The importance of SEO to a business’s success is undisputed. A well-optimized website can land you a coveted ranking on the first page of Google for your search terms. But with new changes to SEO rolling out so often, it can be hard to keep up.
The list of upsides to search engine optimization can be endless. But SEO is merely one tactic to help you achieve your business goals. As a business owner, you’ve got a lot of tools available to you to help grow your company.
However, the reality is that ranking on the first page of Google can be tough and might not always be the right path for you. Today we’re going to dig into some of the challenges of search engine optimization and alternatives to success.
Why SEO Might Not Be Worth It For You
Like every tool, search engine optimization is not without its obstacles and costs. However, it entirely depends on how effectively you’re able to navigate these obstacles. Here’s why you should invest your time and money elsewhere:
SEO can be expensive ranging on the type of business you are and the number of competitors in the market you have. This cost can range greatly from a few thousand a month to the tens of thousands. Sometimes you can spend a lot over a long period of time without seeing much results.
Ranking on Google for your search terms is a slow and steady process. It can take weeks for search engines to recognize your website. Even then, you’re often competing with tens of millions of other results that have been ranking for years. If SEO is your main customer acquisition strategy, then it’ll likely be a while before you see a return.
Too Much Success
Believe it or not, once your web pages begin to rank, too much success can be a problem. Once you do achieve the position of top searched results, more and more traffic will be directed to yours which will also translate into more orders. This might seem like what you wanted all along, but are you sure you can handle all of the additional traffic and orders? Many good ideas have failed because they couldn’t keep up to their demand. Hence, over success qualifies itself as a major disadvantage for some.
Easy to Imitate
There’s not much about search engine optimization that’s proprietary. Anyone with a hot cup of coffee, an open afternoon, and a bit of patience can dig into the tactics that almost any website is using to rank. SEO tactics can be easy to replicate. That’s why it’s dangerous to rely only on search engine rankings.
Black Hat SEO
The last, and possibly, the biggest disadvantage of SEO is the area of Black Hats Practices. Black Hat practices are unethical, and in some cases unlawful, activities done methods of quickly ranking on search engines. By using bots, for example, black hat vendors have historically created fake reviews on your company profile discouraging future customers from clicking. Your hard-fought ranking could be undone by malicious black hat SEOs.
Where Else Can You Invest Instead Of SEO?
If your company isn’t ready to spend money and time on SEO, there are a number of different alternatives for you to invest in. Ranking on Google isn’t the only way you can find new customers. Here’s what you can do instead of search engine optimization:
Go Heavy on Social Media Marketing
The simplest thing you can do is double-down on your social media marketing. With 3.5B active users across many platforms, sharing your company message on social media is the easiest way to build an audience, gain their trust, and drive traffic to your website!
In fact, 71% of users who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are more likely to recommend them to their friends and family. Social media allows you to build a personal connection with your audience faster and cheaper than SEO.
Start a Youtube Channel
Fun fact: after Google, YouTube is actually the second biggest search engine. You read that right. With more than 3 billion searches a month, YouTube outpaces Bing and other search engines.Having a youtube channel is also one of the most effective alternatives to SEO. Why is that? Simply put, searches prefer visuals as opposed to text!
Invest in Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing allows you to directly reach your target market without having to compete with an algorithm. Investing in influencer marketing is a must if your customers skew younger or tend to identify as female. 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. And 86% of women are consulting these influencers for purchase advice.
A First Page Ranking Is Still One Of The Best Investments You Can Make
SEO is a great long-term investment that shouldn’t be left on the backburner. However, for cash-strapped companies, they should prioritize their customer acquisition channels accordingly.
Don’t look at search engine optimization as a switch you can flip overnight. Instead, understanding that SEO is a long-term strategy helps set expectations. Much like going to gym, with consistent effort, the results from search engine optimization slowly start to become noticeable. SEO can become a massive lead generation source for your business. It can help keep your website working for you while you sleep.
So while SEO has its pros and cons, and investing in alternatives is a way to avoid those cons, it doesn’t mean that you should choose not to invest in SEO at all. Great search engine rankings can’t be achieved through your website alone. Think of all the alternatives as stepping stones to get your website ranked on the first page of Google.