On April 10, The Manifest published a report on small businesses’ understanding and use of search engine optimization (SEO). The report, based on a survey of 529 businesses with between 1 and 500 employees, found that only 36 per cent of small businesses have an SEO strategy, but those that do are confident in their approach. Most rely on an in-house team rather than an SEO agency.

“When small businesses invest in an SEO strategy, they set themselves up for long-term success,” the report reads. And yet, the number of small businesses with an SEO strategy is surprisingly small. This will change in the near future, however: and additional 23 per cent plan to launch an SEO strategy this year.

But how effective will these strategies be? Most businesses that currently engage in SEO (78 per cent) are confident that they understand the industry’s best practices. Just how nuanced or sophisticated their understanding is, though, is up for dispute. Local SEO Search Founder John Vuong believes it may be limited by the resources at their disposal.

“[Small businesses] get sold by Neil Patel or some of these other videos like SEMrush or Whiteboard Friday,” Vuong told The Manifest. “These guys are marketers.”

In other words, Vuong thinks small businesses’ internal SEO strategies may lack the technical expertise generally found at an SEO agency. They may not take into account, for example, mobile-friendliness, page speed, navigation, and site structure.

Indeed, The Manifest’s report found that ‘small businesses’ SEO strategies focus on activities that achieve brand visibility but may not qualify as best practices.’ Less than half invested in local search optimization or on-site optimization, two critical components of any successful SEO campaign.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and SEO agency with unique insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is ideally positioned to help your business achieve maximum search visibility. With an established reputation for success in paid search marketing and a dedicated SEO team, GrowthEngine Media can ensure your company’s website gets found at the moments that matter most.