SMBs Need Help With Technical and Link-Building SEO Challenges

Thu Sep 7, 2017

Kathy Crosett

SEO is still a key way to make sure a business’s online content is found. The State of Enterprise SEO Report reviews how much businesses are spending on SEO and which activities they believe they should focus on. In their report, the researchers at North Star Inbound, seoClarity and BuzzStream based their analysis of the SEO industry on the answers they gleaned from 240 respondents. Here’s what they learned.

SEO spending remains a vital part of marketing, and as an organization gains more experience with the format, spending tends to increase. SMBs with fewer than 100 employees have annual SEO spending as follows:

  • Less than $12,000 26.7%
  • Between $12,000-$30,000 18.6%
  • Between $30,001-$72,000 19.8%
  • Between $72,000-$100,000 19.8%
  • Between $100,000-$240,000 5.8%
  • Over $240,000 9.3%

SEO encompasses a range of activities. In this study, analysts looked at what marketers have been doing in these specific areas. On a scale of 1-4, SMBs report they prioritize resources, ranked by importance, on each activity as follows:

  • Technical SEO – Managing DNS settings, caching, security, mobile functionality – 3.2
  • Content Development – Producing unique content that is regularly refreshed and designed with good keywords – 2.5
  • Traffic Analysis – Reviewing how visitors interact with the site with attention focused on how long they stay, how many pages they view, etc. – 2.2
  • Link Building – Tracking the relationship between posted content and social media, etc. – 2.1

The typical SMB, 46.5%, has between 2-5 people tasked with taking care of the organization’s SEO needs. In their pursuit of tackling the technical challenges facing them, these folks say they actively monitor page speed (32.1%), duplicate content (26.9%), indexation (25.6%) and broken links (25.6%).

An SEO team considers a number of details when establishing a content development strategy. The content must attract traffic, and one way to do that is to consider search intent, search volume, and the details of competitive analysis. These are the three factors all SEO specialists, whether they are in-house or agency-based, discuss as they decide on the content that will be produced.

An SEO strategy and content development effort cannot exist in a vacuum. Businesses must track how well their content is doing. For that need, SEO experts turn to Google Analytics (87.4%), Moz (68.4%) or Screaming Frog (68.4%) to track site traffic. Keywords, both national and local/regional are the ranking factors that SEO teams monitor.

In our increasingly-connected digital universe, marketers want to do a better job a link building. They tell researchers this task is difficult to accomplish, so they are increasing the budget for this effort. SMBs have found a few link-building methods that are most effective for them:

  • PR 43.9%
  • Guest posts 34.8%
  • Local citations/directories 20.3%
  • Resource links 20.3%

The seoClarity study identified a number of key opportunities you can pitch to prospects if you sell digital marketing services. You can also share this report with clients and urge them to optimize their SEO efforts to complement their other marketing investments.

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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett