The short answer to this question is probably yes.
With the advent of a digital age, it’s fairly logical that your business should be where customers are: online.
Following that logic, in order to draw people to your business via the Internet, you need to use digital marketing techniques; and one of the most common and lucrative ways of doing so is investing in SEO.
But there are situations where it’s not worth the trouble; consider a few examples:
When SEO is not worth the trouble
Every business has its own unique situation.
Some are looking for stability, not for growth – they distinctly do not want growth.
Perhaps they want to simplify, retire, or even sell the business. It’s completely possible that a business just isn’t prepared to invest in SEO services. For example, after an SEO campaign, a small business might find itself bloated with more traffic and pending orders than it could possibly manage.
If that sounds like a good result, consider how well things are going to go for the business when it can’t serve all its new customers in a quality and timely manner. The business owner probably cannot describe that as things are “going well”.
SEO gets results by targeting the right audience at the right time, which at the end of the day means investing time and effort in SEO. Eventually, it is an investment to expand a business.
For businesses that aren’t ready to expand or, conceivably, expand rather rapidly, the better choice might be to say no.
So how does SEO work, and why is it worth anyone’s trouble?
“May I take your order?”
If I say this phrase, it’s probable that a restaurant, any kind, would come to mind.
That’s where this phrase has context, makes sense? You would not, say, expect me to ask you this when you are waiting for the bus, or shopping for clothes, enjoying the park, or browsing the library.
Some of those situations might make a modicum of sense, but for the most part, it’s out of place.
If you had to do business by running around asking people, “May I take your order?” and hope that you come across someone who even wants to make an order, let alone of what you’re selling, finding customers might prove a little challenging.
SEO turns your “May I take your order?” into “I’d like to make an order,” bringing customers who want what you’re selling to you. It’s as opposed to a more traditional ad, which is more like someone running around asking everyone, “May I take your order?” because it runs for anyone to see, whether or not they care.
But people who are specifically looking for something will go to a search engine to find it, and when your business is optimized for a search engine to find it, they are brought right to you.
And because people do use search engines as the primary way to find what they want, anyone looking to expand, to lead in their industry, to make a brand for themselves – it’s going to be rather hard to do so without SEO. Because every time a customer would look for your services, your competitor is the one who would show up on top of the search results.
If that happens, customers will have found what they need there without even knowing you exist. It’s like a booth with “ORDERS” printed on it that the search engine directs customers to, but only your competitor is standing at the booth.
Return on investment
The funny thing about SEO is that a big investment is just time.
You can certainly outsource SEO, and if you pay for a good service, then you should see a good return.
Just make sure to talk to the agency or freelancer you hire about a timetable so they know your expectations and you know where to set your expectations. But even if you outsource, there will always be things you can do.
In order to know what to do – if you’re taking on the whole task yourself, some of it, or just the responsibilities that must be yours – you have to spend the time to learn what you have to do and how you ought to do it.
But if you’re going to hire outside help, it’s definitely going to be an investment of much more than just time.
The problem with asking about the ROI is that with SEO, it’s kind of difficult to measure.
That said, the growth of digital marketing agencies that rely heavily on SEO, and agencies that work in SEO alone should speak to the success of a well-set SEO. If you put in a worthwhile investment, there is a significant ROI.
The buying power has changed completely; people use search engines to find what they want.
If you’re looking to grow and attract customers, you have to understand that the customers are going to “just Google it”. If you don’t show up on Google and other search engines, then you aren’t going to be there when the customer is looking for you.
Other marketing strategies still work, but SEO is where you’ll pull in a cream of the crop, no matter what industry you’re in.
If you want to be big, then the answer as to whether or not SEO is worth it isn’t just definitely yes – it’s why aren’t you doing this already?