If you can’t commit time, don’t choose SEO.

After launching a website, every business owner eventually gets to the point where they feel like their website could be doing more than it is.  They had expectations when they paid for the website to be built about how their business would change and the role the website would play in growth.  This point usually happens because reality does not live up to expectations and they don’t want to abandon their investment.   For many,  the next logical step seems to be to work on their search engine optimization.

What usually happens next is the business owner starts to look around for an expert to help them.  They want to be on Google.  Now a new set of expectations forms and the business owner anticipates this big surge to traffic to their business.   They hire an SEO consultant,  all enthusiastic, ready to get started, stating how the website is now the number one priority for their business.

One month in, the business owner disappears.

The SEO consultant is asking them for lists of competitors,  content contributions and time to go over strategy and approve posts to social media.  But the business owner is too busy.  They hired an expert to “do what they do,”  can’t they just do that?   They don’t have time for this,  isn’t that what they hired you for?

The only time the SEO consultant hears from the business owner is when some relative/customer/employee tried to search for their business on Google and couldn’t find them.  The SEO consultant  thinks “Wonderful this is some of the information I have been asking for since we started.”  The consultant prompts the business owner for more details,  and if they are lucky,  the business owner actually noted the phrases people were trying to search on.  Unfortunately,  a more likely answer is,  “Oh I don’t know, they  just told me they couldn’t find us online.”

Remember,  this was the number one priority for their business.

No Content = No SEO 

I wish I could say that the above scenario I have described is rare.   As a business owner it baffles me every time when I see another business owner invest in consulting services,  not just SEO services, and not utilize the expertise that they now have access too.

We have all heard that the quality of your website content is the key to SEO success.  What I find mind-blowing,  is when a business owner is prompted to provide content for the website and they just can’t do it.   I hear things like,  “I don’t know what to say” or “There is nothing interesting to talk about.”  Yet online, searchers are supposed to be somehow magically drawn to this business?   Who is the number one expert on their business, other then the person who created it or runs it on a daily business?   If you can’t prioritize getting information or talking to the person you hired specifically to help you, then why are you spending your money?

Can You Commit to Search Optimization?

If you are thinking about or currently paying for SEO services,  here are some key points to consider:

  1. It’s a collaborative process, the SEO consultant needs your participation to succeed.
  2. Content is going to be the number one priority of this process.  If this is not your strong suit,  identify someone in your organization that can focus on this.
  3. You need to be willing to give it the time it deserves.  SEO is a long-term strategy, not a quick fix.  If you need a quick fix for your business, don’t waste your money here.
  4. A successful SEO effort is getting harder,  not easier, if you are putting up barriers by not supplying the info needed,  you are delaying the results.
  5. Anticipate there will be parts that only you can do.  Whether its provide content or ask your customers to post reviews,  someone outside your business will not have the knowledge or access you do.
  6. Do you have the time for this right now? Since you choose when you start this process,  either wait for a season when you have time to put in it or prepare to block out time to help with your part.

Is SEO the right tactic for your business?

I know its popular,  I know its sexy,  but are you sure this is the marketing tactic you should use for your business?  Do some research,  here a couple of articles to help you make that choice:

Is SEO or PPC Right for your business? 

SEO vs. PPC: Knowing Which Is Right for Your Website

Be clear about your goal.  What are you hoping to get out of this process?  Get recommendations from other business owners and talk to a couple of consultants to get an idea of what their practice involves and quotes for service.  Do this because you are committed to the strategy and it make sense based on your business goals.