This is always a huge question for business owners whether we truly understand what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is or not.
As business owners, we hear stuff all the time about what we need to do to market our businesses. There are tools and gimmicks being promoted and sold as “The One Thing…” you need to get all the dream customers you can handle.
Here is the fact….
NOTHING is going to be your magic wand. All of those things are tools that you should CHOOSE to use based on how they fit into your marketing strategy and goals.
Quite frankly, that is a lesson for another time.
If however, you do have a marketing goal and are developing the strategy to get there, you may be looking for the tools you need to make it all happen.
That MAY be where SEO comes in.
There are some things you need to understand about SEO before you choose to use it.
So what is SEO?
Well, it is Search Engine Optimization.
Basically, it is tweaking your website and other online properties (social media, business and citation listings, etc…) to communicate with the search engines and let them know that your site is the best result for specific search words or phrases that have to do with your company.
Think of it this way, if you put a search in Google for “best cat food”, you want results that are going to tell you about the best cat foods available and why they are recognized as the best.
You aren’t expecting to see a result come up that is about how to change the oil on your car. That has NOTHING to do with cat food.
So the results that come up about the best cat food are there because Google understands that they are talking about the “best cat food” and that is what you want to read about.
So if your website or article is about “best cat food” you want to make sure that Google understands that is what it is about.
SEO is the process used to help Google understand your site is about “best cat food”… or whatever the case may be.
Yes, for many companies SEO is an important part of their marketing strategy.
As you can tell by the example that I gave, if a site is listed in Google for the search phrases that have to do with their business, the people that find them and come to the website are obviously looking to use the information or product provided.
This means your traffic is very highly targeted and qualified.
From that standpoint, SEO truly does become one of the highest ROI tools you can use.
SEO takes time to establish and there are literally hundreds, and up to thousands, of keyword options for any given business. You have to develop a strategy for which keywords to start ranking and then where to go from there.
As the search engines grow and evolve, so do their algorithms. That means that ranking takes more time.
So what used to take three to six months to get ranked in the top five positions seven years ago might now take 12 to 18 months. That is not an exaggeration.
Why is this important to understand?
Because if you are in need of rapid results and growth, SEO is NOT a good option for your business. At least not right now.
We typically make it a policy not to work with startup or brand new businesses because their immediate need for new clients and business is HUGE. Most of them will close their doors if they have to wait a year to get good marketing results, and that is what it can take with SEO.
Again, it comes back to the need to have a marketing strategy.
We usually recommend that a brand new company do some specific paid advertising (the industry and niche will determine exactly what form that takes) to get the cash flowing to start out.
It is the quickest way to get the cash flowing, and if done correctly can be a good way to keep the customers coming and the bills covered while the SEO process begins and then takes hold.
Over time and as SEO results begin to grow, paid advertising can be reduced as the SEO traffic increases and replaces the paid traffic.
It’s a beautiful model that has helped thousands of businesses, but if you are unaware of it, you could easily fall into a situation where you are spending thousands of dollars and not getting anywhere with your business.
There are other situations where SEO is not a good choice for a business.
If a company specializes in product launches or temporary marketing of products, SEO is not a good option. Again, because of the time factor.
Companies that do product launches for other companies and earn their money in commissions for that launch, they will rarely use SEO for those launches. There just isn’t value.
Product launches capitalize on the “new” factor and that is best accomplished through an array of paid advertising, influencer marketing, and other tools that provide quick and massive results.
All things that were never designed to be long term.
So in conclusion, yes, I love technical SEO and I am a MASSIVE believer that it has an insane amount of weight for almost all businesses and niches in the long run.
I know that has one of the best returns on investment and it is also the best for long-term and scalable growth.
There is a time and place for its implementation, and I will NEVER suggest it for a company that is desperate need of immediate cash flow or is constantly changing short term products.
So think about your company and what your marketing goals are.
How long has your company been in business?
Do you have the customer base to support a marketing budget of $1500 to $4000 per month on a 12 to 18-month strategy?
Do you need to consider a multi-prong approach of paid advertising to keep new business coming in while you begin to build out your SEO profile?
Or do you need to simply concentrate on rapid growth for now with paid advertising with a goal of starting an SEO strategy in one year or two?
The goal is always for growth, but as a business owner or marketing manager, you must be able to recognize what your timeline is, or should be to maintain positive cash flow and be able to scale at the same time.
So I hope that answers your questions if you should use SEO for your business or not.
If you have further questions, please contact us and we will be glad to get back with you and answer your questions and help you develop a strategy that will work for YOUR business.