Most digital marketing specialists consider that a business should work with an SEO company from the very beginning, because organic traffic has the best conversion rate of all. This is true, but there are situations in which other marketing activities provide better results than SEO. As a matter of fact, you should perform an opportunity analysis before deciding upon the most effective marketing strategy for your business.
Consumer research is one of the main pillars of any solid business plan. If your best clients barely use the internet or the search engines to seek for your type of products or services, you’ll find out that SEO doesn’t bring you the expected results in terms of conversions and profitability. In such situations, reaching out to your potential clients via email, radio or other traditional media might work much better. When deciding upon the most effective media mix to promote your business, you should start by identifying the purchasing habits and the behaviour of your core target group. These people are the ones who are going to make up for the bulk of your sales, so you should invest the most part of your money and efforts towards reaching them. If search engines aren’t their cup of tea, your SEO efforts may not pay off. If, on the contrary, your best potential customers do most part of their shopping online, as a result of using a search engine, investing in SEO should be one of your main priorities. This is how you should think when trying to determine the most effective budget split for your business.
On the other hand, even when your consumers use search engines for shopping purposes, you should assess the opportunity of a heavy investment in SEO. According to the most recent data, 60% of all clicks in Google go to the top three results. While this sounds promising, you should be aware of the fact that not all SERPs look similar. In case of travel, car rental or hotel accommodation, for instance, the top positions will be occupied by four paid results plus Google’s own services or products. This pushes the top three organic results way below the fold, thus dramatically reducing their click-through rate. You may invest many tens of thousands of dollars in SEO, only to realise that the number one spot in Google barely brings you any traffic, leave alone paying customers. When it comes to niches or industries with lots of snippets that push down organic results, SEO may not be the best choice for a business trying to grow in a healthy and profitable manner.
In conclusion, before jumping on the SEO bandwagon, you should perform a thorough analysis of your target consumers and of the SERPs. You may discover you can be better off with using AdWords or Facebook ads rather than spending the most part of your budget on SEO. If you don’t know how to do this research work, you should consider hiring an expert to help you.