If you are coming up with your marketing strategy, you might be wondering if SEO is worth it. Should you put it on your budget?
As a Director of an award-winning SEO agency, OF COURSE, I’m going to say yes! But, in the interest of honesty and transparency (two of our core values), I will also say mostly. Some SEO is always worth it, but sometimes a little bit of the core stuff is what you need.
The most commonly used phrase in the SEO industry is ‘it depends’. You can never get a straight answer out of us. In true SEO style, I am going to answer the question ‘is SEO worth it’ with just that phrase…because it really does depend.
Let’s have a look at when SEO is essential, and when it might not be the most effective strategy.
SEO is worth it if…
1) You want to invest long term in your website and business
SEO adds value to your business long term. If you ever decided to sell, a well-ranking website that generates enquiries is an asset, adding value to your business.
You should get a proper valuation on your website if you are thinking of selling it, but as a rough guide, a website is worth 24-36x the monthly revenue generated by it (of course, it depends on the type of site and the market).
And if you aren’t in the market for selling your beloved business, you will still be building value into it in the form of an inbound sales pipeline that won’t quit.
Organic rankings will stick around longer than any paid for activity. The minute you stop paying for PPC or advertising, for example, you lose that visibility.
But you should hold your rankings if you stop all organic activity. One big caveat here though is it depends very much on your competition. If your competition starts hammering their SEO or they are hot on your heels you will lose rankings.
And then there are things like penalties and Google updates, but we won’t get into that now. (SEO agents are pedants-I can just hear them now… ‘she didn’t mention this…’. Yeah, well-go write your own blog!)
2) You want a good return on your investment
SEO works. That is a fact.
In fact, it is the only fact SEO agents agree on. Fact! There aren’t too many things we all agree on but that is one.
If SEO hasn’t worked for you, it probably was the wrong strategy, not enough budget, or an agent who wasn’t sure.
It is worth calculating the ROI of your specific campaigns.
Generally speaking, the more you spend on SEO (or the more you do) the faster and better it works. But it does all work.
As an example, one of our clients has spent £400 a month with us for two years (a relatively low spend). That is a spend of £9600. Last year alone, they had 218% more enquiries (1074 compared to 337). They convert roughly 50% of those enquiries. 500 more customer in a year, each on a two year contract spending around £50 a month each. That is £25,000 a month more revenue or £600,000 a year. For an investment of less than £10,000.
3) You want to beat the competition
Isn’t it satisfying when you blow the competition out the water? SEO does that for you. And not just the business down the road but your global competition too.
SEO is worth it for that alone for some!
Sure, your competition might be paying for Ads on Google, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still beat them with organic rankings. 70-80% of people ignore Google Ads.
4) You want to generate business through your website
SEO is worth investing in if you want to get enquiries and purchases through your website.
I honestly don’t know how people expect to do so without SEO.
Trying to rank in search engines without SEO is like trying to climb Everest in flipflops. Sure, you might do it with some luck and plenty of time but…probably not.
SEO is not magic. It is giving the search engines what they need to be able to return your website in the results. It’s not tricking anyone (unless your agent is doing black-hat. If they are trying to trick Google, ditch them IMMEDIATELY and call us.) If you don’t give the search engines what they need, they won’t rank you.
Now here is something I cannot say often enough. And I want you to pay attention, tell your friends, and hold this dear to your heart as a truth. Ready?
No new website can be plopped onto the internet and magically rank without SEO. None. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the website is or how well it works. And that isn’t the web developer’s fault.
SEO Is Not Worth It If…
1) Your business is offline
If you rely on social media to generate sales and enquiries you probably won’t benefit from SEO.
You need social media marketing.
2) You have a one page website and don’t want to grow it
One page websites are a waste of money if you want to rank well. They don’t rank unless your competition is rubbish at SEO or you are optimised for a very niche term.
If you don’t want to expand your one pager, you don’t need SEO really. Just pick a good keyword and optimise that one page.
So, Is SEO Really Worth It?
Yes! Of course!
SEO is worth it. It provides an amazing ROI and adds value to your business. 75% of people never scroll past page 1 of Google. 70-50% of people ignore Google Ads.
The myth that SEO is not worth it comes from impatience and misunderstanding how it works.
It can take a while for it to work; well over a year easily. And the sector is shrouded in mystery, mainly because everyone is guessing and using their experience and knowledge. There are no definitive answers. It really, genuinely does depend.
Want a chat?
If you would like to have a chat about anything covered in this blog or to see how our little agency can help you, give us a bell on 0161 706 0012 or email [email protected]. Even if you are a pedantic SEO agent wanting to correct me. 😊
Until next time.