Study: Most Small Businesses Still Not Using Search Engine Optimisation

You would be forgiven for thinking that at this point in time, coming across a business not investing in search engine optimisation would be nearly impossible.
Especially when it comes to businesses relying on strong online performance to be able to sustain whatever it is they do.
Considering Google’s focus on local search engine optimisation as a recommended marketing strategy, the concept of a business ignoring SEO entirely is nearly unthinkable.

Nevertheless, a study carried out in the US has found that a surprising proportion of businesses are still not using search engine optimisation. In fact, nearly half of all small businesses in the United States are operating with zero SEO.

Even more astonishingly, around 45% of businesses have still not built any kind of website at all.

The revelations come courtesy of the experts at Clutch, who carried out a poll to find if and to what extent the power of search engine optimisation was being harnessed by the businesses who stand to profit most from it. Evidence has shown time and time again that for a small business to keep its relevance long-term, investing in SEO has the potential to bring the strongest possible ROI.

Nonetheless, it seems the expenses associated with search engine optimisation are able to dissuade millions from turning their attention to search marketing.

According to the Clutch study, only 34% of businesses are putting search engine optimisation to use in the United States with the assistance of experienced third-party service providers. The remaining ones take care of things manually, using their own expertise and knowledge to market their websites and services online.

Approximately 60% of the businesses who apply the DIY method said that they focus almost exclusively on local search and on-page optimisation, with just 25% making any effort to produce and publish web content for the purposes of acquiring backlinks.

All this, despite the fact that a number of studies have revealed how the large majority of business owners are completely aware of the value and benefits of off-page SEO.

On a more positive note, the study found that while the use of search engine optimisation among small businesses is surprisingly sparse, this could change over the coming years. For instance, nearly 60% of the ones surveyed said that they were planning to adopt some kind of SEO strategy in the next few years. Encouraging, although 26% stated they had no plans or intentions to invest in search engine optimisation in the near future.
Meanwhile, PPC was used by only 26% of small business owners to promote their brands, though more than 50% admitted they intended to invest on PPC over the coming years. This suggests that the value of paid marketing is being acknowledged by an increasing number of businesses across the United States.

In any case, the present lack of competition suggests that those who are willing to make the necessary efforts at this early stage, there is still ample time to gain an early advantage.