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.
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.
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.
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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