Why in the world would a lifelong marketer write a blog post lamenting SEO you might ask? Especially for an art, that when done properly, can drive consistent, targeted, organic traffic to your website? Short answer: because chances are, you can’t afford it done properly.
While I personally have never been an SEO expert by any means, I have been working with tons of consultants and agencies over the years, acting as a strategist and traffic cop connecting businesses with skilled SEO experts, attempting to deliver real value. After many years of doing so, I’ve come to one definitive conclusion…if you can’t afford to spend north of $ 3-$ 5k/month just on SEO, don’t waste your money. Save those dollars and use them towards a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign that is more immediate and measurable. Here’s a great article that breaks it down further.
I’ve tried too many times to try and incorporate sub-$ 1000 SEO campaigns for small businesses, and they never truly deliver enough real value. Sure, we can move the needle on increased search visibility, but as they say…the juice isn’t worth the squeeze (yes, I just wanted to work that phrase into a blog post). The search visibility is too volatile, the minimal website traffic gains rarely (if ever) result in new measureable customers, and the bottom line is, that investment serves small business so much more effectively towards paid ad campaigns that can be adjusted and measured quickly and easily.
I used to be the biggest cheerleader for SEO…investing in more organic strategies that don’t require the use of what I’ve called “light switch marketing”…tactics that require being turned on and off as budget allows. But the fact of the matter is, small businesses rarely have the budget and patience for SEO to be a viable marketing priority. While organic methods are certainly a great way to market a business, many businesses just don’t have the time, expertise and resources for that work. Thus leveraging those smaller budgets towards smart strategic paid campaigns are much more likely to drive faster, measurable results…not to mention the lower risk involved.