5 Signs Your SMB Needs SEO

by Chris LaRoche   |   Jul 10, 2024   |   Clock Icon 6 min read

You know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to being found on search engines like Google and Bing, but it’s hard to know when it’s the right time and place to invest your marketing budget to make it happen.

According to the CMO Survey, the average marketing budget in 2023 was about 9% of a company’s overall revenue. For enterprise businesses, that could represent a sizable dollar amount that can be distributed across a lot of different channels, but smaller and medium-sized businesses need to be a bit more discerning with where that budget should go.

As you’re considering whether now is the time to invest in SEO to improve organic search results for your SMB, look for these signs that scream “Time to get our SEO in order!”

Sign 1: Failed Core Web Vitals Check

A failed Core Web Vitals assessment, showing several criteria that need improvement.
A Core Web Vitals assessment results showing areas for improvement.

Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that measure the speed, interactivity, and visual stability of your website. Think of these as vital areas Google considers to be important for a good user experience. A failing score for one or more core web vitals can result in Google placing your site much lower in the search results; which means…fixing them is a great way to get a boost to your page rank and improve visibility! You can quickly & easily check your core web vitals score using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, which will tell you what is wrong and point you in the right direction to fix it.

Sign 2: Your Search Result Doesn't Look Quite Right

A screenshot showing search engine results for a propane gas company that is oddly formatted.
Oddly formatted listings usually indicate issues with metatags or the technical set-up of your site.

Go ahead and Google something that you think should display your website – but not your own brand name; try the products/services you sell. When you find your website listing (hopefully it’s on the first page – if not, call us!) take a look at the icon, the business name, and the longer descriptive text (also known as the meta description).

If your link shows your domain URL instead of a properly formatted company name, then your site title may not be set up. If the descriptive text is oddly formatted or weirdly cut off, then your pages lack proper metadata. Optimizing these helps Google better understand your website and business offering and creates a more legitimate perception of your site for potential customers who will be more likely to click through.

Sign 3: Site Has a Lot of Pages

An extensive drop-down navigation bar for an education website.
A complicated top nav and extensive library of pages could lead to confusion & difficulty in finding the most important information.

While not inherently a bad thing in Google’s eyes, a website with a lot of pages CAN hurt user experience. For instance, a top navigation menu with tabs and subtabs and sub-subtabs can overwhelm users, making it hard for them to find the information they need. Or a vast library of blog posts, guides, and feature deep dives could make it difficult to focus on the most important information that turns a browser into a customer.

Proper SEO optimization can help you identify the most important parts of your site and ensure they’re easy for users to navigate and digest, and for Google to find, crawl, and index.

Sign 4: Content on Pages is Thin

An example of a webpage that has little content on it, which could harm your SEO.
Short & sweet, but not enough information for Google to determine what this company has to offer to justify ranking highly in the search results.

While too many pages could cause user experience issues, pages with too little or generally unhelpful content on them can hurt your ability to display high in the search results!

Take a look at your core pages, which are the site pages that you think are most important for making your case to potential customers. Does it FEEL like you have enough, or that the content that is there is substantive? Do you have important information contained within images or PDF downloads? If your page text is too sparse, superficial, or hidden in images/documents, then Google is not able to determine what your page is about and how it relates to a user’s search.

But don’t go writing more just for the sake of fattening up a thin page! Certain pages like ecommerce category pages are fine to be sparse; and Google can determine quality over quantity, so optimizing the page content to be just enough is a delicate balancing act.

Sign 5: You’re a Locally-Focused Business But Not Shown In The Map Pack

A Google Map showing local propane and gas companies.
Not being shown in the map results is a good indicator of a business profile that needs to be optimized.

If you’re a business with a physical footprint and a focus on local customers, then it’s vital to appear on the map that appears in search results. If you’re not showing up there when searching for your category/service along with the words “near me” or the city you’re located in, that could be an indication of an unoptimized Google Business Profile.

Ensuring the accuracy and completeness of your profile information, providing images where appropriate, and addressing negative reviews, all contribute to a stronger business profile, which is usually rewarded with visibility in the map results.

Start Focusing on SEO for Your SMB

If your site exhibits one or more of these signs, then it’s a pretty good indicator that you could benefit from SEO optimization. You could try to DIY it, but Workshop Digital offers SEO packages that are right-sized for small and medium businesses. Our passionate and expert team is here to solve your organic search problems.

Let’s work together.

Portrait of Chris LaRoche

Chris LaRoche

Chris brings over 12 years of experience in the digital marketing space to Workshop Digital, having spent the majority of his career driving paid marketing strategy for clients across SaaS, healthcare, legal, retail, & more while leading teams of marketing experts.

He prides himself on staying ahead of the curve – testing & adopting new technologies, strategies, and methodologies in order to find the newest and best ways to exceed client expectations, while building strong personal relationships with his counterparts.

A South Jersey native, Chris migrated to the San Diego region of California in 2018. Outside of the office chair, you can find him catching the latest superhero movies, attempting to cook a decent meal, dabbling in some light woodworking, and accompanying his dog – Blitz – to the dog park.