Monday, February 29, 2016

2 Times SEO is NOT a Smart Strategy!

SEO is great, but it’s not always the right thing for every business.

For the most part, SEO is great.  People use search engines (especially Google), and many of us would be insane, at this point, not to look for ways to have our company show at the top of search results.

Anything we do to “trick” Google (or Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to select our site over our competitors’ sites is called search engine optimization (more commonly known as SEO).  While there are plenty of ways to “game” the system, overall, it pushes most of us to do the best job we can describing what we do…so that Google knows when to match us with the right people seeking for the things we can do for them.

However, there are a couple of situations where SEO is not where I suggest you should be spending the majority (if any) of your marketing effort.

1. You're in an industry where nobody trusts you--the stranger.
2. You are more expensive than almost every one of your competitors.

Let's take a closer look at each...  

1. You’re in an industry where nobody trusts you—the stranger.

People use search engines to find information about things, people, or companies they do not know for themselves.  It is common for people to use Google and other search engines to find blue collar labor, especially if most of their friends have white collar jobs (and are also devoid of those blue collar skills) they need.

For instance, if you need a plumber and do not know one yourself (and neither do your friends and family members), then you might type something like…

plumber Oakland County MI

…and you might find a bunch of plumbers who are close to where you need service.

This makes sense.

However, industries, like online marketing, have a lot of people who are not all that trustworthy…or nowhere as skilled or effective as they claim to be.  Plus, it’s tough to give your money to someone you don’t know today…for the hope of it becoming a good investment tomorrow.  (That’s what marketing is…an investment in the future…that can go well…or poorly.)

So…even if you type in something like…

online marketing Oakland County MI

…and I come to the top (I don’t!), are you suddenly looking to buy from me immediately?

You might not buy from me at all.

It’s SO tough to find marketing service that actually works in favor of the purchaser.  Good marketing is essential for so many businesses, but it’s not easy to find someone who is good.

Therefore…instead of relying on search engines, like Google, we end up looking for referrals…from anywhere.

Nobody wants to give money to a stranger on something that only might pay off…in the future.

A few other industries where this is also true are…
financial planning
retirement planning
real estate investor

Now, it makes a lot of sense to focus on the type of SEO marketing work that helps you put your best foot forward when people look up your name or company (to check for dirt), but in some industries, people just don’t look to Google to solve their problems.

In most of these cases, you would be better off spending your time doing things that make people know your name or company…so they think of you first when they’re ready to buy…or telling someone they know to give you a call.

2. You are more expensive than almost every one of your competitors.

Maybe you’re in an industry where people use Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. to find someone to do a certain service for them.

However, it only MIGHT be a good idea for you to do that for yourself…if you’re price is competitive.

Let’s face it, most people who look online are shoppers.  In many cases, they want to check a bunch of places…just to make sure they get the best price.

If you have a pretty good price, then I suggest you try hard to be one of the first companies that Google lists when someone types in something like…

plumbing Oakland County MI

It is nice to be the first one listed, because not everyone is a price shopper, but if you’re one of the first few, most likely these searchers will get around to calling you…to ask you for a price or a quote (for a price).

If you are one of the most expensive players in your industry, do you really want to be in this line of fire?

Maybe you’ll say, “Yes,” but I do not suggest it.

You might want to rely on things that make people think of your name first.  This could be advertising on Television, the radio, or newspapers.  Maybe you sponsor all sorts of events.  However, most people and companies do not have access to enough money to make all these things happen.

So if you’re the most expensive, either work really hard to earn (or simply get) people’s referrals, or lower your price so that shoppers want to give you a try.

Otherwise, don’t waste your time with SEO, other than for reputation management for your name or company brand.

SEO is great, but it doesn’t always make sense…not for every business.

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