ads when a user clicks on the ad.
  • Several tools for SEM can help businesses to improve their advertisements. Google Trends is one of those tools.

SEO vs SEM: Difference

The main difference is that SEM efforts appear in paid results, while SEO, by perfecting your website, centers around boosting organic search visibility. SEO works slowly to improve organic search results, but SEM includes both organic and paid search results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Here are some differences:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often called a free marketing strategy as it doesn’t require direct payment. On the other hand, SEM uses paid advertising, which can frequently be extremely expensive for competitive keywords.
  • SEO is a long-term strategy because it takes considerable time to see significant results and be authorized. And sometimes it is going to take longer, months or years. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can help increase traffic to a website immediately after the ads are launched.
  • SEM-sponsored ads often appear at the top of the SERP. The pages that rank #1, #2, and #3 can still generate 60% of the clicks for the search engine.
  • SEO relies on search engine algorithms to determine rankings, making it a more challenging strategy to control. SEM provides metrics to help businesses make informed decisions and maintain greater control over their ad campaigns.

SEM or SEO: which is better for small businesses?

Both SEM and SEO are essential for your business. By using these two strategies, you will find an effective way to achieve your short-term and long-term business goals. And here are some more similarities:

  • SEM and SEO increase your website's visibility in the search engines.
  • Keywords drive SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). When a user searches for a keyword, the search engine displays organic and paid results based on that keyword.
  • Various tools and metrics measure SEO and SEM. Moz Pro measures SEO results, whereas Google Ads is used for SEM results.

What is the cost of SEO vs SEM?

SEO may be unpaid, but it is not free. Due to different goals, a local business will spend less on SEO than a multinational company. From 2019, according to Backline data, the average cost of SEO services was about $500 per month.

On the other hand, SEM includes SEM expenses plus creating and managing PPC campaigns. Research shows that monthly PPC costs range from $100 to $10,000. Paid campaigns generate results much faster, and that would be a good point for companies that need to start driving the business more.

Final Thoughts

A small business can give you financial stability and independence, as nearly 33.2 million small businesses operate in the USA.

Starting a business involves planning, researching the market, finding funding, following laws, effective marketing, and managing the business. You can either start the SEO by yourself or hire an SEO expert.




A Seattle web design and online marketing agency that delivers high-end websites. A passion for web development and SEO.