SEO is not dead. SEO still works. Let me rephrase: Thoughtful SEO still works.
It comes as no surprise this time of year brings feelings of new beginnings, of exciting potential of the year ahead.
Those of us who are in business, who consider ourselves entrepreneurs, hopefully have an enlightened outlook with what’s in store for our futures; what we will create.
As a small business owner, a solo practitioner, a creative freelancer, there’s only so many hours in the day (and only so much we can afford to dish out for contractors and outside help).
We may not have the budget of the bigger guys, but still need to compete.
It’s a tough position to be in, I know first-hand, and especially this time of year things seem (for some) to be a little extra difficult.
But don’t fret.
It’s actually quite simpler than it may seem at first glance.
Why Invest in SEO?
“If you have a web site that you want to do well, you need to invest in it. SEO is a core fundamental aspect of it. If people cannot find your web site in search, then it is like the web site doesn’t exist. So why have a web site if no one can find it.” – Barry Schwartz
“Simple. If you want to be found by customers in online searches, it’s an absolute necessity. If you’re in a vertical where there are more than 10 competitors in a city, that’s more possible results than Google can show on page one… and even if there are less than 10 results, you still want to be higher on search results than your competitors. Even if you’re already the number one result, you still need to do SEO to keep your position.” – Greg Gifford
“Compared to traditional advertising (i.e. print ads, radio spots, television, etc.) and even some forms of online advertising, such as PPC, SEO is one of the most cost effective and best returns on investment a business can make. Not to mention that with search, a consumer is already in a “mood” or “frame of mind” to purchase or buy whereas with traditional advertising models, the idea is to get the consumer to “think they need a certain item or service” to be happy.” – David Wallace
“If you are in it for the long haul, SEO is an absolute “must” for any size of business. Taken holistically, SEO is virtually synonymous with smart marketing these days. With the right provider, you can optimize your site, help push for links back to the website, improve visibility in your local market, and drive solid word of mouth. All of this should be managed in tandem with SEO. The beauty of it all is that you don’t have to pay to play forever – so long as you are building real value and following the rules, SEO will build and accelerate over time for web masters who keep updating and building our their websites.” – Tommy Landry
“SEO is one of the few digital marketing channels that offers the opportunity for continuous ROI improvement. Once you break even on rankings and conversions investment, all future revenue is pure profit (or gravy).” – Nick Eubanks
“Do your customers use search engines? I’m sure there are some, but not many businesses can say no to that question. Do you know anyone who doesn’t use a search engine on a regular basis? Your customers are using search engines, so you need to be sure they can find you.” – John Crenshaw
“Every website needs to focus on SEO, because organic search is the cheapest way to attract visitors to your site. If you don’t want to invest in the most inexpensive way to bring people to your site, I am not sure why you want to invest in the site itself.” – Mike Moran
“Being the first to jump on the latest technical features can give you a competitive advantage. A great example of that would be structure data impact on rich snippets or alternate hreflang markup on accurate demographic and lingual content serving. From the strategic point of view the most powerful thing about investing in SEO is the compounding effect of high quality and well-optimized content. Outreach, social signals and link acquisition are so much easier once you’ve built up a significant amount of momentum.” – Dan Petrovic
“As more and more people are using the internet (and mobile) to look for products and services, more doors will keep opening for you and your business. There’s always an opportunity to get a piece of the pie. You can get ahead of more established competitors by using SEO. I’ve worked with companies that started with nothing and are now head to head with giants in their industries. Locally as well. It’s really still wide open right now especially with all the Google scares. Businesses are investing in other areas of digital marketing so it gives you a great window of opportunity to invest now and get started online.” – Dennis Seymour
“The main reason businesses should invest in SEO is because consumers are now using search engines more than ever to find products, services and information. On the short-term, SEO may seem like a risky investment. It takes time if you want to do it right. But once a website starts gaining traction, SEO can significantly improve ROI. SEO may only represent one facet of digital marketing, but in my opinion, it’s the most effective way to gain online visibility. It’s still important to invest in paid and social channels, but SEO should be the foundation of your online presence.” – Brandon Seymour
“Because it’s still one of the most powerful digital marketing channels available, especially in terms of ROI. But don’t take my word for it. In a recent survey, more than 1,100 marketers were asked to rate various marketing channels, and SEO finished in a virtual tie for first with email marketing. With paid channels, your visibility is directly tied to your budget. If you stop spending money, you stop appearing in those channels. On the other hand, your organic search visibility has significantly more longevity. If you suddenly stop your SEO efforts, your visibility will remain the same… until your competitors improve enough to overtake you.” – Steve Webb
“Organic search still drives the most traffic and conversions to websites, and is still the fastest growing source of traffic for most sites. Search volumes are still growing, as is the diversity of keywords people use to search. As a result, you have to take organic search seriously as a digital marketing channel, and that means you need to invest in SEO. Organic search traffic will not magically appear – you need to make intelligent decisions and put in a lot of effort in to your ongoing SEO.” – Barry Adams
“SEO, when invested in properly and consistently, can help grow your brand’s presence, traffic and visibility immensely over time in a way that can envelope returns from paid. The one thing to understand is that investing in SEO often doesn’t typically garner an IMMEDIATE return, like paid does. You need to be in it for the long haul and have buy in from all teams that may need to touch or collaborate with SEO related things.” – Selena Narayanasamy
Tarun Gehani is an experienced online marketing consultant specializing in optimizing websites for search and conversions. He's worked with many international brands as well as small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. Feel free to reach out to see how he can help you get better results online.
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