Time and time again, investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has been proven to be the most sustainable way to grow your business.
There are many reasons to invest in SEO:
- It’s effective.
- Results compound with time.
- Anyone can learn the basics.
However, depending on where your business is in its lifecycle, it can be daunting to get started with, and you may want to invest in other strategies first.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the primary considerations you should take into account when deciding if you’re ready to invest in SEO.
Let’s jump in.
Why Invest in SEO?
No matter what business you’re in, people are searching for related products and services on Google.
HubSpot found that over 80% of marketers say their SEO tactics are either somewhat or very effective at helping achieve their marketing goals. Less than 5% say they’re not effective.
But, do you have the time, resources, and energy to devote to a whole new marketing channel?
If you’re unsure of whether or not it’s time to start on your SEO strategy, I’ll help you find some clarity.
Let’s take a look at some of the main things you should consider before making a decision.
3 Questions to Ask Before You Start with SEO
1. Where Does Your Ideal Customer Look for Solutions?
A solid SEO strategy can benefit virtually any business, but before you jump into it, you want to consider if it’s the best use of your time.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
If you’re a local business, SEO can work well. When your ideal customer Google’s “Hairdresser near me” and your salon is the first result, you immediately put your brand into their consideration bucket.
If your company sells a digital product or service, SEO can also be effective. Companies like HubSpot, Zapier, G2, and many other tech companies have grown because of a substantial investment in SEO (as well as offering a solid product or service).
But, if your ideal customers don’t usually use Google to find new products or services, then SEO may not be the right choice. For example, if your customers find new products and services through TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, then you’d likely see higher ROI investing in those channels.
That said, if you have resources to spare, SEO certainly won’t hurt your brand and, in the long run, may still have potential as a growth channel.
2. What’s Your Budget?
SEO is time-consuming, and unless you want to handle everything yourself (taking time away from other activities), you’ll need to spend money either hiring an in-house SEO or hire outside help.
Depending on your business, your SEO team can be put to use in different ways.
For a local business, you may need some help setting up your Google My Business page, and ensuring your website is optimized to rank for searches from your local area.
If you’re a SaaS company, you might want a range of landing pages targeting certain product features, or want to invest in SEO-friendly content for your blog.
If you’re hiring outside help, make sure to work with a partner that can show proven results on businesses similar to yours. Otherwise, you risk throwing money away.
If your budget is limited and you want a quick ROI, then SEO isn’t the strategy for you. You’d be better off using paid ads or cold outreach.
3. How Soon Do You Need Results?
If you need results next week, SEO isn’t for you. You can get quick results, but in most cases, results can take 3-6 months to be visible.
Why is that?
Usually, you’re competing with other businesses in the search results. No matter how good your content is, or how well optimized your website is from a technical standpoint, it’s going to take time. No one truly knows how rankings are decided, but in general, Google will slowly increase your ranking based on how well your site performs, and how well your pages match the search intent.
Clearly, if you’re in a hurry for results, this probably isn’t going to be your first choice.
That said, if your business is well established and you’re generating revenue, SEO is a great way to add a new customer acquisition channel.
If you’re looking for a new channel to attract customers, investing in your SEO is a good bet.
It’s a great way to meet customers where they’re looking for you – in their search results.
However, if you’re looking for quick wins, SEO shouldn’t be your go-to strategy. It can take time to generate meaningful results and can feel like a shot in the dark unless you know what you’re doing.
Most brands see their SEO results get better with time as they start to rank higher in Google and for more relevant keywords, so it’s an ideal strategy for long-term growth.
If you’re ready to jump in, make sure to do your research and only work with SEO consultants or an agency with a solid track record.
Check out our other SEO articles below:
Why Understanding User Intent Is Key to SEO Success
SEO vs. SEM: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?
What is SEO and why it’s still the best way to get in front of customers with Jon Dawson from Digital Ninjas