The Title of This Post is Misleading
It implies there is such a thing as The Best SEO companies for local (small) businesses.
Not only isn’t there such a company (or even a short list of companies), small business SEO is almost always a losing game right from the start.
The reason is SEO agencies and consultants bill their time out at between $50 and $150 an hour. I say $50 because although there are some who will go that low (not many) even at that low price the math doesn’t work.
For sake of argument let’s assume you’re paying $800 a month at a rate of $50 an hour. That “entitles” you to 16 hours a month of effort.
The problem is 16 hours a month just doesn’t cut it.
Why is Small Business SEO Often So Ineffective?
First, the link in the first sentence of this post is to an article on Forbes about selecting and hiring an SEO firm.
In case you didn’t read that article, the following paragraph is taken from it, word for word.
All SEO firms are scam operations. This statement is 100% false, in that it’s only 95% true. Or as the late Rex E. Lee put it in a statement about lawyers but which applies equally well to SEO firms, “It’s a shame that an entire profession should be maligned because of two or three hundred thousand bad apples.” Yes, you’re right to be careful about the firm you hire. Too many people hire a firm, only to leave a year or two later and wonder “Did I just throw all that money away on nothing?”
The biggest “scam” in small business SEO is when the firm knows you’re not paying enough for results, but stays silent in order to get the business.
Does That Mean Small Business SEO is Simply Too Expensive?
Yes and no.
The yes part is most small businesses can not afford to hire a quality agency for $2,000 plus per month.
The no part is expensive agencies and consultants are not needed.
Anybody can learn to do this.
What you need to be successful is:
- A WordPress website hosted under your domain name.
- Possibly a few commercial plugins (maybe $120).
- 1 to 2 hours a day of your time (or the time of someone on your staff).
- The knowledge of what to do.
- Perseverance, dedication, and diligence, because this is something that needs to be attended to every day.
What Does Small Business Local SEO Success Take?
First and foremost what it takes is commitment. Inbound marketing takes time to work and if you do everything you need to do, then quit before it kicks in, it doesn’t kick in.
Next you need to adopt an important perspective.
Advertising is structured in campaigns. Inbound marketing is publishing.
You publish (almost exclusively) to your website and you publish stuff your desired audience will find USEFUL.
This is not my criteria, this is Google’s.
And you do it every day. This daily publishing is what gets the attention of the search engines.
You share the best of it with your network.
Over time, your website ranks higher and higher and your desired audience starts showing up.
So who is the best small business local SEO company?
For your small business, you are.