SEO is alive and well, and it can be a powerful marketing tactic for your company. Having your website rank on Google will result in organic traffic which will almost certainly lead to sales. In an increasingly digital world, making sure your business is visible online is critical.
But SEO isn’t magic, and it’s important to have realistic expectations about what SEO can and can’t do for your company. It can do a lot, but it can’t do everything. In that spirit, here are the advantages and limitations of SEO.
SEO Can Get Organic Traffic
Organic traffic refers to people who find your website through search results, not through paid advertisements. When people need something (whether that’s food, books, or SEO companies), they go to the internet, and SEO can make your content and business easier for them to find.
In fact, SEO is so critical that (according to Lyfe Marketing), “57% of B2B marketers believe SEO is the top leads generator when compared to other marketing methods,” and “81% of people use search engines to do their homework before committing to a big purchase.”
SEO Can’t Promise Quick Returns
SEO is a great long-term investment with incredible potential for profit, but it takes time. The results don’t come overnight.
According to a post by Search Engine Journal, “Anyone who’s ever run an SEO campaign knows that while we may see some results quickly, the campaign isn’t typically performing to profitable levels for up to 6 months.”
If your company needs results more quickly than that and can’t afford to wait, SEO might not be the right option for you at this time.
While SEO takes some time, it is well worth the cost. As a long-term strategy, it can produce significant returns on investment. In fact, the author of the Search Engine Journal post above also called SEO the most effective (and cost-effective) form of marketing. So the ROI, while not immediate, is substantial.
SEO Can’t Help Promote Events
This is related to the previous point. There are many wonderful strategies for promoting one-time events, but SEO probably can’t help. That’s because SEO takes time, and by the time you’re ranking the event will be over.
Search Engine Journal explains, “If you have an event to promote, traditional SEO isn’t going to help you sell any tickets – especially if it’s a first-year event. By the time the event is indexed and ranking in the main index, it’s most likely too late to participate or the event is over. The same goes for sites (e.g., Woot.com) that have disparate inventory that changes all the time. Getting a product indexed that you aren’t going to be selling in a month is a waste of time and effort.”
SEO Can Increase Your Brand Authority
If your website ranks high on search engines, you’ll instantly be seen as more credible and trustworthy than the competition. Also, an important part of SEO is publishing helpful content. If you help someone answer a question, they’re more likely to remember your brand and buy from you in the future.
According to the Search Engine Journal, “establishing that authority will do more for a brand than most, if not all, other digital optimizations.”
SEO Can’t Replace Good Content
If a piece of content is bad, there’s nothing that SEO can do to help. Even if you were able to get a poorly written blog post to rank, why would you want to. It would just make your company look bad. Focus on creating excellent content before you think about how to market it.
SEO Can Promote Local Businesses
You may think SEO is only for virtual businesses, but SEO can help local businesses too. For instance, search “restaurant” on Google. Notice that you get results for restaurants in your area. Google often gives local responses to searches, and this means internet marketing and SEO are useful even to offline businesses.
While there are many strategies for local SEO, one aspect is directories. Directories are like the phone books of the internet, and JLB will make sure your business is listed on dozens of them (with consistent information). We’ll also remove duplicate entries.
SEO Can’t Help Promote a Product No One Is Searching For
If you’re an entrepreneur, and you’ve just invented a brand-new product that no one had thought of before, SEO probably won’t help. Think about it, if your product is completely new, no one is searching for it. You could rank for all the keywords you want, but if no one is searching for those keywords it won’t help.
Once your product has more recognition, however, an SEO campaign can help build authority and trust for your brand.
SEO Can Be a Critical Part of Your Marketing Strategy
As we said before, SEO can’t do everything, but it can do a lot. That’s why JLB offers SEO as part of a package deal with web design, support, and advertisements. Request a quote from us today.
SEO Can’t Help You Rank for Certain Keywords
If you type “restaurant” into Google, you’re not going to see the websites of individual restaurants. Instead, you’ll probably see blog posts with titles like, “The 9 Best Restaurants in [Area].”
Google knows that when people type “restaurant,” they’re likely looking for comparisons or reviews, not individual restaurant websites, and whatever you do, you’re probably not going to get your individual restaurant website to rank for that keyword. At least not in the top couple spots.
Additionally, there are other keywords that are just too competitive, with large companies spending lots of money to claim the top spaces.
Business magazine Forbes explained: “If your maximum SEO budget is $1,000 per month and you’re up against competitors spending $20,000 per month, your chances of getting high rankings for strategically important keywords will hover somewhere around zero. SEO in certain industries, such as insurance and banking, is dominated by a few big players with very deep pockets. You may be able to compete on keywords that fly under their radar, but you’ll need very sophisticated keyword/competitive research to determine whether even this could be successful.”
If you’re in an industry with high competition, SEO can still help you, but you need to be smart about which keywords you target. This is where an SEO company can help. Our team can help you determine which keywords to target. We’ll develop a plan to help you rank, leading to traffic, leading to sales.