So, do you need SEO? For some businesses, the answer is “no.”
I think I heard a few jaws hit the floor!
Here’s the deal with the whole no SEO thing: I think search engine optimization is a must for most businesses—it’s basically just a term for a collection of best practices anyway. But if any of the following sound like your business, you probably don’t need to waste time and money on SEO.
You literally have no competition.
Example: You own the only lawn care business in Potato Chip Creek. You are the only lawn care business in a 50-mile radius, which is great because neither you nor the next nearby lawn care company travel more than 25 miles—there is not one inch of overlap. Your website should naturally come up to the top of the search results pretty quickly for folks looking for anything having to do with lawns and Potato Chip Creek.
You get pre-qualified leads and don’t want any others.
Example: You're a doctor who works (almost) exclusively with insurance companies. You don’t want to deal with patients giving you the runaround and don’t want to hire bill collectors, so you go the route of the (almost) sure thing with insurance companies. You probably don’t advertise. Your site is there to give patients basic information about your practice, like what insurance you accept.
You don’t want to grow.
Example: You build custom furniture and are a one-person operation. Your pieces are as much a work of art as they are a functional piece of home furnishing. You're already backlogged by six months, and hiring another helper wouldn’t get you any more caught up. Your site is your portfolio and a place to contact you.
You are prolific.
Example: You’ve been blogging for years about model airplanes, with an average of one post a day going up, sometimes by guest bloggers in your niche. Sometimes you make YouTube videos and embed them on your blog. You also share photos that you host on Flickr. You always make sure to share your posts on your social profiles. Your blog may benefit from some SEO strategy, but when you post that much, you’ve naturally tapped into many keywords in your niche. With an established site, lots of links, and high value content, you probably are already ranking well for more keywords than you can shake a tiny propeller at.
You brand, business, or product is abstract.
Example: You are an artist for art’s sake. You have nothing against selling your pieces, but you aren’t a commercial artist—your paintings belong in museums and not in dental office lobbies. Discovering new art doesn’t happen through keywords. That big collector who could make your career is going to galleries instead of Google. Even if they were searching the web, I can’t see it doing much good anyway because the concept of art is so abstract (and related keywords, so saturated).
Your website stinks.
Example: You started a pest control company in 2005, and that’s when you launched your company’s website. Aside from adding a blog post every now and again and updating your business hours, your site looks the same now as it did a decade ago. You’ve heard about how SEO can drive traffic to your page, and you want a piece of the action. But since your site is old, the back end surely isn’t in line with what’s best for the search engines trying to discover you. Agree to revamp your whole site, and then revisit the idea; it's not worth the effort until then.
You have tons of competition.
Example: You own a deli located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that makes really good sandwiches. There are tons of delis in Williamsburg that do the exact same thing as you, and most of them have a rudimentary website. Spending money for search traffic to compete with these other delis is a waste. People don’t pick their deli because of search results—it’s all about location and the food. You should stick to a basic three-page site with your menu, ordering information, and store hours and location. If you want more business, put a sandwich board on your sidewalk and advertise a special or work Yelp!
You don’t wanna.
Seriously. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. It’s your business and your website. But if you do want to, we’d be more than happy to chat with you about the kind of high quality, super valuable content that can really drive traffic to your site via search. Contact us today to talk content or for a recommendation of an honest, reliable SEO firm who could help boost your rankings.