Only 49% of Small Businesses Invest in SEO; 18% Say Never Will, Indicating a Missed Opportunity to Gain New Customers

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — While successful SEO strategies offer lasting benefits, only half of small businesses in the U.S. (49%) invest in SEO, according to a new survey by The Manifest, a business news and how-to site.

Almost all buying experiences (93%) occur through search engines, which means ranking on the first page of search results is essential to gaining website traffic and clients.

Still, half of small businesses do not think investing in SEO is worth their time as they turn to other methods like paid advertising to gain new leads. While paid advertising can provide immediate results, it is expensive and only offers a short-term solution.

Small businesses should invest in an SEO strategy because, although it can take months to see results, it will eventually provide stable traffic and brand visibility for the business.

Less Than 10% of Small Businesses Believe Backlinks to Their Website Are an Important SEO Metric

Small businesses track a variety of SEO metrics to improve their ranking, including web traffic from organic search, keyword rankings, and on-site engagement.

Only 9% track the number and quality of backlinks to their website, which can be a huge part of growing a company’s SEO presence online.

While website traffic obviously indicates potential customer interest, small businesses must also focus on increasing backlinks to their website through content creation. By creating valuable content on their website, small businesses have a better chance at being recognized by other sites and Google as an authoritative subject matter expert. 

Social Media Marketing Is the Most Popular SEO Strategy for Small Businesses

Small businesses prefer investing in social media marketing to more direct SEO methods like keyword research and link building. Half of small businesses (50%) use social media marketing as part of their SEO strategy, while 44% dedicate time to keyword research.

Social media marketing can be a valuable tool to communicate with customers and offer customer support. Experts, however, still debate the direct connection between SEO results and social media presence.

In 2017, Gary Illyes, a webmasters trend analyst at Google, hinted at the correlation between social content and SERP rankings.

“The context in which you engage online, and how people talk about you online, actually can impact what you rank for,” Illyes said. 

As small businesses focus their SEO efforts on social media, they could see more SEO results from link building and content creation.

The Manifest’s 2021 Small Business SEO Survey included 500 small business employees who were familiar with their company’s SEO strategy.

Read the full report here:

For more information on the findings, or an introduction to the industry experts included in the report, contact Emily Clark at [email protected].

About The Manifest

The Manifest is a business news and how-to website that compiles and analyzes practical business wisdom for innovators, entrepreneurs, and small and mid-market businesses. Use The Manifest as an approachable tour guide through every stage of the buyer journey. With three main offerings—data-driven benchmarks, step-by-step guides, and agency shortlists—The Manifest strives to make your business goals a reality.

Emily Clark
[email protected] 
(202) 350-4344

SOURCE The Manifest