To SEO Or Not To SEO
by Aryeh Powers
One of the questions that I ask myself when pitching people my services, is the following: “does this potential client need (Search Engine Optimization) SEO, or would they be better utilizing their marketing budget with investing in some other more efficient marketing tactic?” To answer this question, let’s first agree on the following: that SEO should be conducted only after other key factors are in place and that SEO is not nearly as important to some businesses as it is for others. OK, so now how do we determine how much stock a company should put into their SEO efforts and how much of their budget should be directed at SEO.
I think that the most important factor for business owners in answering this question is, whether or not people are finding out about your (you, being the business owner) product or service through the Internet. How do people search for your type of product or service? If their asking their friends or their asking their Google search bar, your answer to how important SEO is to your business is: VERY IMPORTANT. For instance, if someone were to do comparison shopping for shoes, they wouldn’t be going to the mall, they would be looking for a quick way to review many pricing options for shoes that they would want to buy. This is why they would turn to Google and if you owned an online shoe store, you would want to be where people were searching for you.
Conversely, if you are in the business of creating personalized relationships with people (e.g. mental health professionals) and that is how you get new business, then SEO work on your Web site is certainly less important and less effective than the referrals that you will get from existing clients and colleagues. For instance, if you are a life coach looking for new clients, you would most likely want to build a level of rapport with potential clients and this can be done with strengthening your brand and your personal image. More practical ways of building trust would be through face to face consultations, lecturing or just straight up networking (blogging is a good way to build rapport, but for this conversation I want to focus on SEO as being separate from blogging). Perhaps a better place to spend your time and marketing resources is on way’s to increase your ®trustability (yeah, I just trademarked that). Perhaps spend some time refining your elevator pitch and ensuring that your brand logo, mission and Web site content are all consistent and free of grammatical errors. I know this sounds obvious, but until you read it, you might be one of many people who find themselves being pushed an SEO package, before their business is ready for it.
One last thing if your in the business of building trust and rapport with your potential clients. Make sure that your business has a modern logo, ensure that your brand colors and ensure that your message is consistent across all your marketing mediums: Web site, logo, business cards etc. It is always important to present yourself with a high level of professionalism. Once you have laid a solid foundation for your brand with your logo and brand message, these should come across to your potential clients naturally and seamlessly. Whether or not you are drawing new business through referrals or are conducting direct marketing campaigns, you will always have a better shot at winning your potential clients over, if your brand message is sharp, clear and consistent.
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