Alright! You know, something I see quite often with growing businesses, and to some extent, enterprise level clients, is the habit of waiting until something goes wrong with their SEO traffic before they invest in it.
So today, I want to go through why you’re better off to invest in SEO when your SEO traffic is going well rather than waiting for its performance to be negatively impacted and then taking action.
A business that has traction online reaches a point where they set about to improve traffic acquisition.
They look at their conversions, and although it’s an area that can be improved, they realise the more immediate need is to increase the traffic the site generates.
Now, at this point, there is an exploration with all the digital channels.
And what it comes down to is: which channel is performing the best, and which channel will generate an ROI, quickly.
This is why, in the conversation of marketing, SEO usually gets put to the side, and/or de-prioritised.
And, there’s a logic to this…
SEO takes a long time. If you’re after an ROI within a few weeks, or a few days, let’s say, SEO is not the channel that will generate an increase in revenue in such a short space of time.
So, marketing-wise, yes – other channels can, and will, perform quicker than SEO.
But here’s the thing…
SEO is more than a marketing channel.
SEO, in a lot of the cases, is, and should be seen, as a Research and Development channel.
Whilst SEO may sit in the marketing department, the reality is, when SEO is new in your business (under 3 years – for argument’s sake), SEO first has to carry out a lot of R&D work, before its marketing can really begin.
This is one of the reasons why, under most circumstances, SEO will begin with a technical audit.
So SEO transitions from R&D to full-on marketing.
Unfortunately for growing businesses, and because SEO sits within marketing, they don’t consider the development work required before an ROI can be achieved with SEO.
This makes justifying the investment in SEO, difficult to do, and difficult to accept.
It’s difficult to accept that SEO needs to make changes to the website.
It’s difficult to accept why the changes need to take place.
It’s difficult to accept that it will take a couple of months (at least) after the changes have been implemented, before the improvements starts to show in the form of rankings and traffic.
These are big sells. Compared to a channel like PPC that can be up and running within moments, right?
Why invest in SEO and go through all of this when other channels can produce an ROI much quicker?
Here’s one reason why…
In most circumstances, the process of SEO journeying from R&D to full-on marketing has to take place.
The only question is when will it take place.
It usually takes an event of some sort for businesses to accept the process SEO will need to go through – R&D to marketing!
And what sort of event am I referring to…?
An algorithm change – specifically, a Google algorithm change!
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
For growing businesses, the thinking is to put marketing spend on channels that will generate the quickest ROI.
Although SEO is well known as an important channel, one’s site analytics will show that SEO is already generating traffic without having invested in it.
The channel seems to be benefiting from the investment in other channels.
The logic then, is to increase spend in those channels, which will then positively impact SEO.
SEO can then be invested in later down the line.
This makes sense, and is all logical, until an algorithm change occurs, wipes out 75% of your SEO traffic, leaving the business with little option but to invest in SEO.
To get that organic traffic back, you’ll need to make improvements from a setback!
However long you think SEO is going to take to work, it will now take longer!
Much longer, because now you have to make bigger adjustments, and quicker, just to get back to parity.
This happens all the time!
Businesses wait for their SEO to be negatively impacted before they invest in it.
And this approach… well, it’s good for my business, but this approach can easily be avoided with just a little more awareness of SEO.
This is why you ought to invest in SEO when organic traffic is stable, and growing.
It will give you the opportunity to make smaller adjustments. Smaller adjustments that are a lot less riskier and therefore not detrimental to the level of traffic the channel generated prior to the active investment in it.
If you’re in the position to, it’s even better to invest in SEO when you’re planning to develop a website.
This way, SEO starts from the ground-up of the website build.
This way, SEO can make adjustments to the site without compromising its traffic performance.
This way, SEOs can be proactive in generating traffic, rather than reacting to the situation that they are in.
As I often say, as long as you have a website, as long as you use it for traffic acquisition, as long as you rely on it to generate the business revenue, you need SEO.
A website and SEO have a symbiotic relationship. Investing in the build, development and running of a website whilst forgoing investment in its SEO ends up harming the website, and also, harming the relationship prospect users have with the website.