Everywhere you go, people are talking about SEO, trying to sell you it, offering to make you the top page in google, and so on and so forth. With all this hype of SEO it must be important right? Everyone is googling stuff right?
The answer to that question depends on your business model who your target market is. If your business is primarily online, and you deal with an internet savvy global market in the under 30 age group, then the answer is undoubtedly YES and there is no denying that SEO can help your business. However if that does describe your business, then you know this and have someone handling it. If however the description above does not describe your company, which for most brick and mortar companies it doesn’t than read on.
For most small and medium sized business, your clientele is going to be more localized to your city, region, city, or state. The target age is usually somewhere between 30 and 60. Or your market is other small or medium sized business in your area. For these types of business, SEO isn’t really the answer, as you can get a better ROI through other means.
Traditional marketing, word of mouth, contacts, etc. are still your best solution. SEO can help, and certainly isn’t a bad thing, but is a bit like using a shotgun to kill a fly. There’s a good chance you’ll miss your goal, and you’ll hit alot of things you might not have expected to. If you’re paying large sums of money for SEO, it’s time to look at the ROI and evaluate if it is really helping your business.
Another option you can look it is social marketing. Google+, Facebook, and Twitter can all be leveraged to your advantage. This is known as Social Media Marketing and if you are primarily B2C then it can offer results, and might be something you want to look into.
Your website can be a great tool (depending on the site of course), however it is most valuable when used as an aid for your traditional marketing methods. It should be used in conjunction with your radio/print ads as well as on your business cards. Use the marketing to generate curiosity, and the website to seal the deal.
Good content is also very important. At the end of the day what search engines really care about is the content. Investing in good content should take priority over investing in SEO. Well written content, with loads of keywords, will cost you less than SEO and probably perform just as well.
If someone emails or calls and tries to sell you SEO, refuse it. If you think you need SEO, and your business can benefit from it, then do a google search for a good SEO company that can handle social media and local searches as well, better yet try to find one in your area. The ones who are better at it should be among the top of the search results. Make sure to interview them to find out about their methods, and what their service includes. As many are smoke and mirror operations trying to make a quick and easy buck.
Please don’t take away from this that SEO is bad, or that it is useless. Far from it, for some businesses SEO is essential to their business model, for others, it’s not. At the end of the day it’s all about results, and all that is suggested is to evaluate your needs to determine if you can benefit by it, or if you can get better results through other means.