One true fact in the world of website marketing is that a site that has been optimized by a person who knows what they are doing will 100% of the time make more money than a site that wasn’t. Despite this fact, an SEO will still hear objections from developers or marketing department types when the subject of including SEO into a new website is suggested. When doing SEO type work, either for an agency or as in-house a person, eventually you’ll hear all kinds of lame excuses.
“We don’t Need SEO” Excuses
Here are a few of the more typical objections… um, excuses that are thrown around in an effort to cut SEO teams out of new website projects.
If you publish good content, it will work fine and build an audience
Websites are not a “build and they will come.” Is there any kind of business that isn’t drug dealing that is “build it and they will come”?
The UX if it’s good will attract visitors and get them to come back
If only a limited number of people can find your website, how will your potential customers ever learn how great the UX is? You are either going to pay for it or you are going to earn it. Either way you have to get new people to your website to make money.
Let’s get the site live, and if it isn’t doing well, then we can do the “SEO stuff.”
Anyone that has worked in an office in which there are limits to resources or limits in the size of the technical staff knows that this one is junk. The best time to ever get any type of work done is the moment that the executives have placed a priority on it. It is always best to get all that you can when a project gets approved. There are no guarantees that there will be staff or money available later to come back and “do it right”.
SEO doesn’t work.
Really? SEO doesn’t work? Why would perhaps the most well know commerce sites on the internet invest in SEO? Here is a link to an SEO manager position open at the moment at Amazon: http://bit.ly/1QcqHyt
SEO is too unpredictable at getting a site traffic.
Sure Google makes changes to their algorithm on a pretty regular basis and there can be fluctuations in the rankings as a result. Here is the secret: If you build the site honestly, and avoid doing fake “SEO tactics” to try to fake Google into ranking a low quality site, there will not be a significant risk.
SEO takes too long to get any results.
Sure, SEO if done in ways to build a long term revenue generating website can take 2-5 months to start seeing significant return. How many offline businesses can you open and see success in the next week or two? Website marketing for years has not been a business that builds thousands or millions of revenue in a week.
SEO requires us to change too much of what we want to do (this one is sometimes actually true)
Perhaps, one of the most true objections to including SEO to a website is that it could force marketing people to publish a site differently – in some ways – than how they wanted to. Marketing people love big images that take up too much of the real estate above the fold. Marketing types hate for there to be much text content on a page. For sure, the marketing team believes that they know what the potential customers will find a “good user experience” without doing any A/B testing. All of this means that injecting SEO into the strategy can lead to smaller images, more text, and more prominent call to actions being on pages despite the design teams’ instincts.
We’re building a brand or we already have a brand that delivers a relevant audience to the website
There might not be a single SEO working today that is not excited about the idea of working on a website for a very well know brand. It is no secret that Google has been changing the ranking rules for years to favor large well marketed, well-known brand names. SEO’s love that marketing teams are trying to build the brand! Here is the thing, between now and the moment that the “brand” is as well known as Groupon, Goodyear, or Pizza Hut, can we all agree that we need to make some money? Cool. Let’s prioritize some SEO on the website then.
We’re already ranking in Google
The “we are already ranking” objection is one of the best. This allows for the thinking that all that has to be done is publishing a site and it will attract organic traffic. There is a trick here. What searches were used to see if the site was ranking? Did they include the business name? If so, fantastic! Google will let us rank for our name. That is a pretty low bar to set. If a potential customer already knows about the brand and is motivated to search for it, then they can find it. For these potential customers, companies don’t need a website. A phone number listed in Google Business Directory would suffice. To really make money they must get a website to rank for non-branded relevant search terms.
True story, I had this one said to me: “SEO is like doing a rain dance and works just as well.”
The implication here is that a website is as likely to see improvement in organic search from “doing SEO” as the indians were likely to get more rain when they did their rain dances. See “SEO doesn’t work” above for the correct answer to this objection.
Each of these excuses are just that, excuses. They are not reasons to avoid including the value that doing proper SEO provides.
For real, it is harder today than it was 5, 3, even a year ago to build an audience to a website and to make money doing it. Over the years so many people learned the cheap, scalable old school SEO tactics to trick Google into ranking a low quality site higher than it deserved. Now Google, in an effort to eliminate the trash from ranking, has made it a requirement to publish a technically sound website that offers consumers real value, answers real questions, or provides unique and well compiled content in order to rank well for competitive search terms.
Knowing how to do deep keyword research, knowing how to properly fill a page with the right kind of content/advertising ratios, knowing how to optimize image and video content, knowing how to attract other websites to link to a site, and knowing how to technically publish a site that the Googlebot can crawl efficiently, are SEO basics that must be considered.
Good luck getting all the proper SEO considerations included the next time you are working on getting a new website published. It will, in the long run, make everyone on the project look better and just as importantly, make more money.