Only 30% of Small Businesses Have an SEO Strategy

SEO Strategy Trends

It is 2020, and the fact that only 30% of small businesses have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is somewhat troubling. Why, because SEO optimization is key to making your digital presence relevant to your audience.

The data on the latest SEO strategy trends comes from a new report from The Manifest titled, “Top 5 SEO Strategies for Small Business in 2020.” And according to the 501 respondents in the survey, 70% don’t have an SEO strategy.  When you consider 75% of people don’t scroll past the first page of Google, it drives the point of why SEO should be a key strategy by small businesses and businesses of all sizes.

As the author of the report, Kelsey McKeon, says now is a great time for small businesses to start performing SEO. Primarily because they are having to adjust to the COVID-19 crisis by cutting costs. The cost-effective nature of SEO makes it the ideal tool for saving money and improving your digital presence.

McKeon goes on to say, “For small businesses looking to reduce spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, SEO is an easy-to-implement and affordable strategy that garners returns over the long-term.”

With the right SEO strategy for your small business, you can consistently position your company to rank high for your local search.

SEO Strategy Trends

image: The Manifest

SEO Strategy Trends

The biggest takeaway from the data is that small businesses are managing their SEO strategy on their own. The report says they don’t need experts to deploy their SEO strategy. Businesses that invest in SEO (62%) rely on their employees to manage it.

The high degree of confidence comes from the fact that SEO is easy to learn and implement. And more than half or 56% of businesses investing in SEO are confident in their strategies. Almost the same number or 53% invested in SEO in the last three years.

Another important takeaway is, the price; SEO is cheaper than paid advertising. With the right SEO strategy and implementation, you can get a better return on investment.

The Five SEO strategies are: keyword research and targeting; local search engine optimization; mobile optimization; content creation; link building.

Research and Target Keywords

It all starts by understanding what your audience is searching and looking for. Once you find the words for your business, you can optimize your site to rank for the best search result in your market using the words.

Start by looking for a topic related to your business on Google. Then use Google Ads to see the keywords with a high-volume search and low to medium levels of competition.

With the right word in hand, incorporate the word into some key places on your websites.

Optimize Your Website for Local Search Results

As a small business, your market is local (in most cases). So, optimizing your website for local search results will position you to rank high for your industry/market.

Keeping the information about your business up to date is one way to ensure Google will see your site in a positive light. You can do this by making sure your business information is complete, verifying your location, and managing and responding to Google reviews.

You can start by keeping your Google My Business profile up-to-date.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

In 2015 Google announced mobile search surpassed desktops and it began mobile-first indexing in July 2019. This means Google now reviews pages as they appear on mobile devices first.

By now your website should be fast and mobile-responsive. Test your site on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page to see how it fares.

Create High-Quality Content

High-quality content will always improve the standing of your site. And according to the report, this should include the entirety of the site.

Everything from the home to the About Us page has to be useful and of high-quality.

Build a Backlink Profile

When you invest in high-quality backlinks to your website, it is letting Google know your site is worth taking another look at. A good backlink to your site is an endorsement.

However, this is a time-consuming process as it requires building relationships with the online community. But as more people with quality sites link with you, the authority and reputation you command make the job much easier.


Even though you might have more time to dedicate to your SEO strategy because of the coronavirus crisis, it should be a long-term commitment.

As the report points out, SEO is an affordable marketing strategy you can do in-house. And once you learn the principles of SEO, it becomes that much easier implementing any new optimization.

So, don’t wait any longer. Start optimizing your site and let your customers find you more easily.

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

10 Reactions
  1. Once you’ve got the basics of SEO, you can get 80% of the benefit with very little additional effort above what you are probably already doing.

  2. SEO has evolved so much. It is now less about acquiring links and more about getting quality promotions from high authority websites.

  3. As you said, It is the right time for small businesses to focus on SEO. The issue with small business owners is that they are still unaware of the SEO’s significance. SEO is now indispensable for any business. Without that, It is almost impossible to generate more leads

  4. Having an SEO strategy is essential for businesses that want to make huge gains with SEO.

  5. Optimizing website for local search result lead our business successful only in our area, but who wants to international exposure shall give great value to SEO.

  6. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for this information.

    I agree with the optimization of small businesses’ websites for local search results.

    Even with Covid-19, a large number of desktop and mobile users are turning to the internet to find local businesses. It’s time to grab a slice of that pie.

    Share more tips soon.

  7. Hello Michael. You’ve given a nice article. I have been searching for some time to know about the local SEO. Because my friend want to start a restaurant. I read many articles, but this one is better previous to them. You wrote very clearly and I understood very easily. It can be said that this is a complete description of what I was looking for.

  8. maintaining with the trends is getting harder for small businesses in 2021. Especially when the business is functional offline. I agree with the continuous effort struggle, but I also believe that it is very important for online success of a business.

  9. Indeed, Good Job! I discover this article is extremely intriguing much obliged for offering the enlightening post to your encounters.

  10. Thank you very much your blog is very useful. Nice post please share some new ideas and write a post on the new SEO technique that will help everyone.