There’s no getting around it: Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to increase your online visibility. In 2012, only 44 percent of consumers began their “purchase journey” on a search engine according to Interconnected World’s Shopping and Personal Finance report.Today, the majority of shoppers start online—whether they end up purchasing online or not. Of this majority of shoppers, MarketingSherpa reports that 70 percent of them click on organic listings and not AdWords ads. Plus, did you know that 76 percent of B2B businesses get 350 percent more leads compliments of SEO compared to PPC advertising?
Clearly, SEO works, so why are so many businesses still shying away from it? It doesn’t matter if you’re a tiny startup, established local business, or the next Amazon—getting more organic traffic is a great thing.
Consider some of these excuses and the reason why they’re flimsy at best. Why miss out on a sure thing that boosts your business?
SEO is Hard to Control
Nothing comes with total predictability, least of all SEO. In fact, if an SEO firm offers you a guarantee of high rankings, it should be a red flag that they are not trustworthy. Google makes 1-2 changes to their algorithms every day, making guarantees impossible to provide.
While rankings aren’t everything (few people really click on the #1 result anyway), an SEO rich site will consistently lead to more organic clicks and higher rankings over time. SEO can seem hard to control if you don’t know much about it. A good SEO firm will not only take care of the technical details, but also educate you about the SEO basics.
It Doesn’t Really Work
True, there are always changes to SEO best practices and search engine algorithms. That’s only natural as the online marketing industry grows, and what “worked” in SEO years ago might even be considered a black hat trick today. However, saying it doesn’t work is like saying “marketing techniques” don’t work. It’s a fluid field, and you need to keep on top of what works, what doesn’t, and make constant improvements to give your customers what they are looking for.
Too Much Technical Mumbo Jumbo
LSEO, link building, href, and meta tags—it certainly looks overly complex. A qualified SEO expert will understand how to properly use redirects and structured data, will watch for plagiarism and duplicate content, and may even create a custom 404 page. These technical aspects can be confusing to most people.
While some parts of SEO are indeed technical (which is why not just anyone can do it well), the bulk of SEO is focused on marketing. This means figuring out the best keywords, having high quality content, and keeping a close eye on data. In other words, it’s the basics of marketing with a digital twist.
It Takes Too Long to Work
That’s like saying it takes too long to lose weight or too long to increase your performance time in a 10K. Anything worthwhile is going to take effort and time, including SEO. You can’t magically up your rankings and get a solid online presence overnight (and anyone who promises otherwise is lying or using black hat tricks). However, SEO is a steady and sturdy activity that will bring forth continual positive results in the long term. Give your SEO efforts 9-12 months to really take root and start to pay off.
Finally, there’s the idea that SEO costs too much and that can sometimes be the case. The reality is you can spend as much or as little as you like on SEO, and you don’t always get what you pay for. It’s not free, but don’t assume the most expensive agency is the best. In the grand scheme of things, SEO costs less than comparable website promotion via paid channels, and you can’t beat the ROI.
The benefits of SEO are many, but unfortunately so are the misconceptions. Are you missing out on the best thing for your business? The experts at Be Locally SEO will customize a plan that is perfect for your business, and give you a free consultation to get you on the path to online success.
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