Do you even need to worry about SEO?

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There. We said it.

You would be forgiven for thinking you definitely do considering the number of sales calls you get from SEO agencies and the amount of events organisations undoubtedly hold about it. It is however a question we’re asking our clients more and more often.

There are a number of circumstances where we might say “no, you maybe don’t...well not organic SEO anyway”. Consider the following:

Are you an impulse buy?

If you're offering a product that people don't know they want yet or if you're offering a product that is really just a subset of a larger industry how would people even use search to find you. Let's assume that Coca Cola isn’t the mega-brand it is, let's imagine they're a startup - what would their customers type into a search engine to find them and why would they be doing it. If you didn’t know coca-cola existed what would you search for? "Fizzy drinks", “Refreshing drinks”, "American sodas I can buy"....and why would you?

In this instance Coca-Cola would be better raising brand awareness by using targeted social media advertising. Make people aware of the product and make them eager to try it.

Are you in an ultra competitive marketplace?

This can feel a little defeatist but again worth considering. Again if you were offering package holidays to the Costa Brava and you are not one of the major players what chance do you really stand of being high enough up the rankings to make an impact? If your customers search for "All inclusive holidays Spain" you're very likely to be behind all the travel review sites, all the bricks and mortar travel agents and all of the online travel agents.

Again the power of social media advertising could be the way forward. Could you target the followers of these companies and offer a real alternative? Could you target your key demographics. You probably could.

Are your customers going to use search to find you?

There are very few companies that fall into this bracket (apart from the one above) but your website might not need to do the job. If you’re hyper-local then a local listings or directory website might do this for you. If you’re a plumber getting a highly rated profile on Yell, Google Business or trade rating site that ties your business to a location might be the best bet. The fact that it’s local means it’s relevant and ratings improve people's confidence in you making much more likely to pick up the phone.

In summary

Of course if push comes to shove if you can improve your organic SEO you should but you might not have to lose just quite so much sleep over it. There are numerous ways to drive traffic that you can control, Twitter and Facebook allow you to target ads, writing regular content might establish you as a thought leader and listings on things like Google Business take minutes.

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