Marketing Myths Small Business Owners Should Stop Believing

August 29th, 2017 by Meaghan McCarthy

When you’re running a small business, it’s often up to you or a member of a very small team to research and make all decisions for the business. And when you’re trying to allocate a marketing budget, being well informed is essential to the future of the business’ success. If you’re considering investing in SEO for your company but aren’t sure if it is going to pay off in the end, get the real facts about common SEO misconceptions.

Myth 1: Only businesses of a certain size, in particular industries, or with certain audience demographics need a website.

Some of you might be shaking your head at this one, but of the 500 small business marketers surveyed by highervisability.com, 20 percent said their company didn’t have a website. Having a website in today’s world is essential for getting found by customers, and everyone can benefit from one. SEO will help you get found by the right audience, no matter how niche your market may be, from HVAC companies and mom-and-pop shops to CNC engineers and doctors.

Physician typing on a laptop keyboard

Myth 2: Keyword stuffing and duplicate content are good SEO practices.

While a majority of those surveyed believed copy-and-pasting content from other sites wasn’t ok, 12 percent didn’t see anything wrong with duplicating content from another site or page of your own site. When you copy from another person’s site, it’s plagiarism, and Google will penalize you for it. But even if it’s your own content repeating on different pages of the site, Google still flags it as duplicate content and therefore dings you for failing to provide new and useful information for your readers.

Keyword stuffing was considered a good idea by 38 percent of responders, but this is another practice that will get you in trouble with Google. Keyword stuffing involves cramming a chosen keyword into your content as much as humanly possible, even if it makes the content sound stilted and unnatural. Not only will Google penalize your site for it, but it also makes things difficult for readers, and pleasing them is the most important thing at the end of the day.

Myth 3: SEO is all about keyword rankings.

Keyword rankings are obviously an important metric for gauging your site’s performance, but there’s more to SEO than sprinkling some keywords into your content and calling it a day. Content creation, link building, local search optimization, and technical aspects of your website, like page speed, are all necessary components of a well-rounded and robust SEO campaign.

If you’re having trouble evaluating the technical side of your SEO, request a site audit from us.

Myth 4: Social media is just for sharing pictures of my kids at the beach.

19 percent of small businesses don’t have any social media presence. Of those 19 percent, only 35 percent are happy with their Google rankings. It then stands to reason that social media is a very important piece of the puzzle.

Social media helps you promote your content, share industry news with your followers, show off a bit of your personality and your brand’s tone, and engage directly with your customers. It’s the personal touch that matters in today’s business world. Plus, social media lets you find your customers where they spend the most time.

Myth 5: All of this should cost me less than $100 a month.

SEO services are a marketing investment. And like all investments, you have to spend money to see money. According to Pigzilla, we’re in the middle of a pandemic where shady SEO companies are charging rock bottom prices and not delivering the kind of results their customers are hoping for. Positive results require consistent efforts in content creation and quality link building, not just a few tweaks to your site or a handful of spammy links. A reputable SEO company is charging you for their expertise in the industry coupled with a truly hands-on approach for your campaign. Even if your budget isn’t huge, a good company will tailor their work to give you the most bang for your buck.

There’s a lot more to SEO than most small businesses realize. Whether you’re just starting to allocate some of your marketing budget to digital marketing or you’ve been burned by a bad SEO company in the past, talking to one of Search Influence’s sales executives can help you determine what your next best steps are for building an SEO campaign that will give you results.