Search engine optimization gets touted as the end-all, be-all, of digital marketing, but are SEO services worth it? According to research, 63% of small businesses think so. Are they right, or are they wasting money when other marketing strategies would serve them better? Let’s take a look into this complicated matter.
Are SEO Services Worth It?
In most cases, SEO is a worthy undertaking. For the vast majority of companies with websites, content created with SEO in mind can yield improved metrics and profitability. If you rely on the internet to build your customer base, that can make all the difference.
However, there are always exceptions. Your industry may not lend itself to e-commerce, or alternative marketing tactics may serve your goals better. To determine whether you fall into this minority, let’s look at what SEO does well and where it falls short.
What Does SEO Do Well?
Honestly, SEO services are worth undertaking only if your needs align with the strategy’s strengths.
That’s not to discount optimization — it’s incredibly useful for the following:
Boosting website traffic
Increasing brand awareness
Improving user experience
First and foremost, SEO makes your website easier for internet users to find. Changing your web content to appeal to algorithms means a higher ranking on search engine result pages, which has a massive effect on site visits.
In fact, 50% of clicks go to the top three organic links on SERPs, so the higher your rank, the better your chances of getting customers.
Ranking high has a secondary effect: It builds customer trust. Search engines prioritize delivering the best answer to users’ questions, which is why they try to measure content quality. As a result, people trust top SERP results.
Additionally, familiarity breeds trust. The more often consumers see your company name, the more they’ll trust your business. You can benefit from this effect with just a few searches.
SEO also makes your website easier to navigate. Algorithms factor user experience into rankings, so following SEO guidelines can simultaneously improve your SERP position and make a favorable impression on visitors.
Finally, it’s relatively easy to measure if SEO services are worth it. You can find the answer by checking the quantifiable results:
Improved organic conversions
Increased organic traffic
What Are SEO’s Weaknesses?
As powerful as SEO can be, it has downsides. One of the biggest is how long it takes to work. It can take anywhere from a month to a year to see the desired results. If it isn’t working, you must adjust your approach and wait again.
For many businesses, SEO is a long-term strategy that pays off eventually. However, it may not be the best approach for short-term projects, such as pop-up shops or limited-edition goods.
Implementing SEO can also be expensive. If you don’t have your own marketing department, you may need to hire a third party. Since it is also long-term investment, you’ll have to carve out a portion of your budget for it.
Can you tackle SEO yourself? Yes, but it’s a new skill you’ll have to cultivate.
You’ll also have to keep up with algorithm updates, new search features and web content refreshes. These responsibilities take time and energy away from other aspects of running your business.
So, are SEO services worth it? If you need a quick marketing strategy that requires minimal maintenance, probably not.
Do SEO Services Really Work?
Yes, SEO services work under the right circumstances. First, SEO needs to be a good fit for your industry. If you cater to a niche market, SEO may not provide a payoff since only a few people will search related keywords.
However, if you offer common goods and services, such as plumbing repair, SEO can work wonders — as long as it’s well done. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as bad SEO:
Neglecting title tags and meta descriptions
Creating poor-quality content
Choosing the wrong keywords
Misinterpreting the concepts behind SEO or failing to put in the effort won’t optimize your website for search engines. In fact, some tactics (such as keyword stuffing) may drop your rank. This is why we recommend partnering with SEO experts if you want to utilize this marketing strategy.
There are also several types of SEO, each with different effects:
Technical SEO: This approach optimizes the technical side of your website by shortening loading times, fixing broken links, improving website design and implementing mobile-friendly features.
Off-Page SEO: Some SEO occurs on third-party sites such as social media platforms and review pages.
On-Page SEO: The most common idea of SEO, on-page optimization happens on your own website.
Local SEO: This optimization targets searches in your area to appeal to nearby consumers.
Voice SEO: Consumers phrase queries differently when searching through voice assistants. Voice SEO optimizes your site for searches through Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri.
Azeem Rajpoot, the author behind Technolo Gist, is a passionate tech enthusiast with a keen interest in exploring and sharing insights about the rapidly evolving world of technology.
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