Measuring on-site engagement allows small businesses to determine how potential customers will engage with their website content and advance through the conversion funnel—and they rely on experts to track this engagement for their SEO efforts, acco­­rding to a new survey from B2B news and how-to website The Manifest.

More than 20 percent of small businesses that partner with an SEO agency or consultant measure on-site engagement to determine the success of their SEO strategy. Data from The Manifest’s new SEO Survey shows how much money small businesses invest in SEO

The other popular SEO metric small businesses track is the number and quality of backlinks (25 percent).

Equipped with engagement metrics tracked with help from an SEO agency or consultant, small businesses can adjust their SEO strategies to optimize how they convert search audiences to leads and ultimately to customers.

The Manifest's Small Business SEO Survey 2018 reveals how small businesses invest in SEO (PRNewsfoto/The Manifest)

Company size and marketing budget determine SEO investment

Number of employees and scope of marketing budget indicate how likely a small business is to invest in SEO and PPC advertising.

Over 80 percent of small businesses with more than 50 employees currently invest in SEO or plan to in 2018. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of this group also invest in PPC advertising.

The size of a small business’ marketing budget indicates whether a small business will invest in SEO.

Over 90 percent of small businesses surveyed with a marketing budget of $500,000 or more invest in SEO, compared to 34 percent with marketing budgets of $10,000 or less.

Data from The Manifest's SEO Survey shows how much money small businesses invest in SEO (PRNewsfoto/The Manifest)

SEO investment is a competitive advantage for small businesses

Experts say investing in SEO provides a competitive advantage and a stamp of legitimacy for a small business.

Most small businesses with fewer employees and smaller marketing budgets don’t invest in SEO, providing an opportunity for other businesses to fill a market gap. Researching how competitors invest in SEO can help a small business stand out.

“Since your competition is most likely not investing in SEO, I’d urge small businesses to take the plunge. Because your competition isn’t there, there’s sure to be low-hanging fruit you can leverage and find success early on,” said Lisa Hirst Carnes, co-founder and marketing director of Minneapolis-based design and marketing agency ArcStone, in a news release.

Failing to appear in search engines for relevant queries, particularly those that contain a company’s brand name, may raise skepticism among customers who expect all companies to have either a website or a social media presence.

Regardless of company size or marketing budget, social media marketing (56 percent) is the most common SEO service that small businesses carry out.

Read the full report here.

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