Finding the right SEO services when you run a small business can be daunting.
It can be difficult to know which services will actively support growth and make a real impact on your business.
Small businesses need to make smart decisions in their SEO services, and the key to making those smart decisions lies in being informed;
What are the most important services for your brand? What can you do without? How much can you feasibly spend?
Evidently, finances often dictate your choices, so having a clear guideline of what is essential for your work will help you face the vast spectrum of services available and make decisions that directly affect your growth and cash flow.
So how do you begin to make those decisions?
We’re here to help!
In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the most popular, affordable (and sometimes free!) SEO services amongst smaller businesses and how they could be an asset to your company.
Google Analytics & Google Search Console (Free)
Google Analytics is by far the most commonly used service across the entire spectrum of businesses, and for multiple reasons which we will explore below:
First and foremost, it’s free.
We’re obviously not suggesting that you should instantaneously sign up to anything and everything just because you don’t have to pay for it. But Google Analytics is a highly trusted service that for many, is the initial step in understanding the data behind your traffic, and how to optimise it for better results.
The tool is simply installed onto your company website and offers a fairly comprehensive data analysis that shows you what’s working well. You will be provided with visitor content and preference data alongside vital leads and sales conversion information. All of which are necessary for growing your prospects.
Google has made Analytics user friendly and accessible. You can set up your dashboard to automatically generate insight emails every week, so you’re always alerted about new findings which are available at your fingertips. It really is a solid, comprehensive tool for any small business.
That being said, if you were to combine Google Analytics with their secondary tool, Google Search Console, you’ll really start to gain some insight.
This tool lets you see the exact number of impressions your website receives in Google searches and the click-through rate (CTR) numbers from the result. They will also flag any potential errors so that you can review your process. This data is crucial to understanding your SEO strengths and any weaknesses you may have.
Google is clearly a leader in the analytics process and getting to grips with these services will give you a solid foundation for your SEO. You can even enrol in the Google Analytics Academy to develop invaluable knowledge in how to fine-tune your site.
OptinMonster takes a lot of the guess-work out of trouble-shooting issues on your landing page and campaigns intending to help businesses grow their customer base and revenue.
If your data is showcasing a specific gap in your optimisation, it can mean a huge loss in leads and traffic that will affect your SEO and lose you sales.
The services are presented in an easy to use format, with no coding knowledge required. The tool allows you to drag and drop the components to build the exact solutions you require and follows a price plan that includes a tier pay system.
This service is excellent if you need a tailored plan to optimise your site and reduce your losses without paying for extras that you simply don’t need.
Moz Pro is a complete, well-rounded optimisation service that offers a toolset to analyse your data for you. It’s also one of the more affordable SEO packages available, including Keyword Research, Rank Tracking and On-Page Optimisation.
In case you weren’t sure, ‘On-Page Optimisation’ refers to optimising your individual webpages to rank higher and earn relevant search engine traffic. This includes content and the HTML source codes of your page, and it’s important to keep up to date. This makes this particular feature notably helpful as you can easily let this slip if it’s not monitored.
Starting as a community base for SEO enthusiasts and experts, Moz have kept this community going as they’ve grown and expanded. They continue to connect their clients to experts in the SEO Learning Centre, which is a great service for small businesses in itself.
The ethos of the company is to take away the confusion some might feel when approaching SEO. Their focus is on boosting your search engine rankings and visibility whilst arming you with the analytics to back it up through their custom reports. The detailed insights aim to help you manage your workflow more easily, making it an invaluable option for a smaller business.
Another stand out factor is that you’re able to test out the tools in a 30-day trial, which gives you the option to try their services and draw an informed conclusion after a month. You have nothing to lose!
Similarly to Moz, Ahrefs provides a practical, all-in-one SEO suite. They pride themselves on driving traffic to smaller businesses and aim to help you understand and improve your SEO.
Their basic package has a wide-ranging list of tools, with an integrated toolbar so you can analyse the SEO data of your competitors. It’s a suitable option in terms of ease of use.
They offer Rank Tracking, Site Audits, Keyword, Content and Site Exploration and process detailed reports every week. You can also tailor alerts to catch new or lost backlinks and keywords that your competitors may start ranking for.
Ahrefs, like Moz, also has a wide-reaching community for support. They also host tutorials and detailed blog posts to further your knowledge of their services, and SEO as a whole.
If you’re looking for a service that actively builds your insight whilst allowing you to track what’s working for similar-sized companies, Ahrefs might be for you.
Another powerful, free service for a small business is the plugin browser tool SEOQuake.
The extension installs on any browser and, when clicked, will analyse SEO metrics instantly. You get to see an SEO overview which includes a simple analysis of the links, keyword density, and the numbered rankings across different search engines.
There’s another component that lets you input multiple separate URLs so that you can see an exact comparison between your competitor’s performances and your own. They also have an optional overlay that connects to search engine results, and so you can analyse the stats for every website found based on the keywords.
Whilst it is a more limited tool than others included in this list, these are all incredibly useful insights to have. So if you’re just beginning to get into SEO comparisons, SEOQuake will show you the insights of an on-page audit and will prove the worth of optimisation.
SEMrush are a wildly popular SEO service for many small businesses and pride themselves on offering marketing solutions for just about any concern you may have.
They’re popular for a reason.
SEMrush offers an all-in-one marketing toolkit which includes features such as; domain analytics, ranking insights, backlink analysis, keyword watching, competitor data insights, to name a few.
They offer packages for eCommerce, enterprises, agencies and competitor ranking which means that no matter which area of growth you want to tackle, they have an option. You can also create a custom package if you have the need!
Using SEMrush, a small business can grow its ranking and find solutions to other challenges with just one tool.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Don’t be put off by the name!
The SEO Spider is an extremely useful website crawler, designed by UK based search marketing agency Screaming Frog, that will help you improve your onsite SEO with ease.
The tool scans through websites to collect analysis data that will allow you to make informed decisions. It can provide an XML sitemap or a URL and even visualise site architecture to give you a comprehensive insight into a competitor’s structure.
You can also use it for auditing your site for any potential SEO errors, which is a huge benefit to any business. The Spider will check for broken links, server errors, duplicate content and will find temporary and permanent redirects.
There are many other features that this powerful, and free, tool has to offer, but if you want to access their more advanced features (which includes integration with Google Analytics), you will need to upgrade.
The SEO Spider can be a simple but conclusive step into SEO insights for any small business, offering powerful data analysis with minimal input.
So there you have it!
We all know that making considered decisions about where to spend on service is an important one, especially for smaller businesses. Hopefully seeing a considered range such as these will help you to make those decisions.
These tools offer a spectrum of solutions from optimisation analysis to back-end audits and with differing levels of SEO know-how to fit different stages of SEO involvement. Each of these services can benefit your brand and your business in different ways, as they have for countless others.
Whilst SEO may not be at the top of everybody’s marketing plan, to begin with, if you’re serious about developing significant growth to your small business then implementing an SEO service is key to remaining competitive.
Remember that, whilst these tools can offer individual, targeted solutions for your in-house team to execute, the staff at Pearl Lemon can do it all and more.
Pearl Lemon provides SEO services for small and large businesses alike, from search engine ranking, to locals SEO with services specific to your CMS and eCommerce platform.
We offer custom plans to provide a wraparound service that will help you execute the best SEO campaign you can. If you’re ready to hand over the reins to somebody else, why not give us a call?