The case against Traditional SEO

To me the traditional model of SEO is flawed to the extent of some SEO firms extracting large sums of money from some unsuspecting businesses simply to get that business on ” the top page of Google”. I tried to think of several reasons why a traditional approach to SEO may not work, and I came up with six main ones. In this post I will examine those six, then in a future post I will give my reasoning behind my belief that video provides the best means for a business today to increase both their business and web traffic.

Here are my top six reasons traditional SEO lacks effective results for most local businesses:

1. SEO by it’s nature is fighting against the Search Engines for rankings. If this was not the case, Google would just release it’s algorythyms for general consumption because it would be a guide for people to use to move forward with material that would rank well, and fit their criteria. Instead SEO firms have to reverse engineer the algo, guessing what is needed for the most part. The Search Engines are always changing their algo to keep one step ahead of the SEO firms–and it’s a constant battle.

2. If a SEO firm is so good, they should be concerned with their own site….look at a firm’s Alexa rank (traffic). If it isn’t good, then why do you think they can do wonders for you?

3. Regardless of how good a SEO firm is, they can’t create searches. If there is no traffic for your keywords, there isn’t a SEO firm around that will increase your business by ranking your site.

4. SEO is only good for web rankings. You can’t use it in Email. You can’t use it in offline advertising. You can’t use it in direct mailings. It does nothing to increase the engagement of your website. And again, you can’t create searches–so you MUST think about the dollars spent vs the ROI

5. SEO is ongoing. Stop and you’ll be passed by someone else, and the money you have spent will be wasted. So if you don’t have the MONTHLY budget for every month for years…you have no business doing SEO. And again the dollars spent to get rankings for minimal searches can be better spent elsewhere in push type or more permanant marketing efforts that will give better ROI on your investment

6. Realistically the web is a delivery platform, but what the Search Engines have done is create a persona of ownership-leaving businesses to think unless rankings are achieved, a business will suffer. For some businesses this is true, but for many it’s not. The ones it’s not true for waste money and time trying to make it true, and thus get played by SEO firms to get on the ” top page of Google” (not a day goes by that my email inbox doesn’t include at least one email from someone promising me this, as ridiculous as it is).

Most business owners think only in terms of rankings, and not in terms of return on their marketing dollars. If before they pulled the trigger on putting a marketing or SEO plan into effect, they did some simple analysis and research regarding the projected returns, they would see if traditional SEO is a good course of action or not. A simple Google AdWords campaign that targets the keywords you intend to SEO for is an inexpensive way to determine both your projected return in new business and your spending BEFORE  starting to SEO for those keywords.

And while I’ve made the case against traditional SEO here, there are some businesses that will benefit greatly from it, mainly consumer service companies like plumbers, roofers and electricians. Professional services like attorneys and medical professionals.

But many will be better served by going an alternative route.

And that route will be explained in my next post…stay tuned.

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