With Google My Business, Do Businesses Still Need SEO?

Conceptual keyboard - SEO (green key)With email and searches topping out as the most popular activities on the internet and search engines influencing at least 30% of all online purchases, it’s more important than ever for businesses to optimize their search-ability online. Many businesses have turned to search engine optimization services to fill this need, but will Google’s recent rollout Google My Business change how companies manage their online presence?

Any good SEO consultant will tell you that there’s no single way to make absolutely sure a business ends up on the front page of Google. They can utilize a number of tactics to influence ranking and links, but at the end of the day, it’s still difficult to measure exact returns from SEO tactics, and even harder to guarantee absolute success.

Big companies usually win out in the search engine wars, spending millions on AdWords and other marketing tactics that go viral and attract heavy web traffic. Bloggers and columnists mention them on a regular basis thanks to strong public relation teams and their pages soar to the first page.

Small businesses often don’t have access to the money or resources for this kind of attention. Most of what they can invest is simply time and effort, using tools like Bing Places and Yahoo Small Business to take a sort of DIY SEO route to the top, and while most of these services are technically free, they can consume time and energy that owners desperately need to run their companies.

Google My Business is one service small business owners can use to increase their visibility. Users can promote other businesses, post events like sales and promotions, blog about the industry and their neighborhood, contribute to forums. Google My Business is essentially SEO building with a social media flavor, allowing small business owners to interact with customers and each other while building their content base online.

Since many of these methods still take up a lot of time, small business owners are still turning to consultants to help them navigate the web marketing industry. Business owners don’t have to be experts to use Google My Business, but it doesn’t hurt to have one in their pocket.

Companies will always be able to get the best mileage out of a multifaceted online marketing plan, and at least for now, SEO consultants remain a major part of that for companies of all sizes. For companies who can’t quite afford to invest in SEO services yet, however, platforms like Google My Business are good places to start.

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