Do you want more B2B traffic?

Yes No

Why I sometimes don't recommend SEO

Sometimes there are better digital marketing strategies to consider than search engine optimization.

Last Updated:October 20, 2018

Digital Marketing

Reading Time:7 minutes

It's true.

There are times that I recommend businesses in certain situations to not focus on search engine optimization.

You might be asking yourself, "But Tyler, don't you offer SEO services? Why would you ever tell someone to not hire you for those SEO services?"

Yes, I may be shooting myself in the foot here but it's true, there are individuals and companies who should not spend valuable time or money on search engine optimization.

In an attempt to save you from unnecessary costs and potential frustration, if any of the following 4 statements are true about you, your website, or your business, I urge you to spend your marketing budget elsewhere.

Your site doesn't have much content

Search engine optimization needs content - text to crawl, images to index, keywords to categorize - and if your site doesn't have much of those it's difficult to predict any success from an SEO standpoint.

In my experience, you can get into trouble trying to optimize a thin-content website.

  • Keywords - when a page doesn't contain much text to begin with, when trying to add multiples of the same keyword (or similar words) the content will quickly come across as unnatural and obvious to the human-reader that the keywords are being stuffed in there ruining the user's experience.
  • Quality - you may try to beef-up the content and quality level a bit, but if you're not committed to increasing and improving the content and rather just looking for a quick SEO-fix you could be tempted to plagiarize other sites.
  • Backlinks - you'll likely become disappointed with the SEO results (or lack thereof) and will become lured by the companies offering to give you "1,000 high-quality backlinks for $10". This will lead you to spending actual money when real SEO doesn't require that AND will hurt your website in the long run because the links are actually NOT high-quality.

There are still some technical SEO practices that can be done to improve the performance or schema of a thin-content website, however, I would recommend spending your time and money on improving the content first.

You don't produce new content on a regular basis

Let's say your site has plenty of content - 10+ pages that have 400-500+ words and some original pictures.

That's great. As I mentioned above, SEO needs content so you're off to a great start.

Now, what's your plan for continuing the influx of great content?

The reason I ask is because creating new content is perhaps the most important SEO ranking factor - the number 1 thing that will help your content rise in search engine result pages.

According to Neil Patel, "If you've chosen to market your business online, then creating unique and helpful blog posts isn't an option - it's a must."

If you don't have a set strategy (or even a desire) to continually product new, fresh content on a regular basis, you might want to consider doing this first and then hiring some profressional SEO help. Like I stated above, there are still some technical SEO practices that can be done, however, the long-term benefits of these might not be as high as your ongoing content creation plan.

You need an increase in new traffic to your website immediately

Do you have an upcoming event that you'd like to be promoted on the website? Or is it November and you're trying to push a growth in holiday sales? If so, SEO might not be the answer.

You see, SEO might be the best answer for the longterm health and growth of your website, however, SEO isn't an immediate solution to your marketing needs.

For immediate results, I would recommend search engine marketing (i.e. Google Adwords, digital advertising) where you pay for a targetted ad to run promoting your event or products. This should produce immediate (even same day) results and help you to reach immediate goals.

And then I would recommend SEO activities to improve your holiday sales for next year and the years following.

You're impatient

Along those lines, if it's hard for you to pay money and not see results for a few weeks (or even a few months), I wouldn't recommend SEO.

This doesn't mean that you should avoid SEO (you probably still need it) but you might feel like you're losing your investment when the results take time and it would in turn be a lose-lose situation for both yourself and the SEO professional. If I was the SEO professional in this situation, I would feel that I let you down, didn't do enough to communicate to you how SEO works, and just didn't do a good job overall.

I hate feeling that way. I take pride in my work and want to do well, and I especially want to make you happy with the work performed.

And, of course, you want to see results! Please understand, I'm not suggesting that SEO doesn't product results, because it's proven that it does time and time and time again.

I'm just peeling back the curtain on the truth that SEO takes time, and if it's time that you don't have I might suggest other alternatives to you and your business.

Yes, I understand that I do, in fact, offer search engine optimization services and I did just write a post about why, in some situations, you shouldn't use those services.

I've been with clients in those situations. Where we tried SEO and it proved to not be the best thing in those situations. I wish I knew then what I know now about SEO and helping businesses and individuals in their given situations.

SEO can be an enormously successful strategy, but sometimes other strategies are better.

Hey, I'm Tyler

I help businesses use digital marketing to generate leads & sales.

Learn more about how I might be able to help your business.