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Yeah, But… We Do Just Fine Without SEO

Yeah, But... It's time to bring your business up to speed

Not everyone needs SEO. Sorry, Kevin, it had to be said. There are some businesses that are in small, niche industries that get enough local business that SEO will just be a burden to them. All those calls and emails coming in from the website just get in the way of taking care of customers. The customer comes first, damn it!

There are a number of mom-and-pop shops that just don’t want or need to grow. They have their regulars and, unless they die off or move away, they will always be the regulars. They have enough business to not worry about growth. It’s over-rated anyway.

Heck, Maria could give you plenty of reasons not to grow your business. Interviewing, hiring, paying salaries, costs of healthcare, over-taxation, clashing personalities, grumpy staff, and the list goes on. There are plenty of reasons not to bother growing your business.

Then again, there are plenty of reasons why you would want to grow your business. The least of which is that more business generally means more profits. Sure you get the headaches of business growth, but you also get the joys of building more jobs, growing the economy, and increasing your own personal net worth. Mike is a big fan of seeing those profit numbers increase over time from the effects of a good online marketing campaign.

You Know You Need SEO When…

If you’re happy with the size of your business and are not looking for it to grow, then by all means, SEO isn’t for you. [tweet] Heck, any marketing and advertising is pretty useless to you. Stop putting your name in the phone book, stop going to those networking events, stop talking to people about what you do, and go ahead and shut down your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts. Kathy would just tell you that’s all just business growth stuff anyway. You don’t need that!

However, if you’re doing any kind of business promotion at all, you need SEO. If you’re paying for advertising, you need SEO. If you’re investing in marketing, you need SEO. If you are looking at ways to improve the performance of your website, you need SEO. [tweet] If you’re writing new content, you need SEO.

Anyone can write, but not everyone can write well. And even those who can right well, don’t necessarily know how to write with one eye for search engines and one for visitors like Deb. But without that, you just have an online brochure, rather than a website that generates new business.

Marketing isn’t just something that happens. Websites don’t better themselves. Annalisa can attest to the amount of work that goes into getting a single link to your site that will build up your site’s authority. All business growth is a deliberate effort of improving your quality, services and customer service. Business deterioration is the direct result of the neglect of those things.

SEO Is an Investment Into Your Future

Not investing in SEO and online marketing is business neglect. [tweet] Why try to make your sales staff do a better job when you’re neglecting your single best salesperson (your website!) completely.

What you really have to ask yourself is if, “doing fine” is good enough. Are you OK with the status quo? Are you fine with getting less for more? Or do you want to do things better? The universe is in a natural state of decay. It takes effort just to keep status quo, and even more effort to improve. Without SEO, you’re status quo. You’re stagnant. You’re in a state of ultimate decline because even status quo isn’t status quo. Businesses die because they can’t keep up. Without SEO, yours will to. It’s not a matter of if, but when. [tweet]

But if I know most business owners, when faced with becoming obsolete or dying a slow death, their response might be similar to Kaylee in the climax of Serenity: “Screw this! I’m gonna live!”

After all, living, breathing, thriving, growing, expanding and profiting seem to be far better alternatives to being rundown by Reavers, or simply just falling asleep oblivious to the world around you. (Yeah, that was another Serenity reference!) SEO is the lifeblood of business growth. Not just SEO, but everything good SEO represents: content, links, social media, analytics. All working together to improve your site’s ability to get noticed and convert targeted traffic into profits.

You yeah butters may be doing just fine without SEO, for now. But you’ll be doing so much better with it.

Find out more about the “Yeah, but” series and links to all posts in the series.


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Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm who's pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his bride enjoy and his children. Read Stoney's full bio.

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6 Responses to Yeah, But… We Do Just Fine Without SEO

  1. Annalisa Hilliard says:

    Stoney,

    I got the grumpy employee reference, nice one! :)

    I think you’ve provided some good reasons why SEO is important, and I would agree. However, I’ve often noticed that businesses start with SEO. They don’t have a blog, nor updated content, and they aren’t engaging on social media. Is this a backwards approach? Is SEO helpful without a more encompassing online marketing campaign? Is there a better place for businesses to start if they have a limited budget?

  2. Maryland SEO says:

    Good post..most small business owners doesn’t care about SEO or online marketing..many of them are busy as current customers..many of owners dont think about scale up their business.

    • I’ve run across many of those that are just fine where they are. And that’s great if they don’t every want to sell their business for a profit or pass it on to the next generation. Personally, I’m not in business to survive, I’m in it to live!

  3. LOL, Annalisa, I didn’t have anyone in mind for the grumpy comment. It’s just facts of working in an office. I know I qualify for that status more than anyone else here! :)

    You’re right, a well-rounded approach is smart and I tend to use SEO as an umbrella term for all online marketing channels. I know it’s not “technically” correct, but there is very little “SEO only” going on these days. Not if you want to be successful.

    Those with limited budgets need to start somewhere, and where that is depends on their business. For some that might be social, for others content. However all websites MUST be search engine friendly if you want any of the non-paid channels to be effective.

    • Thanks for the clarification! ;)

      It’s good to know you’re using SEO as an umbrella term. Once a business decides to pursue SEO/online marketing, they should consider getting as much as the whole marketing pie as they can afford, as opposed to putting all their apples in once piece of the pie. Makes good sense!

  4. Kevin says:

    It costs a lot of money to go bankrupt, it costs less to invest in your business in a way that will provide long term sustainability and growth.