SEO takes at least 6 months to start delivering results. It’s too long & then, it’s really hard to understand what SEO agencies even do. How are you supposed to just blindly trust them for so long without results? In today’s post, we hope to address the most pressing concerns of small business owners in Canada when they’re considering search engine optimization for their business.
Why SEO is Essential For Small Businesses in Canada?
Before diving into questions like ‘does it really take that long?’, ‘how to evaluate performance’, and so on, let’s discuss why SEO is essential for your small business.
As you know already, small businesses are the major contributors to the Canadian economy. Most of these are individual or family-owned. These small businesses make up 98% of all employer businesses in Canada (in 2020). Source
Due to Covid-19, all the small businesses in Canada expected to face insufficient demand for goods & services & the worse is it was hard to deliver especially when you could afford a smaller workforce than before. In no time, you began to face the hardest competition for resources you’ve ever faced and that’s why it’s time for you to invest in digital marketing, heavily.
Most Buyer Journeys Begin Online
#1 reason why SEO is essential for small businesses in Canada is that most people search online before buying anything. Whether it’s for research or just to get your address, they’re going to search for you or a business like you online.
You simply cannot afford to have a competitor steal them from you just because they invested in digital marketing and you didn’t. Digital marketing is one activity that directly drives revenues for you. So, there shouldn’t be any question about whether it’s worth it or not. If the digital marketing agency is good, it’s going to pay you way more than you spend.
Now, it’s true that the top spaces on search results are taken by search ads however the next and next spaces are all through SEO.
For most local searches, you see 3 ads at the top and then you see 3 map listings, and then begins the list of organic listings. With search engine optimization, you can rank at the top for the map listings as well as organic listings and get your business seen right when your target customers are searching for you.
It Takes Time But Is Worth It
Search engine optimization is not a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of marketing.
In order for you to see results, SEO must be continually worked on and improved. However, the good news is that once your site is optimized, it will stay at the top (or close to) as long as you keep up with the maintenance.
This is in contrast to other forms of marketing where you have to keep spending money on ads or else they will disappear. With SEO, your investment will continue to pay off long after you’ve put in the work.
Your Online Brand Reputation Is Defined By Your SEO Efforts
I’m sure you understand how important it is to build trust and respect for your business. If your customers, even if they found you online somehow, don’t find you as a trustworthy business, they’ll walk away.
Working on search engine optimization will ensure your website is fully ready for visitors and if you hire Maur Media agency, we also ensure it’s ready to turn those visitors into leads or customers for you.
At the same time, SEO also includes optimizing your Google business profile so you can convey the necessary information searchers need to decide to trust you.
Compete With Larger Businesses
We have spoken about this in our previous posts as well like in this post on why digital marketing is essential for small businesses. The truth is digital marketing levels the playing field. With SEO, you can compete with larger businesses and you have a fair chance to win at it. It’s all about time and effort and you can compete with any business using search engine optimization.
Take Control Of Your Online Presence
If you’re an existing business, there are high chances your online footprint already exists but it may not be the picture you want to paint for your clients.
The full scope of SEO services includes not only managing your website SEO but also your online reputation by optimizing your Yelp listings, yellow pages listings, Google business profile, social media pages & indulging in online PR to ensure your business is getting the right type of visibility from your potential customers.
Also Read Website SEO Mistakes You Must Avoid
How Long Does SEO Really Take?
Let’s change this question to for how long should you really do SEO? My answer would be forever. And I’m sure once you actually experience SEO directly driving revenues to your business, you wouldn’t have a doubt about this statement.
SEO is hard in the beginning. If you’re a business that has just begun with its online presence management, it will take months to start seeing even a trickle of results.
But the good news is every effort you spend on SEO eventually pays off. We have seen results for clients in 3 months (even when we would never promise that) and for some clients, it takes 6 months and longer. It differs with each client but what we can say for sure is you’ll start experiencing the change in the perception of your business, business opportunities, and overall popularity of your business much sooner than 6 months.
My advice to you as a business owner would be to stay patient & continue examining the impact the search engine optimization is bringing you over time.
Also Read: Beginner’s Guide To SEO For Small Businesses
How Do I Track If My Website SEO is Working?
I understand 6 months is a long time to continue paying somebody and have no way of knowing if it’s working. That’s why no such thing exists. The rankings will take time but whether you’re on the right path and whether it’s already bringing you results can be examined from the very beginning.
Here’s what the process of SEO looks like.
- In month 1, your SEO agency would go into your website and optimize it properly. If you don’t have a website, this month would be dedicated to building the website with the right structure, code, links, and content. You’ll either need to hire an outside website developer or if your SEO agency offers website development services (like we do), you can opt for their web development package to get your website ready.
- In the same month, the agency would set up your Google business profile, if you’re a local business.
- They’ll also have a target keywords list ready for your approval.
- They’ll also implement tracking systems (once your website is live) like Google Analytics & Search Console to track the impact of SEO activities on your website.
At the end of month 1, you will have a visible website and Google business profile. If the website is done well, it will already start paying off if you send any direct visitors to your website. They will instantly trust a well-optimized website much more than a website that’s just a bunch of pages clipped together with no real information and impact.
- In month 2, your SEO agency will optimize the web pages on your website for selected keywords even further
- They may create additional pages that your business and website need or depending on the size of your website, it will take a few weeks to months to optimize these pages.
- The agency may also plan to start a blog to create fresher content for your website SEO.
- Your agency will also begin optimizing other listings & profiles of your business & generating links naturally to your website.
- They may also set up or assist you to optimize your social media profiles so they have a positive impact on your SEO.
At the end of the month, you’ll have your first search console & Google analytics report to see how things have progressed so far. If you’re sending direct traffic to your now-optimized website or sending traffic via ads, you will see an improvement in conversion rate already.
You may also get a couple of leads, depending on how competitive your niche is.
Don’t forget to ask your customers how they found you and we’re sure you’ll start experiencing the impact, even if it’s little. The point is to confirm if things are actually working.
- In month 3, your SEO agency will continue its efforts on local, on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.
- Most digital marketing companies in Brampton send monthly reporting to their clients regarding the impact of their services.
Search engine optimization is all about finding the right techniques and doing it over and over again for a business and its website. The steadiness and consistency are what make SEO successful.
From month 3 onwards, you can see the reporting and the progress in terms of actual numbers. Impressions your website and Google business profile is getting, the traffic you’re getting, the change in positions, the number of leads or form submissions or products sold via SEO… all this data would be available to you.
The numbers may be less for now but they will be there and from month 3 onwards, you’ll just go up and up.
Do note here that SEO rankings continue to fluctuate over time and even multiple times in a day. It’s nothing that can be controlled as it depends on external factors like Google updates or your competition.
But what can be done is optimizations to maintain your top positions over time, exploring more keywords that will be relevant to your business, and getting traffic & customers through those. That’s what a good SEO agency in Toronto GTA would do for you.
Do you have more questions on why SEO is essential for your business? Or anything related to how SEO agencies work or how SEO works? Feel free to comment below & ask or book a FREE consultation with us to discuss this on-call.