Is SEO worth it for small businesses in 2023?

In short, SEO is absolutely essential in 2023. With the right small business SEO strategy, you can increase your organic traffic, leads, and revenue. Over the long term, organic traffic can deliver a higher return on your investment compared to paid advertising and other sources.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight the advantages of SEO as part of your multi-channel marketing strategy and how you can benefit from one of the lowest cost-per-lead and highest-converting website traffic sources available.

The opportunity cost of not doing SEO in 2023

Opportunity cost is the cost to your business when choosing one option over another. You’ve likely weighed up the decision already when deciding whether to adopt SEO in your online presence, as there’s an obvious upfront investment. However, the opportunity cost of not using SEO in 2023 is huge.

When we talk about the opportunity cost of ignoring SEO, we’re talking about a potential loss of search engine rankings, web traffic, social media connections, conversions, and more. While other competitors are increasing their leads and revenue, improving their online presence and reputation, and raising brand awareness, your business can quickly be left behind.

Some of your competitors have likely been in the game for a long time. Unfortunately, entrenched competition is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome in implementing SEO. Authority websites have been developed over many years, and some of your competitors will have invested significant time and money into their rankings.

However, shunning SEO to avoid the initial investment will almost certainly cost you in the long run. Remember that more than 90% of the world’s web traffic starts with Google’s search engine. If you’re not taking advantage of the world’s most powerful sales funnel, then it leaves no doubt that you’ll be losing out on potential customers.

What are the best small business SEO strategies for 2023?

When we think of search engine optimisation, most of us probably assume that it’s largely related to copywriting and website page content. While this is true to an extent, there are many steps to fully implementing SEO across your business.

A good SEO strategy is built on three basic tenants:

  1. Technical SEO: This is an essential part of optimisation that goes beyond keywords and copywriting. It refers to small adjustments and optimisations on your website that can greatly impact how effectively search engines crawl and index your website. Websites that meet certain criteria are given priority in rankings, so factors like security certificates, responsive design, mobile optimisation, and a fast load time are essential. These are more difficult changes to make without employing the help of SEO services with industry experience.
  2. Content: Your responsive website needs well-written copy that encourages people to take action, as well as editorial content that exists to answer questions, educate your target audience, and establish topical authority. All of this is driven by proper content planning and research to ensure you’re targeting the right keywords and frequently appearing in organic search results.
  3. Backlinks: Another essential step in search engine marketing is to obtain backlinks. These links to your website originate from highly relevant, authoritative websites that act as votes of confidence in your site. Often, unless you’re publishing unique thought leadership content, they’ll be hard to come by. You’ll need an SEO specialist to invest time in link building with external companies, organisations, and business owners.

How long does SEO take to work?

Whereas pay-per-click marketing can see an immediate result, a business owner must be patient to realise the full benefits of an SEO campaign. It can take up to six months to see tangible benefits once SEO efforts have been implemented. If you consider how many areas a quality SEO company needs to cover, you can understand the time lag.

Here’s a typical approach we take with all our SEO clients at Eurisko:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Audience and keyword research
  • SEO auditing and recommendations
  • Technical SEO
  • On-page optimisation and internal linking
  • Content ideation, creation, publication and promotion
  • Local SEO
  • Copywriting
  • Link building
  • Reputation management
  • Project management and reporting

You can probably tell that this is a complicated process that requires specialist knowledge, software, and experience. However, while you’ll have to exercise patience, the results can grow exponentially when you choose experienced experts with years of industry experience.

What results can you expect from SEO?

By now, you’re probably hoping to see some proof that justifies the cost of investment to implement an SEO campaign. So, what results can you expect from search engine optimization? We’ve gathered some informative statistics and media below to highlight the benefits of SEO for an SME.

Here’s a screenshot from one of our Perth-based clients showing Year on Year (YoY) growth in organic traffic and leads:

YoY growth in traffic and revenue from organic search

Our client is benefitting from highly qualified search traffic as a result of our SEO efforts.

See our digital marketing case studies for more client success stories.

Why is SEO so expensive?

SEO may appear expensive at first, but to properly assess the cost vs benefit to your business, you need to think holistically about the alternatives available. There are positives and negatives to other types of marketing, such as pay-per-click and offline marketing.

Consider some of the benefits of SEO when compared to alternatives:

  • Google Ads and other PPC marketing tools can quickly rack up costs if not managed correctly, whereas an initial SEO investment can provide better long-term results. An experienced pay per click agency will ensure you are earning a return from your marketing spend. See How Much Does Google Ads Really Cost in Australia for more information.
  • Traditional (offline) marketing strategies are much more difficult to measure and quantify. With no real way to work out your ROAS (return on advertising spend), your business could end up losing money in the long run. Conversely, there are a plethora of online tools for tracking SEO performance and conversion.
  • An initial investment in SEO can help you reduce your pay per click spend over time. When done properly, SEO can provide high-quality leads for years to come, with very little need for adjustment. However, the best approach is to continually refresh your website with new content, such as regularly publishing a blog.

It’s difficult to fully quantify the spend vs ROI, but SEO is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for reaching your target market and bringing in potential new leads. There’s a reason why 60% of marketers believe that their highest-quality leads come directly from investment in search engine optimization. To manage your expectations, high quality SEO is not cheap.

For more information on why SEO is expensive, see How Much Does Proper SEO Cost in Australia?

Should you invest in SEO or Google Ads first?

Google Ads PPC campaign (pay per click) features allow your business to appear on Google’s first page immediately, assuming you bid on the right keywords. However, costs can mount quickly when competing for top-ranking search terms. On the other hand, organic marketing with SEO can be more effective in generating leads than paid traffic, providing increasing ROI over time.

That’s not to say that one is better than the other; instead, both should be used as part of your digital strategy. Click the following link for a detailed post on why Google Ads is worth it for a small business. Google Ads can help you quickly identify the best keywords to use, while a strong SEO campaign will reduce PPC spending and provide a greater result once it has had time to gain traction.

Final thoughts

In 2023, SEO is still a critical part of your business strategy. With free keyword planning tools and other SEO software available, you can even get started immediately. However, remember that there are many time-consuming SEO tactics, and you ideally need to utilise the services of a trusted Perth SEO agency for the greatest chance of success.

Why not book a free 30 minute phone consultation or email us about how a tailored SEO plan gave help you generate more leads and revenue.

Picture of Mike Bullen

Mike Bullen

Mike Bullen is a digital marketing strategist and serial inventor/entrepreneur who combines a solid digital background with the technical know-how to deliver real results. With a passion for the Perth Start-Up scene, Mike launched Eurisko as a digital marketing consultancy and usually has a project or two of his own on the side, where he hones his results-driven approach. Mike’s ability to generate more leads, more sales and ultimately more revenue for his clients is a testament to his proficiency with SEM, SEO, web analytics, marketing automation, UX / CX, email marketing, and social media marketing, including social advertising, and earned media amplification. Mike’s focus when delivering projects is to optimize & amplify digital experiences to generate more leads, more sales and more revenue.

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