This is a heretical viewpoint to some, but I’ll share it anyway. SEO may not be the most important marketing investment your business can make. There are situations where SEO isn’t appropriate. I want to throw this thought into the middle of our Basic SEO tips series to give people a balanced perspective on whether SEO is right for them.

Here are some reasons why you might want to consider not setting up an SEO campaign for your business.

Your Website Sucks

I don’t mean to be harsh, but it’s possible your websites sucks – from a conversion and SEO perspective. Let’s talk about those two things because they’re separate but related.

Conversion Rate

Find out how many unique visitors you get to your website per month. Divide that number by the number of inquiries or new subscribers you receive from your website each month. That number represents the percentage of visitors who turned into leads for your business through your website.

Is that number in the double-digits? High single digits? Low single digits? Above zero? Knowing how many visitors become prospects is an important number to know.

Next, figure out your conversion rate from leads to customers. Is it 50%? 30%? 10%? 1%?

After that, figure out the average lifetime value of a new customer.

Let’s go through this exercise with some completely fabricated numbers.

Website Visitors = 500 / month
Lead Generation Rate = 1% (5 people / month)
Sales Conversion Rate = 5% (1 sale / 3 months)
Average lifetime value per customer = $1000
Total Value Generated: $4000

If you bring in more site visitors, your sales will probably increase, but it might not be worth the cost to use SEO to do this. You might be better off improving your website’s conversion rate first, or improving your sales skills to convert more people to buy your products or services, or to sell higher-value items to boost the lifetime value of each customer.

Search engine optimizations services aren’t cheap. The chances of you getting the results you want by paying a few hundred dollars a month are minimal. If you spend money on SEO to send more people to a site that doesn’t convert well, you’re wasting your money. 

Technical SEO Suckiness

Your website could also suck from a technical perspective. It might need a lot of work done on it to bring it up to basic SEO standards. That could include changing the code behind the site to make it more search engine friendly. It might mean a complete redesign. You could try and work around all your site’s limitations but search engines might still consider it a mess when they visit. A good SEO professional will tell you this. Other SEO peddlers will just sell you their service, take your money while they can and leave you cursing SEO in general when they don’t get you results.

Good SEO Isn’t Cheap

If you have a limited marketing budget, there are other marketing methods that will give you a better Return On Investment (ROI). If you have $500 / month to invest in SEO, will your investment be able to beat out players who are spending $10,000 / month on SEO to maintain their positions?

Even if you can afford good SEO, go back to the numbers we looked at earlier. Does your site’s conversion rate justify you spending that money on SEO? Do you need an immediate sales boost? SEO doesn’t work that quickly so if you need more income NOW you should have started SEO at least 6 months earlier.

Like any online marketing tool, there is a time and a place for SEO. It may not be the right thing for your business right now. In the same way you don’t run a marathon without preparation, don’t start an SEO campaign without doing some research into whether it’s a viable strategy for you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. If you would like some help to determine whether SEO might be right for you, please contact us or leave a message in the comment form below.

We’ll be back to a few more Basic SEO Tips in our next blog posts. Thanks for reading!