Like spiders, clowns, and the dark, people are afraid of SEO for multiple reasons. Below, we’ll explore the most common reasons business owners fear search engine optimization, from its frequent changes to its resource requirements, and why these fears are worth overcoming.
1. SEO doesn’t work
Companies invest in marketing strategies to achieve certain results, which typically ties into the organization’s bottom line. If a business leader, whether it’s the owner or the director of marketing, doesn’t believe SEO can drive bottom-line results, like through leads or sales, they’ll fear investing in it.
You can’t blame them, either.
What we can say about this SEO fear is that SEO does work — we have more than 25 years of history proving its effectiveness in industries as diverse as healthcare to plumbing to ecommerce.
When so much of an employee’s value is based on their performance, it’s risky for someone to invest in something they fear will fail. This fear could also worsen based on past experiences, like if the business previously partnered with an SEO agency that failed to deliver results.
What we can say about this SEO fear is that SEO does work — we have more than 25 years of history proving its effectiveness in industries as diverse as healthcare to plumbing to ecommerce. However, SEO’s effectiveness depends on those developing, executing, and maintaining the strategy.
That’s why it’s vital to educate yourself before starting SEO and embracing best practices like:
- Focusing on generating qualified traffic vs. generic traffic
- Giving SEO at least three to six months to work
- Avoiding black-hat SEO tactics, like SEO attacks, targeting misspelled keywords, purchasing links, and stuffing keywords
With this foundation, you can create a successful strategy that drives results and prove the value of SEO to leadership.
2. SEO isn’t straightforward
Unlike Google Ads, search engine optimization doesn’t come with an official guidebook. The closest is the documentation from Google’s Search Central team, which highlights how search works and how to get started.
Other than that, your guides are the experts in the SEO industry who share their knowledge online.
This arrangement can make some businesses afraid of SEO because it seems like a strategy shrouded in secrecy. It can also create frustration, with companies feeling like they don’t have a straightforward path to using SEO to grow their business.
While there is more to SEO than content, it’s critical to ranking in search results and driving results from them.
While search engine optimization operates on more than 200 ranking factors, Google provides concise guidance on SEO — create helpful, reliable, and people-first content. While there is more to SEO than content, it’s critical to ranking in search results and driving results from them.
That’s why we recommend businesses focus on some of the basics of SEO first, like:
- Site structure
- Target audience
From here, you can build an effective search engine optimization strategy.
3. SEO changes too much
Another common SEO fear stems from how often SEO changes. For example, Google publishes hundreds of search engine algorithm changes yearly, some bigger than others. That change frequency can make businesses fear losing their SEO work overnight.
From our decades of experience, search engine optimization updates do not make or break businesses and their SEO strategy. Unless the company uses black-hat tactics, they shouldn’t see dramatic changes from an SEO update.
Again, here is where Google’s guidance on creating helpful, reliable, people-first content comes into play.
Since its start, Google has aimed to provide users with the best experience and information possible, and that goal still guides its algorithm updates. Use Google’s North Star to develop your SEO strategy, and you’ll squash this SEO fear.
4. SEO takes too much time
Search engine optimization takes significantly more time than other digital marketing strategies like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Instead of seeing results overnight, businesses won’t see results for months from SEO.
On average, SEO takes three to six months, though some companies won’t see results until 12 months.
Businesses won’t see results for months from SEO. On average, SEO takes three to six months, though some companies won’t see results until 12 months.
This turnaround time creates an understandable fear in business owners and marketing professionals. You have to take a risk and invest for months in something that might not work. Again, SEO’s effectiveness depends on your strategy’s development, implementation, and maintenance.
Companies should also consider that once SEO starts working for your business, it continues working for you. No matter the day or hour, your website is in search results, generating qualified traffic that could become your next lead or sale as long as you don’t stop your SEO efforts.
While SEO does take time, it’s worth the ongoing investment.
5. SEO requires too many resources
Another reason businesses are scared of SEO is because of its resource requirements, such as:
If you’re managing your SEO in-house, that’s a lot of skill gaps to fill. Even if you have the in-house talent for the job, you’ll often need to compete for those people’s time, especially for web developers or web designers who fulfill other responsibilities.
This SEO fear is smart for businesses to consider but shouldn’t deter companies from investing in SEO. There are ways to troubleshoot this issue, like outsourcing your SEO (or specific SEO tasks) to an agency, freelancer, or consultant.
Conquer your SEO fears with SEO.com
Now that you’ve learned about the most common SEO fears get ready to conquer them with SEO.com. From our expert-curated resource hub to our award-winning SEO services, our seasoned team can help your business maximize SEO’s value. Contact us today to learn more!