When looking for ways to grow the reach of your business, many people think that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t worth the time and investment it takes.
Because it takes expertise and patience, many business owners figure they can just let their SEO results grow organically. Or, they can spend money on pay-per-click ads instead and get immediate results.
As the world evolves, the way we market changes. SEO is now a standard part of everyday life because the internet is a standard part of everyday life. Everyone goes online to search for things they want to know, and want to buy.
In my experience, here are five reasons why people avoid doing SEO for their business:
“SEO is too confusing.”
The learning curve to have a basic understanding of SEO can be overwhelming. I have heard it likened to ‘black magic’ in that it’s mysterious and has no logical explanation. SEO is very similar to learning to code. It has a lot of jargon, processes, and ideology. Success in SEO comes down to best practices. While there are over 200 factors that can affect your search engine results, but with some basic understanding, it gets a lot easier to start to navigate them.
“SEO takes too long to see results.”
This is true, in some respects. Unlike a post on social media, which can get immediate responses, SEO can take some time for your results to appear. You don’t create a blog post or site update, and then 12 hours later it is ranking on google search results. You may find your site sit on the second or third page of results for a lot longer than you expect. Other times you may find that you rise very quickly. For some people a month sounds like a long time, for others they may be happy if it takes three months to get some decent ranking results. The important thing here is to know that SEO results last a long time, so the time to grow them is worth it.
“SEO is always changing.”
If you’ve read anything about search engine optimization, you might have seen that the algorithms behind it are always changing. Some people see this as a negative because they have to keep adapting. However, the way I see it, the reason algorithms keep changing is that they keep improving. Google, in particular, has done a lot to promote the usability of websites, mobile friendliness, and speed. All these factors have improved the overall web user experience.
As professionals, it is essential to keep up with the improvements in our industry and find ways to adapt our approach. I believe the same thing is true of SEO; we must adapt our web marketing alongside the improvements.
“SEO gets expensive.”
Actually, SEO can be quite affordable; it’s often the paid search advertising that becomes expensive. As competition grows, the costs of specific keywords keep going up. This means that more people are vying for the same spot at the top of the page, and it becomes costly to keep using advertising as the only method of attracting new business.
“Online Ads work faster than SEO.”
If a business has success with paid advertising, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or ads on social media (Facebook, Instagram), then it can seem tempting to keep putting more money into ads and ignore organic traffic. It can seem like the results are faster, and easier to track.
The problem here is that over time, the cost keeps going up for keywords, and if you stop using the paid advertising, the results dry up. The whole SEO model is built around two functions: getting good search results for users, and keeping advertisers paying.
If you work on both an organic search engine strategy and your PPC marketing, you will find that you may not need PPC over time. When your site is listed at the top of Google or Bing for a search result, you don’t need ads for that keyword as the organic result is more trusted.
Effective SEO can almost remove the need to have paid ads. Once they are working for you, organic listings are essentially free advertising.
Avoidance creates anonymity
These five reasons as just the tip of the iceberg as to why people avoid SEO for their business. They are some of the biggest reasons why people’s businesses don’t get the attention they deserve.
The important thing to know about SEO is that just like any other skill, it is learnable. You need to see it as valuable and a priority for your business. Take some time to learn some of the basics yourself, and start to watch the results more carefully.
If you genuinely don’t have the time to do it, it’s often better to enlist the help of a professional who can do it on your behalf, or hire an in-house expert. Of course, it is an expense of time and money to dedicate somebody to the task, but the results speak for themselves.
SEO is a reality of any modern business, and ignoring or avoiding it is only going to cause more issues down the track. Developing an SEO friendly site, a strong content strategy and a sensible, affordable search engine marketing strategy, is an investment in your future success.