Strong SEO helps a small business outperform bigger competitors

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about competitive advantage. It’s about attracting more business than your competitors. It’s about making money. And because it’s a digital discipline, SEO gives a small business or SME the chance to promote itself as strongly as a large enterprise. It lets local lawyers and accountants pitch against PwC and Deloitte. It gives all couriers similar opportunities to UPS and FedEx. And it lets smaller engineering firms look as impressive as Alstom.


What does SEO do for a small business?

SEO is the vanguard of your promotional strategy. It turns a beautiful website into an effective one. There’s no point investing time and money into a spectacular website design if poor SEO means that nobody finds it. With modern economies coalescing around multinational enterprises, every small business has to use every tool at its disposal to draw business back.

  • SEO is your business magnet. If web design is the styling that tells you if you like a car, SEO is the engine that makes sure the car gets you from A to B. It’s the substance underneath the style. SEO brings the audience to your website.
  • SEO is the business leveller. In most aspects of business, a small business suffers against larger competitors. Strong SEO makes us even more prominent than our bigger counterparts.
  • SEO promotes you to the rest of the small business community. There are plenty of businesses who don’t want to deal with large enterprises. They don’t want to become an insignificant part of that enterprise’s balance sheet. They don’t want to be the guinea-pig they use to train their graduate trainees. If you make your money in the small business sector, SEO positions you front and centre.


How does an SEO project work?

You’ll find more details of SEO projects on our main SEO page but there are five main project components. Whatever type of small business you are, the process is similar:

  1. Keyword research: identify the terms that relate to your business that people are searching for.
  2. On-page optimisation of your existing pages: tailor your existing pages so they rank better for relevant keywords.
  3. Creation of support pages: add new pages or blog posts that signal the importance of your main pages and capture traffic from more keywords.
  4. Drive traffic to your website: use social media, links or advertising to start a flow of traffic to your site.
  5. Monitor and develop: SEO is a moving target. Competitors react when you knock them off the #1 spot. Regular reviews keep you at the top.


What results can a small business get from SEO?

A small business in West Bromwich can have just as strong an online presence as a multinational in the City of London.

In theory.

In practice, businesses with a large customer base or trendy product generate traffic and take the benefits that come with it. That just means that a small business has to pick its fights. Don’t target the same types of customers or projects as large enterprises. Let Ford deal with Lear and other Tier 1 suppliers for major automotive assemblies. Small business SEO would be targeted towards selling components to the Tier 1 suppliers, not the OEMs.

We’ve been enormously successful getting local business to the top of the rankings in the areas that matter to them. For example, beating everyone including Wikipedia for a worldwide standard on fuel cleanliness. Our work on this project was effective enough to keep the page high in the rankings to this day.

It’s no mean feat to get a small business to outrank Wikipedia’s SEO

It’s no mean feat to get a small business to outrank Wikipedia’s SEO

We generated a featured snippet for a distributor of generator controls. Featured snippets are something of a mixed blessing but, if somebody’s going to get one, you want it to be you:

Good SEO promotes a smalll business around the world

Good SEO promotes a smalll business around the world

We didn’t just generate a featured snippet for a product, we also out-ranked the product’s own manufacturer. And that manufacturer is no minnow. Parker Hannifin is one of the world’s biggest producers of fuel filtration products:

Effective SEO can place a distributor ahead of its manufacturers

Effective SEO can place a distributor ahead of its manufacturers

And don’t forget – you found this page, didn’t you?


What comes after SEO?

SEO isn’t the end of the story. Successful SEO gets people to your website. Now you’ve got to convince them you’re their ideal partner.

Digital marketing has to take a back seat to pure marketing at this point. Digital marketing is just one part of Promotion, the 4th of the 4 P’s of marketing. If you haven’t got your Product, Price and Place right (or even other aspects of Promotion), your web traffic will evaporate.

It’ll have nothing to do with your website. You’ll be targeting a project that’s too big. You’ll be aiming at the wrong part of the supply chain. You’ll be asking too much money (or too little to establish credibility). You’ll be offering a self-assembly product when your audience wants it built for them. You’ll be pushing them to local partners when they want to deal with you.

There are hundreds of reasons why your website audience might fail to interact with your website. Very few of them have to do with the website itself. Forbes Baxter Associates isn’t just a digital agency. We’re a marketing agency. We can help. Check your marketing strategy and lead generation processes if you want a successful website.


Forbes Baxter Associates: SEO for the small business

You can contact or meet with us at the Wolverhampton University’s Telford Campus, just off the M54 and about 15 minutes form the M6. We’re surprisingly friendly.