I often get asked the question…. “How do small business SEO services differ from the services given to larger businesses with a large SEO budget?
The answer is simple… All of the principles are the same in terms of the SEO service you would give to each. However, what is more to the point is that the small business website is usually quite different to a large business website!
What does a small business website look like?
To paint a picture and give you an idea of scale, a small business website usually has about 100 pages. On average of the hundreds of these types of websites I have looked at, about 10 pages will have between 200 and 400 words of content on them; they have a contact form and social media engagement icons on the homepage. They don’t have an in-house web developer constantly working on the website. This means that the website is updated spasmodically and new content is added infrequently.
What does a large business website look like?
Having painted the picture of what a small business website’s characteristics are I think you can probably guess. The larger business website has 500+ pages. It has a blog section that is updated regularly, it probably also has a news section to talk about industry news.
An in-house web developer adds new content regularly. The website has social media engagement on every page of the website which means that individual pages can be liked or shared… i.e. not just the homepage!
So how do the SEO activities differ on each type of website?
First of all, let’s ask ourselves the question of what it is exactly that Google wants? Matt Cutts says that Google wants website owners to “build great sites, that users love, they want to tell their friends about, bookmark, come back to, to visit over and over again, all the things that make a site compelling. Google tries to make sure that if that’s your goal that they are aligned with that goal… and therefore… As long as you’re working hard for users, Google is working hard to show your high-quality content to users as well”.
How does this apply to the small business website?
Generally speaking, small business websites do not have a process where they are trying to deliver high-quality content to their users. They are more static websites where the owner is trying to get a ‘sales’ message out to potential clients. Our job as an SEO agency is to try and move the website up to the next level and engage with users, both in terms of content and back links… i.e. to try and align/develop the website according to what Google says website owners’ goals should be!
What are the SEO services for bigger business websites?
Once you understand what Google wants website owners to deliver for their users, it’s fairly easy to see that most bigger business’ websites tend to do this as a natural course of events.
The fact that the bigger business websites have an in-house web developer looking after things generally means that there will be content on the site, some fancy graphics and buttons to engage users, updated images and stories to entice users to come back and may be even recent case studies which users find very interesting and educational!
The job for an SEO agency with bigger business websites is to contribute to this workload and, more importantly, to make sure that all of the work that is being done is well implemented and keyword focused so that they get the maximum impact/traffic possible!
An Example of how an SEO agency would help a big business website
Recently we started work for a very large broker. I won’t divulge their name or what industry they are in!?! They had a 400 page website and they were paying a news agency more than £2500+vat per month to produce one article every business day.
High-quality industry news content
The news agency would effectively read the daily newspapers… find an interesting story and then rewrite that story into their own words and post it onto the broker’s website as their’ story for the day’.
There is nothing wrong with this in principle, some may argue that it would be easier to put an RSS feed onto your site and supply the news that way. Let’s just stick with the plot though… At least what they’re doing is giving them lots of high quality original content on their website every day.
However, when I looked at this content, I found that it was all about industry news and events that the broker was involved in. The problem was that the keywords the broker wanted to drive traffic to their website for were very rarely amongst the industry news articles!
High-quality longtail keyword content
I would argue a much better approach would be to study all of the keywords that the broker wants to drive traffic to their website for.
Once you have a list of let’s say 100 keywords, you can then find article titles that engages users, offers real value, educates the reader and start writing bespoke specific articles that add real value to your website.
Another interesting aspect is that the industry news articles tend to be about 300 may be 400 words each. The bespoke adding real value articles, tend to be more like 800 to 1,000 words. Do you think Google is likely to notice this difference?
In my experience it is much better to write ten 1000 word articles that have real depth and give great value to the reader than it is to have thirty 300 word articles that just have a simple message and never really go into enough detail to offer any true value to the reader.