In part 2 of our one stop guide to SEO series, we’re going to talk more about how and why SEO will or will not work for your small business. A lot of people feel SEO doesn’t work for small businesses. It’s one of the biggest myths out there about SEO. While yes, there are some specific situations where SEO may not be cost effective, in 98% of the situations we see, SEO would be cost effective and once the client gets started they see exactly how cost effective SEO actually can be.
I could list tons of examples of websites we’ve worked on and gotten ranked, but I won’t sit here and do that because that doesn’t help you at all with your decision. What will help you is explaining how and why SEO works for small businesses.
Let’s take Bob’s Pizza Shack located in Daytona Beach, Florida. Around Spring Break Bob’s Pizza Shack does great–much like many other businesses that have seasonal trends in their business. But the rest of the year, Bob’s is a pretty dead place. Bob’s average order is around $25, and on this order his profit is about $15. So for every $100 in revenues, Bob is making about $60.
Bob’s website doesn’t currently rank for “Daytona Beach Pizza” which would likely be one of his biggest keywords. We take a look at the keyword and the competition and determine that Bob can get by on our Silver package at $297 per month, and we give him an estimate that it would take us about 4 months to get him ranked. After 4 months we realize we were wrong (which yes it happens–remember we’re an honest SEO company not like the guys who say they will guarantee your rankings then disappear when a few months goes by). After 4 months Bob is only in the number 3 spot, and it takes us 2 more months to get him to number 1. So Bob’s total SEO cost has been $1,782, which means he has to sell about 118 pizzas to break even.
Now that Bob’s site is ranked, we can back off the SEO and see if his rankings stick. In over 90% of local situations, rankings will stick without doing any additional work. In Bob’s case, his rankings stick, and each week he gets just 3 new customers who order pizza from him through his website. That’s 12 per month, and the great part to it is that most of Bob’s new customers are going to be repeat customers–keep ordering from him at least once per month. So what does that mean for Bob? After 4 months, he’s at break even, and after 1 year with his website ranked, Bob has made well over $5,000 just from getting his website ranked. That’s a pretty good investment and a great return on investment.
Now this example is really simple but yes, this is what SEO can do for a local small business. While making $5,000 in 8 months doesn’t sound very good, remember Bob only invested about $1,800 in the SEO campaign. If we continued the campaign and went after a few other keywords, we could get Bob even more new business. Or we could expand to an email marketing campaign, a social media campaign, or other types of online marketing to get Bob even more new customers. SEO really is cost effective for small business and really does yield a good return on investment in nearly all situations. Remember–SEO will take a little time, but once you get ranked it’s usually well worth the wait.
In our next post in this series, we’re going to take a look at the specific time frame associated with SEO in various situations and where your business fits in.