More than half (52%) of small businesses in the US invested in search engine optimisation (SEO) in 2016, and 74% expect to do so in 2017.
According to new research from B2B research and reviews firm Clutch, a further 66% of small businesses say they plan to invest in pay-per-click (PPC) digital advertising, such as Google search ads, by the end of 2017.
Despite this increased adoption of SEO as a digital marketing tactic, there is still a great deal of opportunity for small businesses to become more comprehensive in their search marketing strategies – more than 50% limit their SEO activities to local and on-site optimisation compared to other initiatives such as content creation or guest posting.
“A comprehensive SEO strategy involves a multitude of disciplines including technical SEO, on-page optimisation, outreach and content creation,” says Stephen Jeske, senior content strategist for SEO software vendor CanIRank.
The survey indicates that external factors, particularly the resources used, tend to dictate the extent of small business SEO efforts. For example, 60% of small businesses currently use in-house resources to develop SEO, rather than external resources such as freelancers, consultants, agency(s) or SEO software and tools.