There is a rumor that every business should be doing SEO. Here at Growth Generators, we are an SEO agency.
The simple truth is every business should do a basic level of SEO, but not all businesses should only focus on SEO. It can have a massive benefit in helping people find your company, locate services they may need, and answer questions that could drive more traffic to your website.
But not all companies should spend a lot of time doing SEO—the reasons why will surprise you.
Why every business should spend some time doing SEO
All businesses can benefit from SEO. The simple truth is that when companies do some SEO, it's going to help the business. Having your ideal customers find you is a great thing. People are searching Google all day, every day, and each search has meaning behind it. Every search has a meaning. Some of them are to purchase a product, others are to learn, and some are to be entertained or do research. Either way, understanding why people search on Google is paramount to success in business. There is a very simple concept we follow: more traffic means more sales. Suppose you give more people the opportunity their people who can potentially buy from your company. To give you an idea of how the company recently lost out on sales, let me share a quick story.
Recently I (Harrison) have purchased a house in a little town called Belmont, North Carolina. It's a small town with an old town soul. I love it here. Recently I was looking to purchase a chain saw. I did a ton of research on brands and went with a company called Stihl. They are a great company with even better products. When I was looking for an authorized dealer, the closest company was over an hour away. I was dead set on the brand and the chainsaw I wanted to buy. One afternoon I decided to make the trek out and purchase the chainsaw and accessories, totaling a bill just shy of $500. Breaking that down, most companies have a 20-50% markup on their goods. I drove over an hour because I couldn't find any company near me that was a Stihl dealer. A few months went by, and I was getting some chickens for our backyard, and a local business ended up selling chickens. I found this company through word of mouth, and upon entering, there was a giant sign that said Authorized Stihl Dealer. I couldn't believe it. I could have saved myself two hours of driving just by going 7 minutes up the road. They could have earned new customers months prior, and I would have known about them. They also sell a ton of stuff a new homeowner would want. The simple moral of the story is if they focused a page on their website to let Google know they are an authorized Stihl dealer, they would have had my business on day one, and I would have spent far more money with them than with big box stores.
If this company had built out their website a bit more, they could have a whole new customer base looking for a variety of brands they carry and supplies to go with them. The only reason I found out about the business is because of word of mouth, or I would have never known they carry things I need. This is a simple principle all companies can get on board with.
There is a massive misconception that SEO is expensive, and you need to do a lot of it to get results.
The truth is that many mom-and-pop stores that have brick-and-mortar locations don't need to spend a ton on SEO. A well-built website and some core SEO work could help companies become significantly more discoverable and help communicate what products and services are offered. In reality, after the website is built out for less than $1000, most companies can have their businesses listed in directories and gain some valuable links from locally trusted sources. This would help them be more discoverable online and attract new customers.
When should a business not do SEO or stop doing it?
We always recommend basic SEO to all customers. This means making sure your website is healthy in the eyes of Google; it's listed in directories on the internet and has the appropriate web pages built out online. The simple truth is most companies don't want to pay for SEO and want more customers. I only recommend spending money on ads when you have done the bare minimum. Along with that, you have to be confident your website is built out, and you have all the products and services you offer listed so people can purchase online or visit you in-store. Once that's done, paid ads can make sense.
Seo takes time. Most companies will see results in six to nine months, and you don't reap the rewards till you're investing for one to two years. That can be a very long time for businesses that need customers today. By covering the groundwork with the aforementioned, it's time to run some paid ads to attract more customers. Running Facebook and Google ads can have a massive impact on growing a business when the customer can find what they are looking for. In the story I mentioned before, running a small pay-per-click ad with Google for less than $100 a month could have been tremendously beneficial. You could do this while Google was ranking your website higher over time. If you just built out that web page, it can take a few weeks for Google to bring it to the top of the search results for a locally made page. The benefit is running ads helps bring customers immediately.
The problem most small businesses have with SEO
The term SEO is great, and it's a hot and popular buzzword for many small businesses. Most business owners understand it and have a general idea of it has to do with ranking higher on Google. The main issue is as much as most businesses want to focus on SEO and getting customers for free over time, they don't have the capability to pay and wait. Most companies need customers yesterday and think they can wait out the six to nine months before google starts to rank their website higher. They need to be focusing on paid ads to get customers in the door today. In reality, it takes one to two months to get paid ads to work. It's a dirty secret in the marketing world because it takes time to get ads dialed in.
As marketers, we need data to make decisions. To make things harder, most small businesses say they know their customers, and that usually couldn't be further from the truth. The sad reality is that most small businesses have no idea who their customer is, why they buy from them and what they really need. It makes it very difficult to run ads when the information we as marketers get is usually very different than what Facebook and Google tell us. This makes the time to run accurate ads with well-targeted placements difficult at first. Either way, it's a significantly shorter ramp-up period than SEO, and with ads, we can target buyer intent and focus on those keywords. Those variations can be STIHL Dealer near me, chainsaws for sale, local landscaping companies, and so on. This means someone searching that is looking to make a purchase in the near future.
What's right for you, SEO or ads?
The cost of doing nothing is far greater than the cost of doing something wrong. Many businesses don't need to hire someone to do SEO. They can simply ask their existing website company to optimize their existing website and build out additional pages that can cover services or products you offer. These will be found in Google over time. There is no mystery in doing SEO. It's a laborious process, and most companies should be publishing new relevant content every week after they have the appropriate pages built and the website is healthy. It's that simple. Simply create blog posts or videos to your customer's most common questions, and you will already be headed down the right track to growing your business. Is this a full SEO Strategy? No, buts it's the best place to start before you think about hiring an SEO company.
If you need customers today and can't afford to wait weeks and months for Google to send you traffic, running ads is the way. Facebook and Google make it so simple you don't need to hire an agency. Spend a little money and see what happens. The results will usually shock you, and when you have the funds to scale up and get the most bang for your buck, that's when hiring an agency will make sense. Ads can be a little frightening but don't spend more than you can afford. There are tons of resources and free walkthroughs on YouTube and Google that will tell you everything you want to know.
If you're interested in reaping the rewards yourself and have the time to wait, SEO is a great option. In many cases creating content doesn't take too much time, and it allows you to reach people interested in what you have to offer 24/7. It's the easiest way to attract people to your business or store and prove you're an industry leader. If you don't know where to start, make a list of questions your customers ask you every day and start to make content around it. It will pay off over time and open doors you never knew existed. If you need customers today, start to budget for small ad campaigns. Start with $25 or $50 per week and learn the basics. The basics will do more than enough to prove their worth and get you started. At the core of it, you have to do something. Most businesses are struggling, and inaction is far more dangerous than misguided action. Start creating content and subscribe below to learn how you can turn your website into a money-making machine.
March 27, 2022
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