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It’s 2022. Do You Need Monthly Marketing Services for Your Small Business?

Published:  April 25, 2022
It’s 2022. Do You Need Monthly Marketing Services for Your Small Business?

Google My Business/Local SEO and Traditional SEO

For the past 15 years I've been a staunch believer that monthly website work (other than updating WordPress and adding new content as needed) is generally not necessary.  However, Google's recent changes including their strong push for local businesses to optimize and engage with their Google My Business profile have forced me to adjust our company's approach, as I now believe that some type of monthly marketing management is often necessary in order for a business to stay competitive online.

Google My Business/Local SEO

I discuss our monthly approach to Google My Business in the link referenced above, so I won't repeat it here other than to say that keeping your Google My Business (GMB) profile up to date and completely filled out is very important, as is making sure your business' citations are consistent, and that you are frequently posting on your GMB profile.

What About Monthly SEO?

For the past 15 years I've also been very outspoken in that I do not believe that monthly SEO services are necessary, and that a one-time SEO campaign may be adequate for many dental, medical, and other small business websites. Ultimately, in 2022, the factors that determine whether a website needs ongoing SEO services depend upon what goals the business has set for the SEO campaign, and if these goals have been reached.

Moving forward, once any technical SEO shortcomings have been analyzed and addressed, and the competitor keyword gap has been researched (keywords where your competitors rank but you don't), the bread and butter of SEO still consists of content marketing and link building. Thus, the length of time that a SEO campaign lasts depends upon the businesses' level of competition and the number of opportunities that exist for content production and link building. Accordingly, a small business with a simple website in a rural area with few competitors needs "less SEO" than a business with significant competition in a large city.

What Monthly Services are Necessary?

One of the major problems with deciding whether or not a dental or medical practice needs monthly services is that the list of what services "are necessary" is often unclear. Some practices need certain services on a monthly basis, while other practices may need different services or additional services depending upon their unique needs and/or what they want to handle on their own, in-house. Thus, the challenge for any agency is figuring out how to provide each client with the exact set of services and features they need vs. the alternative of simply requiring all clients to purchase the same all inclusive package of services for the same contracted term. And as you might expect, we picked the first approach. 🙂

As we did when we designed our website development packages, we determined what Google My Business (Local SEO) and Traditional SEO services and features were absolutely critical for online success and which were optional, and built our two offerings based upon this grouping.

  1. Sometime the solution is no monthly services at all. For a small business that is continuing to generating new leads, new business and increasing revenue at an acceptable rate, adding monthly marketing services isn't always necessary. However, even if you are not using any monthly marketing services, you (or your web developer) should be checking your website on a monthly basis to make sure that there are no broken links, that your Google Page Speed assessment is in an acceptable range, and that your contact form is working.
  2. For local business that depend upon their location for their success (services businesses such as dentists, physicians, attorneys, etc.) we strongly urge you to invest in a monthly Google My Business service similar to the one we offer, or complete the same activities in-house (managing your GMB listing, your citation building/tracking, and your posting schedule). Google has put so much focus on Google My Business for the local market lately, that at this time it's a service that cannot be ignored.
  3. For businesses that need to drive more organic (non-paid) traffic to their website, search engine optimization (SEO) is the next step. SEO is the process by which we research keywords (search terms) about the products or services you are offering (e.g. Invisalign) and align them with the searches that people are performing. We aim to find the best keywords (the ones with the highest search volume and lowest competition) and align these keywords and keyword concepts with the text and content on your website.

Our Hybrid Approach to Offering SEO Services - The Sprint Model

With the above philosophy in mind, we decided to offer our SEO Services via a Sprint model so that our clients can purchase as much or as little "SEO" as they need. The decision about "how much SEO one needs" comes down to how much content and how many links a business wants to build in order to compete with the competition or reach a particular new client or new patient goal.

Our Sprint model is a brand-new process, and we are working on building out a page that goes into Sprint model in great detail. But for now, here is a brief summary of the process:

With the track & field example in mind, an SEO sprint is a rapid, focused iteration of a set of tasks or procedures designed to accomplish a defined set of goals. We currently offer three SEO Sprints:

  1. Strategy Sprint - the diagnosis, treatment plan, and keyword research for the campaign.
  2. Content Sprint - using the information form the Strategy Sprint to produce content that is laser-focused on the most critical topics.
  3. Link Sprint - often run alongside the Content Sprint, we determine which pages on your website will receive the most benefit from having inbound links, and research and implement appropriate links for the pages.

Every business needs to start with a Strategy Sprint as it's the blueprint for the entire SEO process. But when it comes to the Content and Link Sprints, our clients have tremendous flexibility. We prioritize what content and what links need to be addressed first, and take care of these pressing assets first. We then work with you to determine if we need to continue to iterate more content and more links (based upon the research we've done in the Strategy Sprint) or to take a break and resume producing more content and links at a later time. In this manner, our clients get only the SEO that they need and only the SEO they want.

If you are curious to learn about our SEO Sprint Model or have any questions about the SEO process, please get in touch.

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