Is SEO Actually Worth it for Your Business?
In these next few lines, I’m going to reveal a secret the SEO industry has kept hidden from the public for as long as search engines have existed.
The curtains to this dark truth will be completely released, right here, right now.
SEO isn’t for every business out there.
A lot of SEO agencies will make it seem like SEO is some sort of magic sauce that can miraculously rain money on your business, but speaking from experience… that's not always the case.
A couple of times, I’ve had potential clients come to me mourning over the thousands they’ve spent on an SEO campaign that sank like the titanic.
Now, this is not to say that SEO can’t bring ridiculous returns to your business(because it can), but I’ve noticed recurring themes that decide whether or not SEO is a good fit for a business.
Given that you’ve clicked on this article, I’ll say it’s safe to assume that you’re on the fence on whether you should hire SEO for your business. In this post, you will get an expert’s perspective on 4 reasons you should hire SEO, as well as 4 reasons you shouldn’t, because SEO is not a good fit for every business.
But for the businesses it is a good fit for, well, you can expect massive returns to your bottom line.
Regardless, at the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of the pros and cons of SEO, and whether or not it's right for you.
Let’s get to it.
So first, you might be wondering:
What is Search Engine Optimization and Why the Hell Should I Care?
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is the practice of using numerous techniques to optimize your website to rank first on the pages of Google or other search engines, like Bing. A properly managed SEO campaign will give your business more exposure and as a result, more customers.
For example, take a look at Exhibit A:
These are the top organic search results for “Dentist near nyc”, which is known as a keyphrase and contains keywords. These are terms that tell Google which web pages out of the 50 billion they have on file to return to its users.
The sites you see in that screenshot all rank highly for the keyword “Dentist” and they also have local relevance to the keyword “nyc”. Their dominance in these factors is what makes Google choose them to be on the first page instead of the 30 other neglected Dentists on pages 2-10.
SEO is the meat and potatoes, the vitamins and essential nutrients given to these websites so that they could show up on top.
Additionally, Given the local nature of the keyphrase(I searched for NYC) Google returned the 3-pack which is a grouping of the top 3 most locally relevant web pages for the keyphrase. If you’ve ever googled anything close to you, say a restaurant or other service, then you’ve seen these before.
Without a doubt, you can expect these high ranking dentists on the 3 pack get the lion’s share of search traffic, a whole 75% as revealed by this study, and with that traffic comes the customers and the big bucks. The only reason they got there is because of a local SEO campaign targeting NYC.
Also, just below that map pack, you get the regular listings:
These sites still get some clicks but far less than those in the 3-pack.
So, just to reiterate, SEO makes your website show up first on Google and you should care because it pays greatly to be first.
Now that you have a solid understanding of what SEO is and what it can do for your business, here is the very first reason why you shouldn’t hire SEO.
1) You Want Results Without Putting Skin in the Game
In the world of SEO, you live and die by your ability to rank your website on the top 3 results as they get an overwhelming majority of traffic.
The thing is though, there are a lot of $300 SEO’S that you can find anywhere. People who stay afloat by delivering shabby(and sometimes shady) results to counterbalance their ridiculously low prices. People like this exist in any industry and sacrifice quality to lure on more customers with a seductively low price point.
However, SEO isn’t a kid’s league soccer game where everyone gets to be a winner simply because they showed up. Instead, SEO is an unforgiving battlefield where the strongest, most unrelenting, and fiercest campaigns take home all the cake, leaving lower-quality campaigns face-down in the bloody dirt.
So, if you want to do SEO and actually reap the rewards, then a $300 Fivver campaign won’t do when your competitors are putting in several times that to keep you out of the game.
SEO is an investment, one with immense returns, but success is not free.
If I ran a business and only had a small marketing budget, I would turn to other forms of marketing that are easier to get into, such as social media marketing.
However, on the flipside, a reason you should hire SEO is if:
2) You're Looking for Cost Effective Marketing
Other digital marketing strategies like ads can bring rapid growth and traffic to your business, but if you’ve tried these strategies, then you know that these results disappear as soon as your budget dries up.
Although SEO is a strategy that requires heavier buy-in, it is also one of the most cost effective ways to generate customers. Unlike pay-per-click advertising like Google Ads where traffic dries up as soon as you stop paying, a high ranking website will keep generating traffic and revenue as long as it stays at a high rank.
SEO isn’t a marketing cost that consistently eats away at your profits, instead, it is an investment that keeps on paying dividends. Like a flame that keeps on burning, a stream that keeps on flowing, SEO keeps the traffic pouring in and generating value on what you have invested.
Given SEO’s massive long term upside as a business investment, it's only fitting that one of its biggest limitations is that you will likely be at a loss at the beginning, which brings me to my next point.
SEO shouldn’t be your goto if:
3) You Need Quick Wins, and NOW!
The same reason that makes SEO such an effective long term strategy, is also what makes it a bad short term one.
It takes time and effort for a SEO campaign to bear fruit and drive impactful revenue to your business. This is because Google's algorithms(the machines behind all search results) don’t pick up on the improvements you’ve made to your website instantly. Additionally, depending on the keywords you're targeting, you may be facing stiff competition, which will increase the campaign length.
Google’s main goal is to give its users the best websites possible and its algorithm uses many different indicators to measure the quality of a website and its content. Given the complexity of it all, SEO isn’t something you can win at in a couple of weeks.
As a typical estimate, I tell most of my clients they can expect to see results in the 6 months range.
So if you need quick wins right now, then SEO likely isn’t the best strategy for you despite how cost effective it is because it takes time to reap the rewards.
Speaking of those rewards, one massive advantage in favor of SEO is if:
4) You Want Qualified Leads Who Are Ready To Buy
With a well planned SEO campaign, you can expect to find the most qualified itchy-to-buy customers in your market. This is because people are always on Google to find a solution to their problems or information about the solution. So, the traffic being sent to your website is only going to be potential customers who need your business.
If you would like a good example, consider yourself right now, as you read this article I’ve carefully prepared and researched for you. I didn’t have to go looking for you, instead, you found me because you had a problem that you wanted to get solved. Namely, information about whether or not SEO is right for you.
Think about what a properly implemented SEO campaign can do for your customers and business because there is a lot more happening here than meets the eye...
For instance, not only are you here on my website, but you are also learning a lot about a service that I specialize in. With the information I’m giving you, it's easy for you to start imagining the torrential downpour of customers SEO can bring to your business. Not only that, but you’re also learning about some of the downsides of SEO and figuring out whether or not that matters to you.
The result of this SEO process is that you become more educated and qualified as a potential customer. Additionally, you already know me(at least more than my competitors), so if SEO was a route you did want to take, then naturally, I’d be more likely to be your goto.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is:
SEO is the best way to find the most qualified customers AND the best way to educate them and qualify them even further, while simultaneously winning them over as a potential customer.
That’s a lot of benefits huh?
You’ve now witnessed the process yourself, how do you think a strategic SEO campaign will benefit your business?
However, I will have to mention that just because you optimized your website with superb SEO and are now generating absurd amounts of traffic, doesn't mean your business can comfortably ride off into the sunset.
You got the traffic, but you still need to convert that traffic into paying customers, which leads me to my next point.
Your SEO campaign will flop if:
5) You Cannot Weaponize Your Traffic
I say this all the time. You can have the entire world looking at your website, but if your website can’t turn that attention into paying customers, then SEO is not going to work.
You might be dominating organic search results, but if your target audience lands on your website, reads your content, and then simply leaves, then it's safe to say your bottom line won’t be singing you praises.
While optimizing your website increases your traffic, the goal of a SEO campaign isn’t and shouldn’t ever be to increase traffic.
Traffic by itself, doesn't do anything for your business.
To make your SEO investment worthwhile, you need to turn that traffic into tangible value for your business. This could be done in many ways such as contact form submissions, emails, and phone calls, however, these make up just the tip of the iceberg.
Looking deeper, you’ll find that optimizing your site for conversions is a process that takes intentional website design. This is an expansive topic, however, you can find some money-murdering mistakes your website likely has here. Additionally, if you would like a deep dive into turning your website into a money-generating machine in 2022, consider snagging a copy of my new ebook, the “21 Money-doubling Online Sales Hacks”(while it's still free).
All this online and internet talk makes SEO seem like it can only drive customers to the digital world, however, it can help you offline as well.
Actually, one big reason you should hire SEO is if:
6) You Own a Brick and Mortar Store and Need In-store Traffic
Google has done extensive research on its mobile users' search habits(creepy?) and has revealed that every month, people visit 1.5 billion destinations because of an online search. Furthermore, 76% of people who search for something nearby visit that location within one day. To top it all off, more than a quarter of those users turn into paying customers.
With these numbers, it doesn't need to be said, but if you own a physical storefront, then optimizing your website for SEO is the best way to get people through your doors. Back before the Internet was big, people were finding nearby businesses by opening up a local directory, but due to the ease and flexibility of Google, all of this is done online now.
Applied in real time, SEO promotes brick and mortar through Google's 3-Pack, which if you remember from the intro, looks like this:
When your potential customer types in “(your industry) near me” and then they see you right up there with those heavy hitters in the 3 pack, then it will be pretty easy to turn them into an actual customer. They are just one click away from learning more about you and deciding to visit your store.
Also, with the 3-pack in place, they wouldn’t even see 95% of your competition to begin with. This, however, is only a massive upside if your local seo strategy gets your webpage ranking high on local results.
Although SEO is flexible in the way that it will bring customers flying to your website or physical location, one of its downsides is that:
7) SEO Won’t Work If Nobody is Looking For You
There are some really innovative people out there who excel at creating products or services we never even knew we needed.
But this also means that we would never think of googling it because we simply don’t know it exists. This means that ranking on page 1 for your keywords doesn't do anything because nobody is searching for it anyways.
For new, revolutionary products, your best bet would be to first build a demand for it through awareness marketing. Once people know your product or service exists(and can Google it), then you can start to see results from an SEO services.
Lastly, one of the biggest reasons you should hire SEO for your business is if:
8) You're in it For the Long Haul (SEO isn’t going anywhere)
SEO is only going to increase in importance. Currently, Google gets 2.5 millions searches every year by its 1 billion users which averages to about 2,500 searches per person. With the amount of people on the internet, being seen first is crucial for making a online sale.
Investing in SEO opens up the path to consistent returns to your business which is exactly what you need to turn your business into an empire.
Additionally, it is fitting to view SEO as a marathon race.
Every step you take gets you further and further from your competition and higher up the rankings. While it might not seem like a lot at first. These steps add up, meaning you will have a staggering lead in your rankings in just a couple of months.
With that said, imagine the sort of advantage your competitors would have if you start the race months or years behind them? This is the biggest mistake I see business owners make. They think can just jump into SEO and start beating everyone even when their competitors has been in the race for years. Or, even worse, is when they think they can just sit back and relax as their competition builds a larger gap.
The right time to start SEO on your website is today. The sooner you get started on improving your website for ranking, the sooner you'll be able to cash in on more customers than you could possibly handle.
There are then two options for starting. You can either learn to do it yourself, or you could hire and elite result-focused SEO agency that guarantees results(yes we're that confident).
There you have it, 8 important reasons for why you should and shouldn’t hire SEO. I hope you have a stronger understanding of SEO and whether or not it's a right fit for your business(if not, shoot me an email, and I’ll fix the article).
SEO can be a perplexing maze if you don’t know how to navigate it, so equipping yourself with more and more knowledge is critical to making the right decision for your business.
So, what’s your next step from here?
If SEO doesn't fit your business very well, I would suggest other marketing methods.
On the other hand, If SEO services fits like a homemade cotton glove on your business, then the next steps are pretty simple:
You can learn it, practice it, experiment, rinse and repeat, and put your strategy into the ruthless battlefield and maybe start ranking.
You can hire an expert SEO agency to trench the bloody fields for you, one that has the strongest risk-free guarantee in the industry(we also smell fantastic *wink wink*).
Which is why he had to create LevelU.