Could 57% Of North American SMBs Still Lack An SEO Strategy?

A recent survey of 600 small and medium business owners in the United States and Canada and their employees revealed that 57% do not have an SEO strategy in place – and 23% have no plans to create one this year.

A Pollfish survey conducted by UpCity found that only 44% of companies currently have an SEO strategy in place and 34% have made it a priority to do so in 2022.

These results came as a surprise in the wake of nearly two years of pandemic-related economic turmoil and uncertainty for businesses, though the relatively small sample size is noteworthy.

Internet traffic has grown by 40% Globally in 2020, as consumers’ information needs and shopping behaviors have changed dramatically due to lockdowns, fear, and restrictions on businesses.

Interest in search engine optimization early in the pandemic rose to an all-time high as companies scrambled to be discovered by customers suddenly looking for close solutions for food delivery, online banking and healthcare appointments, home office furnishings, and more.

Interest in SEO has remained strong because it comes not only as a valuable marketing channel but as a key source of customer insights at a time when historical data has proven largely useless as well.

SEO works, and companies know it.

Our 2021 SEO Case Study revealed that between mid-2020 and mid-2021, client site traffic increased by 64% of the SEO professionals surveyed.

SEJ also found that 74.3% of SEO budgets either remained flat or increased in that time frame.

Thus, UpCity’s finding that a large majority of companies do not have an SEO strategy in place is concerning – at least for those companies involved.

Key findings from UpCity’s SEO SMB survey report

Report author David J. Brin writes: “In our inquiries we discovered that while many respondents use SEO strategies, many also combine SEO practices with PPC strategies in order to create synergies between the two marketing channels.” .

In fact, 50% of small businesses with an SEO strategy are also investing in paid search advertising, and another 30% plan to do so this year.

Preferred PPC advertising platforms

When it comes to where these small businesses invest their PPC spending, UpCity found that:

  • 28% use Google Ads
  • 17% use Facebook ads
  • 14% use Instagram ads
  • 9% use Amazon Advertising
  • 9% use LinkedIn ads
What PPC advertising platforms do you use? – Up City

Selected Small Business Analytics Tools

When asked about the tools they use for analytics, small businesses:

How Small Businesses Handle SEO and UpCity“We asked the community what they were using for their SEO analytics?” – Up City

Top SEO Goals for Small Businesses for 2022

When it comes to what companies want to achieve this year in their SEO program, UpCity found these were the most likely goals:

  • Increase organic traffic.
  • Convert more organic visitors.
  • Domain authority enhancement.
  • Earn more featured snippets.
  • And increase brand awareness.
  • Enhancing the internal linking strategy.
  • Page speed optimization.
  • Low bounce and exit rates.
  • Create a stronger back cookie.
  • Diversify your set of high traffic pages.

On the flip side, you can choose to look at the bright side of UpCity’s data; 78% of companies are making SEO a priority in 2022. This is great news for them.

Laggards — those who don’t plan to create an SEO strategy this year or haven’t gone through with their plans to implement one — will likely find it increasingly difficult to be discovered by new customers online.

You have to start somewhere.

Read more UpCity results in full »How do small businesses handle search engine optimization?survey report.

More resources:

  • How to Create a Successful Local SEO Strategy for Your Business
  • SEO Strategy: Complete Outline (+Template)
  • The State of SEO 2021 – Search Engine Magazine

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