Businesses that do not market online are missing out. This is especially true for small businesses that do not have the resources or technical expertise to get their website up and running. Even if a business has a website, it is often not optimized for the search engines. A website is essentially worthless as a marketing tool unless it shows up in the top page of search results.
Many small businesses neglect SEO because of the costs, but they should ask themselves how much are new customers worth? Often, SEO costs pay for themselves due to the new customers and leads that it generates.
Lastly, if you do hire an SEO firm, ask for examples of their work. Consider using someone local if they have proven results. An inexperienced online marketer can do permanent damage to your site's search engine rankings.