3 REASONS YOU SHOULDN'T CARE ABOUT SEO (Part 3)
This is our third post in our new series "Let's Get Techy With It", where I will give you the tools and information you need to make smart tech-related decisions for your business (view the introduction post HERE).
For the last few weeks, we've been talking about how SEO is one aspect of having a business on the web, but you don't need to exhaust your brain space, time and money overly obsessing on this issue. Reason #1 was that SEO can potentially hurt your business. Reason #2 is that it doesn't bring in the highest-quality leads. And finally, reason #3:
3.) SEO might be a bad investment
With so many businesses scrambling to increase their search engine results, snagging that coveted ‘page one’ spot for your business can be an agonizing, anxiety-inducing process. And that anxiety reaches a fever pitch every time Google releases a new update to the way it ranks websites. In the wake of Google’s most recent update, small-business owners have been in a tizzy about how to stay competitive on search engines and ensure rankings don’t take a nosedive. With all that social media chatter, a business owner could easily come to the conclusion that SEO is the marketing strategy du jour to grow a business online, and that they ought to do whatever it takes to compete on Google, including paying for expensive SEO services or spending lots of company time optimizing their site.
But just like jumpsuits don't work on every body type, there's no ‘one-size fits all’ marketing strategy that's right for every business. For some of you, hiring a pro SEO guru might be exactly what you need to kill it online. But for a lot of others, the flurry of SEO insanity might be distracting from a much better marketing strategy out there, and pouring money and time into SEO might not provide a return on that investment the way that another strategy might.
Here's what many normal non-techie folks don't realize about SEO...it is a CONSTANTLY shifting field, and even the smartest SEO experts don't know for sure exactly what's going to work. Because search engines are only beneficial to people if they display search results containing helpful and relevant websites (and not just websites whose owners have enough money to pour into tricky SEO tactics), Google has made it purposely difficult to game the system, and they update their algorithms often to make it even more difficult.
As a result, the SEO experts who make it their business to know what Google is doing, and spend their days testing and monitoring what works best cost a pretty penny. One of the optimizers I’ve referred to a few clients does amazing work and has helped those clients reach ‘page one’ in very competitive markets, but also costs thousands of dollars a month. For those clients, it was a smart use of resources, but for many businesses, that kind of investment isn't going to yield the return of some other options they might choose.
And even if you don’t hire a professional SEO expert, trying to DIY it may still cost your business a lot of money in the form of the time you (or your team) spends researching, reworking your website, installing and testing plugins, monitoring and updating based on analytics, etc. Only you can make the decision of whether that’s worth it or not, based on how many other businesses are in your market (and therefore the difficulty of competing in search results), whether your current customers find you primarily on Google, and whether searches tend to bring in the type of customers you want.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU DECIDE SEO ISN'T A GOOD INVESTMENT?
The good news is that if you decide that SEO isn’t the best investment of time or money for your business, there’s another strategy you can employ that will not only help you build personal connections with your audience but also have the bonus effect of boosting your search engine results, and that is:
CREATE VALUABLE CONTENT
When you’re writing about the stuff your passionate about and creating quality content on your website, your search engine results will often do just fine. Google actually rewards websites that have valuable content--in fact, this is the number one ‘tip’ to boost search engine results from Google’s website:
“Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site.”
If you create a website that is valuable to your target audience, you will probably see a boost in your page rank. But even if you don’t make it to ‘page 1,’ you’ll have built an online business that’s so helpful and attractive that people will be talking about it and referring their friends to you. While everyone else will be worrying about the next Google algorithm update, you’ll be seeing your sales double and working with dream clients. ;)
What techie questions would you like to see addressed in future blog posts? Leave a comment below!