Is SEO as a Standalone Service Good for Local Companies?

Last time, I wrote about companies who receive reports from their “SEO” companies. Most local retailers and service companies find them meaningless.

Why do these SEO companies generate the reports?

SEO Reports

SEO Reports are how most standalone SEO companies justify their fees. They have to do them because often their services don’t get meaningful results for their clients, i.e. the phone ringing, increased in-store traffic, or contact forms sent in.

If your website isn’t getting meaningful results from SEO, it could mean one of three things:

  1. You haven’t implemented the basic SEO tasks associated with a website.
  2. You’ve done the basics, but there’s more that should be done.
  3. Your competition is SEO savvy and you’ve done as much SEO as realistically possible.

I qualify the third point above with the modifier “realistic” because there’s always more that can be done with SEO. But SEO work ad nauseam isn’t always the best use of your marketing budget. There may be other methods that deliver faster results at less cost.

So am I saying that SEO isn’t important for local retail businesses?

Not at all. I just don’t think it’s something you should invest in as a standalone service.

SEO, the art of getting folks to come to your website in the non-paid search results, is something that should be a part of your ongoing web content development.

I do SEO work for my clients, but it’s a part of a comprehensive effort. I develop content and while doing so, I research keywords, embed them on relevant pages, and write the tags. Yes, there is other work that could be done, with respect to PR, driving traffic, link building, schema, etc. But most local clients don’t want to pay for all that. Nor do they need it. Leave that for the big guys.

Easy Web Tip #253: For most local retail and service companies, basic SEO work is sufficient to deliver good rankings.

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