A recent survey of 600 US and Canadian small and medium business owners and their employees found that 57% don’t have an SEO strategy – and 23% don’t plan to create one. This year.
The Pollfish survey commissioned by UpCity found that only 44% of businesses currently have an SEO strategy in place and 34% have made it a priority in 2022.
These results are surprising after nearly two years of pandemic-related economic turmoil and uncertainty for businesses, although the relatively small sample size is worth noting.
Internet traffic increased by 40% globally in 2020, as consumers’ information needs and shopping behaviors have changed dramatically due to lockdowns, fear and business restrictions.
Search interest in SEO peaked at the start of the pandemic as businesses raced to be discovered by customers suddenly looking for nearby solutions for food delivery, banking appointments and online medical, home office furniture, etc.
Interest in SEO has remained strong as it has emerged not only as a valuable marketing channel, but as a key source of customer insights at a time when historical data has also proven largely useless.
SEO works and businesses know it.
Our own State of SEO 2021 study found that between mid-2020 and mid-2021, client site traffic increased for 64% of SEO professionals surveyed.
SEJ also found that 74.3% of SEO budgets remained stable or increased during this period.
And so UpCity’s finding that a large majority of companies don’t have an SEO strategy in place is alarming – at least for the companies involved.
Key Findings from UpCity’s SEO SMB Survey Report
“We found in our surveys that while many respondents use SEO strategies, many also combine their SEO practices with PPC strategies to create synergy between the two marketing channels,” the report’s author wrote, David J. Brin.
In fact, 50% of small businesses with an SEO strategy in place are also investing in paid search advertising, and 30% plan to do so this year.
PPC Ad Platforms of Choice
When it comes to where these small businesses invest their PPC spend, UpCity found that:
- 28% use Google Ads
- 17% use Facebook ads
- 14% use Instagram ads
- 9% use Amazon Ads
- 9% use LinkedIn ads
Small Business Analytics Tools of Choice
When small businesses were asked what tools they used for analytics:
Top Small Business SEO Goals for 2022
When it comes to what companies most want to accomplish this year in their SEO program, UpCity found these to be the most important goals:
- Increase organic traffic.
- Convert more organic visitors.
- Strengthen domain authority.
- Earn more featured snippets.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Strengthen the internal networking strategy.
- Improve page speed.
- Lower bounce and exit rates.
- Create a stronger backlink profile.
- Diversify the range of high traffic pages.
On the other hand, you can choose to look at the bright side of UpCity’s data; that 78% of businesses are making SEO a priority in 2022. That’s great news for them.
The holdouts — those who don’t plan to create an SEO strategy this year or don’t follow through on their plans to implement one — will likely find it increasingly difficult to get discovered by new customers online.
You have to start somewhere.
Read more about UpCity’s findings in full’How Small Businesses Handle SEO‘ investigation report.
Featured Image: Shutterstock.com/KrakenImages