2018 brought with it a range of changes for local businesses to come to grips with. The local search landscape has changed so much in the last year – and with it, so must SEO tactics.

SEO means optimizing your digital presence so your business can be found when people are searching.

It’s a very large, and ever-growing industry. And as local search continues to morph, the importance of SEO remains apparent. This year, 93% of search marketers are optimistic about what’s next for the SEO industry.

However, with the benefits of SEO, also come the challenges.

Most small businesses have limited time and budget. Unless you’re educated in Search Optimization, and continuously staying up-to-date with industry changes, managing SEO for your own business is not a viable option. This means hiring in-house, hiring an agency, or using paid services. Because of the ever-changing behaviour of search optimization, those versed in this industry are considered *experts*.

And we all know what comes with being an *expert*: high cost. According to a recent industry survey:

  • Search marketing agencies are paid an average of $1,779 per client each month (up from $1,670 in 2017).
  • The median minimum monthly retainer range for local marketing services is $500-699.
  • SEO marketers charge an average hourly rate of $119, up from $110 in 2017.
  • $100-149 is the most popular hourly rate for SEO, with 34% charging this amount.

Most small businesses simply cannot afford these rates. But there are other options.

With the growth of AI and Automation, manual labour is no longer necessary to have an effective SEO strategy. Automated tools like ours help small businesses compete with their competitors, without having to spend most of their budget on agency fees.

This is bad news for expensive agencies – and good news for small businesses.

If you’re not focusing on SEO for your business, its time you start. And you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Check out our Automated Tools to see how our platform handles the work of an agency, at a price you can afford.

SEO Optimization – where are businesses focusing most in 2019?

  1. Website design
  2. On-site optimization
  3. SEO audits and analysis
  4. PPC
  5. GMB optimization
  6. Social media
  7. Reputation management
  8. Citation management
  9. Link building and content outreach
  10. Content creation and optimization

Businesses that are in a highly competitive local market will require a more in-depth solution to help them succeed, while other small businesses in a less competitive local market may require less focus.

Remember – it’s not about out-running the bear. It’s about out-running the guy next to you. As long as you do just a little more than your competitors, you will be shown ahead of them in Google local search. Doing something is better than doing nothing, so ensure you start somewhere.

Our team is always here to help – if you’d like to learn more about how our platform handles all aspects of local search for small businesses see our plans & pricing page, or feel free to book a call with a shoptoit rep to learn how we can help your business succeed.

Further Resources:

Page One of a Google Search Result, How does it all work?  >>read

Why Having a Website is Still Important for All Small Businesses  >>read

How to Control your Google My Business Listing  >>read
The Importance of Accurate Business Listings  >>read

10 Powerful Ways to Quickly Improve Your SEO  >>read

Local Mobile Search Growing at Unexpected Rate  >>read
Local Search Marketing Return on Investment  >>read
Facebook vs. Google Advertising  >>read
Our Ideal Customer – is it you?  >>read