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SEO for SMEs

Many SMEs largely ignore SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in favour of other marketing channels.  This is understandable as many cannot see the long-term benefits or have received poor results in the past. There are opportunities however for small and medium businesses providing they have a relatively modest budget.

Bad reputation

Some business owners are unaware or uncertain of what SEO is. Many still confuse it with PPC and do not see the long term benefit that SEO has. Those who are aware of SEO often see it as a way of cheating the search engines in order to appear above bigger competitors. This is a result of mediocre SEO firms sending unsolicited, automated emails making promises that rarely materialise. At best business owners have made an investment in SEO but have witnessed inconsistent or consistently poor results. It is up to SEO companies to educate and to change this attitude.

 SEO has changed

SEO has changed dramatically in the last year. Updates in Google’s ranking algorithm mean that it is far more difficult to fake SEO results. Search engines can identify what it determines to be ‘spam links’ and discount any value they bring to your website. This is why it’s important to look at the bigger picture and look for a long-term solution rather than a quick fix.

SEO Companies

Sorry for the cliché but you get what you pay for when it comes to SEO and it’s as simple as that. Usually companies promising hundreds of directory links for next to nothing are not trustworthy. These types of links can have some impact but only as part of a wider strategy.

If you are committing to an SEO campaign make sure that you will receive regular reports on organic traffic and conversions as this is what will determine the success of your campaign. The main focus should not be on ranking positions although these are important too.

Ask about how the company works and how they will approach your campaign. There should always be a research phase where they determine which keywords have the most potential, how competitive the market is and identify where improvements can be made to your website.

SEO Campaigns

Although it’s not a great idea to generalise, in my experience many businesses have gotten really great results with an overall investment of about €2,500 – €3,000. This may sound like a lot but there’s usually an initial investment to begin with and the remainder is spread over about 6 months. The figure is pretty modest compared with what some businesses pay for their website design or for PPC advertising.

The list below demonstrates (roughly) the work that would typically be involved in campaign for a typical SME in Ireland.

  • Keyword research and site analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • On-site optimisation
    • Page titles and meta descriptions
    • Headings
    • Page copy
    • Site Architecture & navigation
    • Add new pages to target additional keywords
    • Address indexation and technical issues
  • Off-site work
    • Decide on link sources
    • Contact publishers
    • Create content
    • Create links on a monthly basis

Give SEO a chance

If done properly, SMEs can gain serious benefits from a well-planned SEO campaign. It is important to remember that SEO is like any other marketing channel and requires commitment in order to work to its full potential.

For more information on SEO services please visit

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