Why Small Businesses Fear SEO, and Why Such Fear is Uncalled For

As a small business owner, it’s likely that you’ve had people suggest to you that you learn search engine optimization to be able to promote your company’s website effectively.

SEO can seem scary, however. Do you really need to involve yourself in something as difficult and uncertain? Many small business owners tend to see SEO in this way, and to fear it, even as they hear that it’s important to invest in it. What is it about SEO that makes it so fearsome, and is the fear justified? What follows are the reasons small business owners generally feel apprehension when they think of SEO, with explanations for why fear isn’t called for.

SEO doesn’t consist of an easy formula to apply

Business owners expect their strategies and campaigns to offer measurable returns on their investment. If an activity doesn’t provably offer returns, they often don’t want to be involved with it. Unfortunately, with SEO, returns on investment can be slow to appear, making businesses worry about the priority that they should give it.

It’s important to understand, however, that slow returns are intrinsic to the way SEO works. It takes time to build online trust and authority. If you are able to trust in the logic of the process, you will eventually reap the benefits.

SEO is time consuming

Many business owners wish they could abandon SEO, simply because an online strategy seems to take up too much of their time.

Certainly, a full-blown SEO strategy can take time to implement. It’s important to understand that you don’t need to put a full-featured SEO plan into action, all at once, however. If you don’t have the funds to bring in an SEO agency or an expert, it’s okay to do it yourself, a little bit at a time. You would help your company’s online ranking better this way, than you would if you did no SEO, at all.

SEO seems too technical

Small business owners often stay away from SEO because they fear that it is highly technical activity that they are completely unqualified for. While advanced SEO concepts can be technical, however, basic SEO isn’t too difficult for most to understand.

When you run a young, new company, you don’t need to get into the more involved aspects of SEO. It takes only a few hours to familiarize yourself with the concepts of basic SEO. Nearly anyone can put these into practice.

The knowledge that Google penalizes websites

When you’re new to SEO, you fear that you may read about a great new method to try, only to find later on that it’s a strategy that Google disapproves of. When you stick to basic SEO, however, you don’t risk much. The greater risk is in doing nothing and having your customer base ignore your website as a result.

The idea that SEO can make your website appear unnatural

Many business owners hesitate to get started with SEO because they fear that a website designed with Google in mind is likely to appear unnatural to human users. It is indeed true that in the past, business websites that tried too hard to position themselves for Google ended up being unattractive and hard to use to actual users. SEO has greatly changed since those days, however.

Modern SEO is no longer about attempting to please Google. Instead, it is about designing a website that is pleasing for the user to experience. SEO is no longer about building gimmicky websites to trick the search engines with.

The idea that you will end up getting traffic, but no buyers

Some questionable SEO services promise their clients that their website will rank at the top on Google. What they do, then, is to find easy, but irrelevant keywords to get the website to rank for, and collect their fee. When a website ranks for keywords irrelevant to the business that it represents, it may attract plenty of irrelevant traffic, and get few paying customers.

You aren’t likely to get into such a situation if you either hire a reputable SEO service or try doing SEO yourself. In either case, there is little risk that your website will position itself to take advantage of irrelevant keywords.

SEO can be an involved process; it isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition, however. You can start out taking baby steps with SEO by yourself in the beginning and reaping some benefits. There’s little to fear when you take it slow. Over time, as your business grows and you are able to set aside more resources for SEO, you should be able to hire a reputable SEO agency or expert that tackles the more complex aspects of optimizing for the search engines.

Published: 09/10/2019

Last modified: 21/04/2022

Tim Oxendale
I'm an award-winning plant-powered (Vegan) freelance WordPress Developer/Web Designer. I work with great individuals, small-to-medium sized businesses and start-ups. I aim to have a great relationship with all my clients where I can add value to their business by being dependable, honest and by doing the type of work that makes a difference.

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