“It’s Not You, Google. It’s Me.” Do You Really Need SEO?


SEO has become a trendy little topic, hasn’t it? From man-bun-dawning millennials in artisanal coffee shops to three-piece-suit-wearing businesswomen, SEO marketing seems to be on everyone’s mind. In this fast-paced world of internet marketing, it’s easy to get swept up in trends without really knowing why. But, you’re not here to do what’s trendy, you’re here to do what works, and depending on your situation, it might not be ideal for you to try to creep up that Google ranking. Let’s talk about this marketing approach, whether you should go with the flow, and the important things you need to know.

What Is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization if you’re feeling fancy, is a method of digital marketing that focuses on getting your website to pop up on the first page when people search for anything related to your products or services. We do this by focusing on a variety of factors like:

  • The coding and design of your website
  • The links between your web pages and others, and
  • Getting people engaged on social media to help us understand search behaviors

Who wouldn’t want to be the first hit on Google? Well, if it means spending a lot of money on SEO services, maybe you.

Is SEO Marketing Right for You?

While it never hurts to come up on the first page of search engines in a vacuum, the reality is, it’s not going to happen by chance. This means that you’ll need to pay a pro to make it happen, or you’ll need to put in a significant amount of your own time optimizing your web pages.

Now, I find economics to be drier than a week old loaf of French bread in a dehydrator, but I do know that opportunity cost is a very real thing. You don’t want to make just any investment, you want to make the best investment, and SEO might not always live up to that standard. Let’s talk about when you might want to go a different route with your time and money.

If you are an inventive company, creating all sorts of new and unique products, you might not want to purchase SEO services. The reason why lies in the fact that people don’t search for things they don’t know they want yet. People have to know about a product before they start searching for it, and as such, new products are often better served through awareness campaigns. Get some buzz going first.  Then, you can transition to optimizing for search engines.

Another reason to reconsider this type of marketing strategy lies in your timing. If you are trying to promote a one-off event in the near future, a frequently changing inventory, or are looking for a fast return, this type of marketing might not be the strategy of choice. SEO is a long-term approach to digital marketing. It’s not a one-size-fits-all process. Every business and audience will be different, so these partnerships need to be with someone you know and trust. Search engine focused marketing is like a nice cheese; it gets better with time. That said, sometimes it’s a cereal-dinner in your pajamas kind of night, and you’re not trying to wait for long-term results. You want something now.  In those cases, skip the search engines.

The Takeaway:

SEO is an incredibly valuable tool, and for many businesses, it’s a fantastic investment. However, marketing isn’t and should not be cookie-cutter, and you should be treated like the unique individual/company you are. Like my mom always says, “You can’t expect to be extraordinary if you simply do what everyone else is doing. Also, are you eating enough? I’m sending more cookies anyway.” That first part is spot on, so don’t be afraid to weigh your options before committing to a search engine focused campaign. What matters is what YOU want and need out of your marketing campaign, not what is trendy. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find room for seven unnecessary batches of snickerdoodles.

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