I had lunch with a colleague a few days ago, and we were talking about the services GO Creative offers to its clients. One of those is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which is the process of improving the ranking of a website in search engines (e.g. Google) for particular search terms. The goal is to be more visible, which gets more traffic to the website, and ultimately to increase the number of enquiries or sales.
We ended up discussing whether SEO was the right choice for small businesses (and, in particular, micro businesses). There are lots of things to consider, but we basically both reached the same conclusion.
There’s no “one size fits all”
At the end of the day, there are various reasons why a business might engage an SEO provider to help increase enquiries and sales via their website. But many SEO providers will take on every client who comes their way, even if there are better options available.
At GO Creative, our team of Brisbane website developers and marketing specialists asks lots of questions up front so that we can understand your business. It’d be silly to offer a solution when we don’t even know what the problem is. For example, some businesses are looking for a quick spike in sales and are prepared to pay more for that — so we’d be more likely to recommend Google AdWords (pay per click advertising in Google) instead of SEO. If they weren’t so concerned about a quick return on investment, and were more focused on improving the visibility of their brand, social media may be the way to go.
But we need to know all of the variables before we make a recommendation, so we run through a questionnaire with all of our clients to make sure we have the full picture.
Why SEO may not be suitable
An SEO service may not be suitable for some businesses due to:
- a very limited marketing budget
- an extremely competitive industry where results may take longer than the business can afford
- operating in an extreme niche, which means there aren’t enough Google searches for their products or service
- already engaging heavily in content marketing, and SEO won’t offer enough additional benefits
- a very low quality website which needs to be redeveloped before commencing any marketing activities.
Calculating your return on investment
The easiest way to work out your “break even” figure is to simple take your average lifetime customer profit, and work backwards from the SEO budget. So if you’re considering spending $1000 per month on an SEO service, and your customers are worth $500 in profits, you’d need to get two new customers per month from the SEO service to break even. It may take a couple of months for the results to emerge (that’s just how the SEO process works), so take that into account as well. Your selected Brisbane website developers or digital marketing agency may be able to help with other variables as well.
For many small businesses, SEO is extremely cost-effective and really helps them grow. For others, it’s just not the right option. Marketing agencies who push SEO on every business as though it’s some kind of guaranteed path to success is a negligent approach. This is how small businesses get burnt, thinking they’re putting their money into a service which is going to bring them a solid return on investment, but that’s not always the case.
There’s no guarantees when it comes to marketing; you have to weigh up all of the options and see what works best for you. Phone us today on (07) 3333 2932 for a free chat, or get an instant online quote to see how our team of Brisbane website developers and digital marketing experts can help your business grow.