Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of your website traffic. (For a complete breakdown of SEO, check out this guide.)
Unlike Pay-Per-Click ads, SEO focuses on bringing organic, not paid, traffic to your website.
After you've decided that your business can significantly benefit from SEO, your next question may be what types of SEO services are out there.
We can assure you there are several, and there's an art to understanding which you want to invest in as a strategy.
This beginner's guide will walk you through the options, so you walk away with an understanding of which option is best suited for your business.
Three Main Types of SEO Services
SEO services can be broken down into three main categories: Local SEO, Regional SEO, and National SEO.
It's crucial to choose the right one for your business to garner optimal results for your business.
Affordable SEO services for small businesses usually start with local SEO. Local SEO is perfect for the small business that makes all of their sales from local customers and wants to draw more local business.
Some essential local SEO steps include:
- Having your company name, address, and phone number on every page of your site
- Creating a Google My Business (GMB) account
- Registering your business with local services such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Foursquare, and more
- Promoting your website on local directories, such as local newspapers
Local SEO for small business is crucial. The statistics speak for themselves:
- Approximately 97% of people learn about a local business online versus anywhere else
- 72% of people that did a local search then visited a store within five miles
- Almost half of all Google searches are for local information.
A small business that doesn't have local SEO is just giving away potential customers to the competition. Every small business needs local SEO.
Pros of Local SEO
The main benefit of local SEO is that your business begins to stand out from your competition on the local level.
If done correctly, a local SEO strategy can significantly improve your brand awareness and business recognition in the area.
It will also bring more targeted traffic to your website and store versus other campaigns such as radio, television, or billboard ads.
Another benefit of local SEO is that it's the most affordable approach.
Cons of Local SEO
Every category of SEO has its drawbacks.
For local SEO, you're giving up the opportunity for national sales.
If you don't have the infrastructure for shipping, that is completely fine. However, if you end up choosing to expand in the future, it can be a lot of work to build out the national SEO footprint.
Additionally, local SEO takes a lot of work and patience.
Many companies implementing a new local SEO strategy won't start to see visible results for a couple of months. However, we will note that it's worth the wait, as the long-game is the only way to build real SEO results.
Regional SEO is the strategy of focusing your online presence past your local community or city to a slightly larger area, but not quite on the national footprint just yet.
You might choose to focus on several cities or an entire state. This strategy is often chosen by companies with franchises or several locations, such as car dealerships or plumbing businesses.
Some important regional SEO steps include:
- Creating regional pages on your website each with an area-specific description
- Including service-area maps or shipping destination options
- Creating content for the area/cities you serve and include region-specific keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions
"Near me" search engine searches have grown over 900% over two years. Your regional SEO strategy will look to target these consumers across many areas, driving business to all your service areas.
Pros of Regional SEO
Regional SEO has the potential to help your business grow exponentially fast. If you have several locations or service many areas, the customer market pool is large.
You can also see a domino-effect once your regional SEO takes off the ground, increasing your brand awareness significantly.
When you have a presence in multiple areas, people begin to recognize your company and trust it.
Cons of Regional SEO
If we said local SEO was a lot of work, you could imagine that regional SEO is only more challenging.
Regional SEO just means you're covering more areas online and therefore have more competition to beat out.
Regional SEO also requires local content for each area, so that you're hitting all the important keywords. For example, if you now target Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth, St. Cloud, Mankato, and Bloomington, you will need to create website pages and blogs for each city.
If you're selling a product on a national level, across the entire United States, you'll want to implement a national SEO strategy. National SEO optimizes your website to rank all over the country.
Some important National SEO steps include:
- Focusing on broad keywords
- Building quality content that is expert-level and will draw national attention
- A mobile-friendly website
- Building backlinks to your website
CASE STUDY: An increase of organic traffic by over 100% in the first year.
Pros of National SEO
The biggest advantage of a national SEO strategy is the potential to dominate on a national level.
This strategy can propel your company into being a leader in your industry. Additionally, a national strategy can often result in international attention and sales.
Cons of National SEO
A national SEO strategy is simply the most expensive and challenging. You're literally up against every other business in your industry across the country.
To be at the top, you have to put in constant effort and create content that is considered top of the industry. More than likely, you will need a full SEO team working on this strategy for you.
Figuring Out Which SEO Service is Right For You
Now that you know the three main SEO strategies, you have to understand which one is best for you. We suggest you start by answering the following questions:
1. What size business am I?
Pick the strategy that aligns with your business size. A small business likely shouldn't bother competing in the national marketplace and should focus on dominating the local area first.
A medium-sized business may attempt a regional SEO approach, and a large corporation may try a national SEO strategy.
2. How does my product relate to my core customer?
The buyer persona of your customer should be considered.
Are you selling locally-sourced homemade candles? Then your buyer persona is probably customers that want to support their local community and want to buy local.
Are you selling plumbing services to commercial buildings? Then your customer may want to go with a regional company that can service their many lots across the city.
Or, are you selling a cloud software that works anywhere? Then your buyer persona is likely financially secure companies that don't care where their vendor is located but want the best product available.
3. What is the level of competition in my industry?
A smart business owner doesn't bite off more than they can chew. It's essential to have a realistic understanding of the level of competition in your industry.
If your industry is highly competitive and saturated, it might not be the right move to jump straight into a National SEO strategy.
4. What am I willing to invest to market my company online?
The more expansive your SEO strategy is, the more it will cost. When it comes to affordable SEO services for small business, Local SEO is the best choice.
- Local SEO = Most affordable
- Regional SEO = Affordable
- National SEO = Affordable on lower plans - more costly on higher plans
So, Should You Try SEO By Yourself?
There's a reason that approximately 64% of marketers actively spend time in search engine optimization tactics.
Businesses of all sizes now understand the real impact SEO can have. You can attempt to implement an SEO strategy on your own, but you likely don't have the time for it.
Additionally, the wrong SEO moves can hurt your online presence. Instead, we suggest you hire an agency because local SEO for small businesses is cheaper than you think.
Agency Jet Can Help
Think you're ready for SEO help?
Agency Jet offers a free assessment of your website, no obligations.
If you choose to work with us, you'll be joining a line up of happy customers that have seen dramatic improvements in their online presence.