I have a two year-old, and she’s adorable. She’s constantly helping me see the world in a different light.

And yes, apparently in Idaho we teach our children to cradle potatoes like a newborn baby  🙂

One thing that I can say about her is that she’s extremely persistent. When she wants something (usually fruit snacks), it takes over her entire brain until she gets it. We have to give her the ole airport pat down every time she comes out of the kitchen because she’s become so crafty at smuggling treats.

SEO companies can be similar in how they approach getting clients. They want new clients so bad that they not only appear desperate, but they actively take on clients who aren’t a good fit.

If you own a company or are interested in paying for search engine optimization, read this first.

It’s seriously not for everyone.

Short-Term Goals

If you’re not looking to own your company years down the road, it may not be the best use of your money to spend on SEO, because it doesn’t fully pay off for months, and sometimes even years. I always ask what business owners’ goals are for their companies and try to dive deep into what the future looks like. If you’re looking to sell off soon, having SEO basics in place isn’t a bad idea, but going full into SEO may not be the best financial decision.

Can’t Afford Quality SEO

Business owners seem to think that just because two companies claim to do SEO, they’re doing the same work. Might as well use the cheaper one, right? Do you go to a car dealership and expect to pay the same amount for a Corolla as a BMW? It’s absurd. Just like in every aspect of our lives, there is quality variability in each product or service. If you can’t afford $1000 per month for online marketing, it’s better not to screw up your site with a cheap $199 package; just focus on growing your business based on your own efforts and invest in SEO later. If you’re in this boat and own a local business, focus on these things:

  • get current customers to refer their friends
  • make sure they leave reviews (especially on Google)
  • generate sales by networking, partnering up with other business owners, or knocking on some doors
  • create a flyer or special deal for areas next to your home/office

Listen, I’m not in the business of taking food off your table so you can pay for another month of SEO.

Think about it this way, if you have 10 customers paying you $100 and I help you grow by 10%, that’s only $100. It doesn’t really make a dent. If you have 2000 customers and decide to hire me, that same growth is worth $2000. Because the second situation wasn’t so desperate for cash, it’s much more of a win for both parties.

You’re a Jerk

If you come to me and tell me how you’ve fired eight other SEO companies because “they are all garbage”…it might not be them. Let me tell you, we love clients who are constantly looking over our shoulder, questioning our methods, and criticizing the results. It’s especially nice when they make changes on their sites without telling us. Riiiiight.

We’re fine with having hard conversations and being held accountable, but this isn’t a marriage, it shouldn’t take that much work to have a decent relationship.

Hard pass.

Not Adequate Potential

We’ve done online marketing for a few uncommon industries, but we’re careful about recommending SEO if there aren’t people searching for whatever it is that you’re selling. Sure, we can rank you for “Tuna scented candle”, but is it really something that anyone is actively searching for? We have worked with a lot of different businesses, so we know pretty quickly if we’re going to be able to move the needle.

Budget Doesn’t Align with Competition

I mentioned making sure to have at least $1000 per month earmarked for SEO in a previous paragraph, but there are a lot of industries and situations when you would need more than that:

  • extremely competitive industry
  • multiple branches/locations
  • you want to be aggressive with growth
  • our scope is larger than just SEO

The first thing we do is research/analyze and set reasonable expectations for our clients.

Conclusion

There may be other reasons why SEO isn’t for you, but these are things you should consider as you look to grow your business. We aren’t prideful enough to say SEO is always a good use of your hard-earned cash; we’re also not desperate enough to take on clients who we can, from the outset, tell are not going to be good clients.

Don’t give in to desperate SEO claims that smell fishy from the start.

Be persistent in your business like my two year-old, but don’t give her fruit snacks, she’s had plenty.