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If you are like most marketing professionals, you are always looking for new ways to reach your target audience and grow your business. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective and widely used marketing strategies.
However, nowadays it can be difficult to achieve high rankings and stay on top of Google results amid new trends and changes in search engine algorithms. So is it worth it to spend time, effort and ultimately money on SEO?
Is it worth it?
The three most valuable elements of SEO are content, technical site optimization and link building It’s hard to imagine a scenario where you don’t use technical SEO. This is a kind of foundation that builds the value of the site at a small cost. You always need it, even if you skip link building and creating robot-optimized content.
So take a look at five situations in which SEO (understood as creating SEO-friendly content or link building) may not be the best idea for your business.
5 cases when SEO may not be the most effective option
Lack of keyword search potential
When it comes to search engines, users need to know what they want before they even start looking for it. Therefore, if you are promoting a new product or service, search engines are probably not the best place to promote it. It’s better to spend money on marketing strategies that will educate and build awareness among potential customers.
In your situation, you must first get them to accept your product into their minds before they start searching for it. Only then will they be able to find you through a search engine.
They will be able to find you through a search engine.
Does this mean you shouldn’t do SEO? Not really. The priority in this case is to get people to find out about your product or service first. But even before they start looking for it, you can start working on SEO to make sure you show up high enough in search results later. As soon as your product gains traction, competition will appear. It would be wise to start SEO before anyone else, even with a small budget, in order to gain search engine authority on your topic.
Your customers are not online
Another situation in which you should be cautious about investing in SEO is if your target customers are not active online. For example, if you have a stationary business that targets seniors, such as a stationary travel agency for seniors, it may not make sense to invest in an SEO campaign, as seniors may not be active online and prefer face-to-face contact when buying a service.
There are more examples. If you’re selling high-end expensive products, such as luxury homes, your target customers probably aren’t looking for these types of items on Google.
They may not be able to find these types of items.
You need fast results
Positioning takes time – there are no shortcuts in SEO. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to rely on Search Engine Optimization efforts if you need immediate results and are hoping for a quick return on investment. If you are launching a new product or service and need people to know about it right away, then paid advertising will be a better choice.
Using Google Ads paid campaigns, for example, you can get your message to potential customers much faster than through organic search results. This also applies to the hypothetical situation if you are a startup and you need to show results to investors, or you just want to explore the market and assess whether the product you are offering has the potential to grow and sell. SEO can help you in the long run, but it won’t give you the results you need right away.
If you need results quickly, then you should invest in paid advertising, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Paid campaigns will bring potential customers to your site much faster than SEO efforts.
Paid campaigns will bring potential customers to your site much faster than SEO efforts.
Competition is too strong
Another example of when you may want to avoid using SEO is if you are operating in a highly competitive industry where everyone is doing the same thing and there is little difference between your company and the competition. If there are already well-established brands with huge budgets and reputations and are currently on the first page of search results, it will be very difficult (and expensive) to overtake them.
Sometimes it’s better to say pas in relation to certain keywords. For example, if you’re a small company selling women’s clothing, you’ll have to contend with some of the biggest brands, often with global reach, such as Zalando, Allani, which is backed by Wirtualna Polska, or Poland’s DeeZee. Unless you have a very strong SEO strategy and a large, fixed budget, you won’t be able to overtake them.
In this scenario, you need to find a niche where you can compete effectively. For example, you can focus on selling plus-size clothing, since the competition is weaker. Or you can focus, for example, on selling eco-friendly clothing made from sustainable materials.
You need to be realistic about your chances in boosting rankings for certain keywords and assess whether it’s worth the time and effort (not to mention money) to try to rank high.
Lack of budget and money
Finally, one of the last reasons you may want to avoid using SEO is lack of money. While SEO can be very profitable in the long run, it requires an upfront investment of time and money. You need to secure a budget for SEO at least six months ahead.
When it comes to the cost of SEO services, there is no one amount for everyone. The cost of SEO will vary depending on the country you live in, the size of your company, and the level of competition in your industry.
The cost of SEO will vary depending on the country you live in, the size of your company, and the level of competition in your industry.
In the United States, SEO services typically cost from $1,000 (positioning local, small businesses) to $10,000 per month, although even higher amounts for high-level services are not uncommon. In countries like India and the Philippines, you can get quality SEO services for a fraction of that cost. For example, you can hire an Indian company to provide high-quality SEO for as little as $300 a month.
In Poland, SEO services will usually cost you something between PLN 2,000 and PLN 10,000. Sometimes you’ll need a higher budget, it all depends on your goals and the level of competition in the industry.
Sometimes you’ll need a higher budget.
It is important, however, to be aware that cheaper does not always mean better. Make sure to do your research and compare different companies before deciding to work with them on SEO. Pay attention to what is included in the price. Content writing, link building, technical guidance, SEO consultation, data work, etc.
Lack of time and low priority for SEO
You need to assign SEO the right priority in your organization. This means you need to be ready to make changes to your site, and set aside time for developers to implement them. SEO is a very demanding and evolving process. Direct answers, FAQs, How-to, Search intents, Topical Authority, semantic SEO, entities, algorithm changes are just some of the terms you need to be familiar with to understand the complexity of SEO. Not to mention how many components affect a site’s Google ranking
SEO is not a one-time process, it is an ongoing effort that requires time and attention. Don’t be under any illusions, SEO will also require some of your time to accept these changes, and sometimes to decide which path to take.
Why SEO is the path worth taking?
SEO efforts are worth investing in because they can help you get more traffic from organic searches. And according to Bright Edge, 53% of all tracked website traffic comes from organic search. If you choose to disregard SEO, you will lose more than half of your potential customers by doing so.
Read more about the benefits of SEO
Why do you need a reputable SEO agency?
According to Advanced Web Ranking, the first Google search result for desktop has a CTR (click-through rate) of 32% (for mobile, 26.9%). This means that if you rank first for a given keyword, almost one-third of the people who see your result will click on it.
On the other hand, according to Ahrefs, 90.63% of sites receive no organic traffic from Google search. Competition is high, and there are only 10 organic listings on the first page of Google (for mobile usually less). That’s why you need a competent and experienced SEO agency to work with, and a proper SEO budget.
SEO can be a great way to improve your site’s visibility and attract more visitors from the SERPs; however, it’s not the best solution for every situation. There are certain situations where you should think through and decide what marketing channels will work best for you. This is also helped by SEO agencies or experts
If you are just starting out, don’t have a budget set aside, are in a highly competitive industry or need quick results, then you may want to consider other marketing channels, such as PPC campaigns. Conduct a search and evaluate your situation before making a decision. Read what is the difference between SEO and PPC Ask us for help if you’re not sure. We are always happy to talk and offer our recommendations.
Remember that SEO is not a magic bullet that will solve all your traffic problems overnight. Positioning is a long-term strategy that takes time, effort and patience. But if you’re willing to put in the work and money, SEO can be a very effective way to improve your site’s visibility and attract more high-converting visitors from the SERPs.
If you’re not ready to commit to SEO, there are other marketing channels you can try. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a good option if you need fast results. You can also consider social media marketing, content marketing or email marketing.
Hello! My name is Piotr Starzynski and it's a pleasure to meet you in the SEO industry. I have been officially working in SEO since 2006, while I have been working in analytics for several years. I have about 400 analytics implementations for client websites, hundreds of SEO projects and dozens of analytics projects for mobile applications. At Up&More, I am responsible for the Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics team. If you feel like working with me, I invite you to contact me!