Search engine optimization is often seen as a good way to avoid spending money on advertising by attaining high rankings in the organic search engine results. Not only is this not the true purpose of search engine optimization, it can, in fact, be a dangerous way to conduct business.
Search engine optimization should never be the sole means of marketing any business, because search engine algorithms are in constant flux, and any one of (on average) daily changes can impact a website’s ranking negatively, to a point where the entire business can be put in jeopardy. So organic rankings should never be the sole source of traffic for any website that is being run as a business. With that said, search engine optimization can contribute greatly to almost any online marketing campaign.
As mentioned above, search engine optimization is not suitable for those who are looking to save money by getting away from other forms of online marketing. SEO is a long-term process, especially if it is to contribute in a tangible fashion to the bottom line of an online marketing effort. It is a mid- to long-term solution which does require a significant investment of time and treasure in order to bear fruit. So if you have just started an online business (or one that has an online component) and are looking a way to jumpstart your website traffic, search engine optimization is not for you. Instead of going into cumbersome paragraphs with unnecessarily detailed examples of for whom SEO is suitable, we have created the below table to let people shopping for search engine optimization services know if they are staring into a money pit.
|Is SEO Suitable for Me?|
|I just started a website and need quick traffic and don’t have much money to invest.||No. Your effort should go into exercises which will produce short-term results for your business.|
|I just started a website but have an SEO budget for at least six month.||Maybe. As long as you are not looking to ranking for the most competitive keywords in your niche.|
|I am looking for an SEO company that can get me the same exact links that my competitor has.||No. Doing exactly what your competitor is doing will always keep you one step behind him. Even though your competition should be in your crosshairs in general, their success in rankings should not be the benchmark for yours.|
|I understand content is important but I like my website exactly the way it is.||No. If you are inflexible when it comes to changes to your website, the chances are that your site will not be able to improve rankings by much. If you keep doing what you have been doing in the past, you’ll keep getting the same results.|
|I just started an auction website. I want to outrank my competitor (the leading auction site), for the word ‘online auctions’.||No. Just like the corner grocery store that just opened is not going to be able to compete with the supermarket chain down the street by offering the same exact thing at higher prices, your new auction site will not be able to unseat the industry leader through the magic of SEO.|
|My friend just signed up for an SEO service and he is getting 500 directory submissions per month. I want that too!||No. Search engine optimization is not about volume. No matter what price your friend is paying for those directory submissions, he is overpaying. Cheap SEO is worse than no SEO.|
|I know I don’t sell shoes, but the word ‘shoes’ has a very high volume of searches, so I would like to rank for that keyword.||No. Even if you did rank for shoes after spending a fortune on search engine optimization, you would still have abysmal conversions since the people who search for ‘shoes’ tend to be searching for…you know…shoes! (And not the blue widget you are selling that no one wants).|
To learn more details about how SEO packages are priced, study our detailed SEO pricing guide to better understand how services are priced, and what you can expect from a reasonably priced SEO camapign.