Don’t Invest in SEO Until You Are Ready to Invest in SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Search engine optimization SEO conceptMost businesses know now that they need some kind of SEO program in order to be successful. Every piece of information we consume, from breaking news, pop culture and sports highlights, local restaurant reviews, driving directions and even strategic business advice and services—it’s all online and most of us rely on a search engine to help us find it. If you don’t have at least the basics of an SEO program in place chances are your site isn’t getting the search traffic it deserves! However, even though most businesses know they need SEO, actually getting the fundamentals in place is another story. We’ve worked with plenty of sites that never actually implement the changes we suggest, and then they are surprised when things don’t turn around!

Even if you hire an SEO firm to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to onsite optimization, don’t assume you get to wash your hands entirely of SEO. It’s still YOUR site and YOUR business and YOUR audience and you know those three things better than any consultant ever could. A good agency will do their best to become pseudo-experts in a short time, but you might know things about your industry that they don’t, simply because you’ve been in your industry for years!

For instance, one of our clients (a property management company) informed us they don’t actually refer to their properties as “apartment buildings.” Apparently buildings that focus on luxury are called something else that signifies high-end living. That’s a small fact no one on our staff could ever know! Had they completely checked out of the process their entire site would have been optimized wrong (for their brand at least, even though the search data supported our decisions). But plenty of clients barely look over the keyword research we do, meaning small details like that might lost in the shuffle and it takes months for anyone to realize that a mistake was actually made.

As part of the onsite optimization process, we make both high level and page-level recommendations to help a site do better organically. Unless a client specifically gives our developer the ok (and the access) to make those changes to their site, the changes are ultimately in their hand (pending approval of course). I can’t tell you how many clients have taken that onsite document and sat on it for month and months! Then 6 months down the road they want to know why the needle hasn’t moved and we point out that none of our recommendations have been implemented, so how could they expect to gain any ground? Having an SEO plan is only step 1! You also have to be willing to put it into action. Even the best SEO plan ever created won’t help you if it’s just sitting in a folder somewhere.

Even if you have an internal SEO champion (or you are the internal SEO champion), if you don’t get the key stakeholders to buy in and support the program than your SEO program is going to be dead in the water before it ever really begins. It’s important to remember that SEO is a long-term game, so the longer it takes you to get started the longer it takes to see results.

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