What Are the Most Effective SEO Tactics for Small Businesses?

What SEO tactics work best to boost your small business’s ranking in search engine results? A new study from Ascend2 has some answers. Here’s what the poll of nearly 450 marketers found:

What SEO Strategies Work Best?

  • The study asked marketers what SEO strategies got the best results for them. Creating quality content was the most effective SEO strategy, cited by over half (57%) of respondents. Also making the list:
  • Keyword research and management (47%)
  • Updating the business’s website frequently (37%)
  • Integrating social media (32%)
  • Frequent blogging (28%)

Largely due to changes Google has made in its algorithm in recent years, link-building, which was once highly effective for improving SEO, was cited as useful by just one-fourth of respondents.

I was surprised to see that just 17 and 9 percent, respectively, cite mobile marketing and local search optimization as among their most effective tactics. However, these are both relatively new digital marketing methods, so that may explain it.

What SEO Tactics Are Hardest to Execute?

There seems to be a direct relationship between a tactic’s effectiveness and its degree of difficulty, at least when it came to creating quality content. Nearly half (47%) of respondents say this is one of the most challenging SEO tactics to do well. Frequent blogging was cited as challenging by 32%, keyword research by 29% and updating a website frequently by 29%.

Clearly, these are all time-intensive activities, which explains why they’re difficult—especially when you consider what marketers say are their biggest SEO challenges: lack of skills and money.

More than four in 10 (44%) of respondents say budget limitations are their biggest obstacles to SEO success, while 40% cite lack of in-house skills. Can you relate?

If you’re struggling with the same challenges, here are some suggestions for getting better results:

  • Focus on quality, not quantity. Generating less but better-quality content may work better than more mediocre content. Or, repurpose your quality content into different formats to create more “pieces” of content without putting forth a ton of extra time and effort.
  • Get professional help. If you don’t have the talent in-house to boost your SEO, it’s well worth outsourcing to a firm that can help. Qualified SEO experts can do in hours what would take you weeks, and the results could easily pay for themselves in increased traffic and sales.

What tactics have you found work best to boost your business’s SEO?