Should you start an SEO Campaign?
I am always glad to see the moment when a business decides to prioritize their business website and move it forward from the place where its at. A lot of times this conversation also includes improving search optimization. For some reason 2018 has not only sparked this conversation, but has given the conversation a hint of panic. I have spoken to several business owners already this year that are looking to start an SEO program as a last measure to generate business so they can keep their doors open. I would not take a client in this situation and I can’t imagine any marketing professional would recommend this as a path. When is the right time to start a search optimization program?
SEO is a long term strategy – not an instant miracle.
Usually when a business owner is in a hurry for SEO performance, they usually have misguided strategies and expectations. Here are a couple of the classics:
More Traffic to the Website – Yes, to try and turn your business around you need more sales off your website. You assume that you need more traffic, but if we get the people there will they turn into sales? You can buy the traffic you need right now. What you can’t do in a hurry is optimize a website to convert traffic to sales.
Use Your Tricks to Get Google’s Attention – I am not sure where the idea came from that webmasters have secret tricks they perform behind the scenes to get instant search results. Google is really smart these days. It can tell which sites have been well cared for and which sites are looking for short term tricks. The problem with the tricks is that as soon as Google releases a new set of changes, those tricks don’t work any more. Take a look at your competitors. If they had ignored their websites, they would not be ranking higher then you. They have put in the hard work, its going to take more then a few tricks to perform better.
Put the Keywords in My Site – Typical scenario, business owner says I want to rank for “X” phrase. Can you put that keyword in my site so I am number one? There are many things wrong with this idea. First, is this keyword phrase really the best one for your business? Yes, updating the content is a good idea. Will inserting a few words into your webpage jump your site over your competitors? Maybe if your competitors have totally neglected their websites. Google does reward good content, but it takes more then a few words to make good content.
Maybe What You Really Need is Paid Search Traffic?
There will be times when your business website needs a large hit of traffic and more attention from search. Paid Search can fulfill that requirement and for some businesses may be more of what they are looking for. Use our comparison chart to help decide whether paid search or organic search is the marketing tactic you need.
Before you decide, take a look at your competitors. Do some searches on keywords you want to work on. If you see a lot of competitors in paid ads, that might be the way to go. No competitors in the paid ads? You might have an advantage by being one of the few.
Expectations for your SEO Campaign
Before moving forward on an SEO campaign, it is important to be clear about a few key points.
- Why do you want to begin SEO services? – Are you doing this because you think you should? Are you doing this because somehow you think there are untapped internet riches waiting for you? Neither of these strategies are based in reality. A good reason to do SEO is because you have a website rich with content and you feel if more people just got eyes on what you have to say, your business could grow.
- Does SEO make sense for your business? – We have worked with clients in the past where their CEO was obsessed with being #1 on Google. They were putting a lot of time and resources towards this goal. For one example, the product they sold could only be used by about 3500 businesses in the whole world and implementation of their product took months. If you already know who the 3500 people are that you can sell to, wouldn’t you spend your resources going directly to them? Instead of hoping they notice you in a search query? Every business benefits by a well-made and optimized website. Before putting a lot of resources into any marketing tactic, including SEO, make sure it makes sense for your business.
- SEO is not free. – The purpose of SEO is to work towards higher rankings in the organic listings of search engines. Don’t think of organic search listings as free, but an earned ranking. The work that goes into improving organic listings is not free. SEO is labor intensive, the work will need to be done by someone, either by you, an employee or a consultant.
- SEO is not quick. – Regardless of what you have been told, SEO is a long-term marketing strategy. Industries that are highly competitive offline will be just as competitive online and moving up in the rankings against big competitors takes time. There are no magic tricks that will instantly make your website a success.
- SEO cannot save a bad product/business. – The websites we have seen experience the most success are those that are successful offline and take that successful formula online. I have also witnessed many business owners putting a lot of money into gaining traffic from search engines, only to prove that their business model doesn’t work. Well-run businesses have a strong marketing plan, they know what they need from their website and they put resources towards tactics they know are right for their business. You can’t manufacture website traffic if no one is searching for what you are selling.
What if this doesn’t work?
Search engines ultimately control who ranks and who gets the visitors to their site. All we can do is follow best practices to the best of our ability. Can you afford to invest is a marketing strategy that might not work? If your business is in trouble, this is not something you want to start as a last resort to keep the doors open.
Why wait until your business is about to close to do something about a low performing website? Your website did not get in this state overnight, so an overnight solution will not make it better. Ask for help now before you are in a crisis. Sign-up for our Free Consult. We can help you get back on track.