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SEO Top Priority for Small Businesses

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small business seoNot that I think search engine marketing professionals have frail egos that need to be stroked on a frequent basis, but here’s a little news that can make us puff our chests out a little bit:

A recent survey by MerchantCircle of 2,500 small businesses found that if they had to choose just one marketing channel, it would be search engine optimization. The question asked was as follows: “If you had to put all your marketing time and budget into only one channel, what would it be?”

Other choices included paid search, mobile, social and traditional media. Interestingly, SEO beat out the competition handily.

When given a choice of specific websites the businesses were using to market themselves, Facebook (as opposed to ads on the site) was used by 70 percent of responding companies.

It’s also worth noting that the number two choice was traditional methods of marketing, with a stronghold of nearly 20 percent of local businesses preferring it. Traditional methods would be things like newspapers (you remember those, right?), Yellow Pages (ditto), and direct mail.

The vast majority of the companies surveyed (about 80 percent) were extremely small, with less than four employees, and 63 percent had marketing budgets of $2,500 or less. This fact speaks volumes about how even tiny companies, some presumably start-ups just getting their footing, know about the value and importance of online search rankings.

Here is some graphical data from MerchantCircle:

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