• My Tools
Press releases

Small Businesses Determine SEO Success by Tracking Backlinks

March 13, 2018

by Grayson Kemper

Content & Editorial Manager, Clutch

New survey finds that small businesses track their SEO efforts based on target customers’ position in the sales funnel.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 13, 2018—Small businesses measure the quantity and quality of links back to their site (21%) to determine SEO success, followed by site traffic (19%), leads and conversions (19%), and keyword rankings (18%), according to new research from Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews firm.

Metrics Small Businesses Use to Measure SEO Success

The Clutch research reveals that the metrics small businesses prefer depend on the stage in the conversion funnel where they engage target customers.

For example, small businesses concerned with branding track keyword rankings to determine the level of exposure they achieve through SEO. Businesses concerned with return on investment (ROI) track leads and conversions that result from SEO investment.

Small Businesses Benefit From SEO, With Few Exceptions

Overall, 55% of small businesses plan to invest in SEO in 2018. This is a marginal 3% increase in the number of small businesses that invested in SEO in 2017. Last year, 74% said they expected to invest in SEO in 2017.

Not all small businesses are convinced that SEO is a relevant investment for their company.

Some say they don’t need SEO because they either don’t have a website or are referral-based.

Experts, however, say a business that doesn’t need SEO is a rare exception.

“Every business is a viable candidate for SEO, unless they absolutely don't require business from the public and they are a referral-based, discrete, or relationship-based business,” said Kevin Tash, CEO of Tack Media, a Los Angeles-based digital marketing agency.

Even without a website, a small business can benefit from local search optimization services such as optimizing their Google My Business profiles and local directory listings.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising Often Paired With SEO

Small businesses invest modestly in pay-per-click advertising (PPC), often in tandem with SEO.

Less than half of small businesses (45%) run PPC campaigns, and they do so as needed (37%) rather than on a regular basis (36%).

Nearly 90% of small businesses that invest in PPC also engage in SEO. The finding supports that most small businesses engage in some form of SEO and intend to continue investing in this effort.

The data from this report pulls from Clutch’s survey of 351 small business owners and managers about how they approach SEO and PPC advertising.

To read the full report and source the survey data, visit: https://clutch.co/seo-firms/resources/small-business-seo-investments-benefits-2018.

For the raw data, a comment on the findings, or an introduction to the experts interviewed for this report, contact Grayson Kemper at grayson@clutch.co.

About Clutch

A B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch connects small and medium businesses with the best-fit agencies, software, or consultants to tackle business challenges together and with confidence. Clutch's methodology compares business service providers and software in a specific market based on verified client reviews, services offered, work quality, and market presence.


Grayson Kemper

(202) 470-0491