One of the biggest online marketing mistakes business owners make is hiring an SEO company when they are in dire straits and need leads yesterday. If you need leads yesterday, you need to invest in pay per click or asking existing clients for referrals.
SEO and inbound marketing are NOT short-term lead generation strategies.
Sure, exceptions exist. I’ve come across websites so outdated and with so little traffic that we tripled traffic in just a handful of weeks. If your website was built in the late ’90s, you’ve never invested in SEO or content marketing, and/or your competitors are asleep at the wheel, you might get a huge short-term boost from a few months of SEO. However, you shouldn’t bet on it.
The idea that you should see a positive ROI from SEO within the first six months is just plain stupid. Sometimes the SEO works, but your salespeople are ill-equipped to deal with the leads. Other times, you invest in SEO going into the slow part of the season.
There are all sorts of ways to determine an acceptable investment in SEO, but one concept would be to budget an amount that you can afford to give up and not see a return on for at least 12 months.
You probably think I’m crazy, right? Some guy who can’t produce results.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m telling you this as someone who has helped nearly 100 companies more than double their website traffic, leads, and sales. Over a three-year period, I’ve built Blue Corona’s website empire from zero visits to over 10,000 per month—and I’ve done it using nearly 100 percent pure inbound content marketing. Inbound marketing and SEO have helped some of our clients maintain their business in industries where other companies are going out of business left and right. Some of our other clients are growing rapidly and expanding into new markets. Others have won prestigious awards like Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500 list. Blue Corona, as an example, has a four-year growth rate that exceeds 1,900 percent!
So, while I’m a huge fan of SEO, it’s NOT a short-term lead generation fix. Treat it as such and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and burned bridges with otherwise great SEO companies.
Be wary of any SEO company that promises fast results. There’s a chance that your website is in such terrible shape you might get fast results. It’s also possible that the SEO company pitching a big game is using techniques that run contrary to the search engine’s guidelines. Get caught using “black hat” SEO tactics and you might end up spending more to undo the work you just paid to get done … only to end up exactly where you started!