31% of Small Businesses Expect SEO Results within a Month

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A new study by HigherVisibillity suggests that small businesses are looking for sizeable results online – and they’re not willing to wait long.

According to the study which surveyed 1,000 small business owners across the United States, 31% of small business owners would expect “significant SEO results” within the first month of their campaign. An additional 37.8% would expect those results within 2-3 months.

This could be alarming for SEOs, but it also displays the needs of small business owners. 88% of respondents agreed that having an online presence is required for their business to be successful, but they’re investing in areas which can generate quick results. Take social media, for example: 57.5% of respondents said that social media is a “very important” tool for their business. Another 25.2% called social media “somewhat important.”

A missed opportunity

However, this behavior might also show a missed opportunity for small business owners. 44.3% of SMBs set aside only $1-499 per month for an online marketing budget and another 6.7% doesn’t spend on their online marketing at all. Despite a demand for instantaneous results, small business owners do not seem to be willing to pay for it.

The study suggests that small business owners would prefer to either do all of their online marketing themselves or delegate the task to an in-house employee. 57.4% of business owners run their own social media pages; 44.4% of business owners handle their paid search campaigns as well.

HigherVisibility’s study also provides a few statistics that show why that might not be the best idea. According to the survey, over 40% of respondents use their website for “general information” or lack a plan altogether. This lack of comprehensive planning can leak over into other online marketing tactics. And when you consider that against the long-term strategy that is SEO, it’s easy to see why small businesses miss that opportunity.

With that said, SEO can have relatively quick results on a local playing field, but it takes a consistent investment from a small business. That’s why it’s a bit disheartening to see how quickly SMBs will look for alternatives. The key issue seems to be a lack of knowledge about how SEO works and the long-term benefits that it can provide.

Small businesses have a shortage of time and are forced to lean into the strategies that have quick, obvious effects on their business. But by chasing immediate benefits, small businesses might be missing out on opportunities for growth.

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