In fact, you might already memorise the spiel most agencies give about SEO.
Higher rankings = more business.
If you’re not on page one of search results, forget about it.
We’ll get you to page one in X amount of time.
Sound familiar? Yeah, we thought so.
But there’s another side to SEO that many don’t talk about – a side that we in the digital marketing world don’t always want you to know (or at least focus on) because it might turn you away.
Get ready, because we’re about to lift the lid on some of the things you don’t often hear when shopping around for SEO.
1. It can take a long time to get results.
By now, you’ve probably heard many times over that it can take a while to get the results you want in SEO. (And if somebody tells you that they can get you top rankings in a few weeks, run away ASAP!)
But what we’ve noticed is that most business owners don’t fully grasp just how long it takes to get the results they’re looking for.
Many expect big and drastic results in just a few months. But the reality is, it often takes much longer than that.
Sure, there are cases where a website’s rankings skyrocketed to the top after just a few weeks or months of work. But these are the exceptions, not the rule.
The truth is, in most cases, it can take at least several months to get results from SEO that truly make an impact on your bottom line.
We hate to admit it, but SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. And that’s not something every business owner wants to hear.
2. We’re at the mercy of Google.
When we talk about SEO, we’re basically talking about Google Search. (Google holds a whopping 86% of the global market share for search engines.)
So when we make changes to your site for SEO, we’re essentially making them for Google.
But here’s our biggest challenge:
We are ultimately at the hands of Google’s search algorithm.
And to make things harder, no one apart from Google’s Search team knows the search algorithm exactly. There’s also the fact that there are hundreds of ranking signals that could affect your rankings online.
So yeah, we have our work cut out for us.
The silver lining is that Google provides guidance and direction in what their search engine is looking for and how they rank pages. But they never reveal exactly how their algorithm works.
What we do, then, is essentially a combination of following their guidelines, implementing industry best practices, using tried and tested techniques, and trying methods that we think we’ll improve your chances of ranking higher. It’s a science and an art.
But the reality for everyone in SEO is that we work around Google, not the other way around.
If someone tells you they know exactly how Google’s algorithm works, that’s a sure sign to walk away.
3. There are no guaranteed results.
Because no one knows exactly how Google’s algorithm works and what changes Google will make in the future, nothing is guaranteed as far as results go.
We can make educated guesses, projections, and strategies. But guarantees? That’s a big no – at least for good and honest SEO agencies.
Beware of people who provide hard and fast guarantees when it comes to SEO rankings and results.
It’s nice to hear and imagine as a business owner, but it’s far from how it actually works.
4. It can get expensive.
There’s no way around it: SEO is an investment – and likely a big investment at that.
Aside from requiring months to build momentum and generate results that matter, SEO also requires a lot of work to do right. A LOT.
With hundreds of ranking signals that could affect your site’s rankings, there are always several things to work on, improve, or start in SEO. And that’s already if you have a solid, well-built site that’s ranking pretty well.
If you’re starting from scratch or have a poorly designed with low rankings, then even more work will need to be done.
All that time and work will cost money – especially if you work with proven experts and specialists (which is the only way to go with SEO, by the way).
Forget those cheap SEO packages that promise big results with small fees.
In SEO, you get what you pay for.
5. SEO isn’t for every business.
It hurts us to say this, but it’s the hard truth: SEO isn’t right for every business.
Every business is different, and what works in one industry won’t necessarily work in yours.
Whether SEO is right for you will depend on your business goals, industry, and circumstances.
Some businesses will get better results with Google Ads or maybe social media marketing. Or maybe email marketing or content marketing. Even door-to-door sales might be the way to go for some businesses.
The point is SEO isn’t for every business, and you need to make sure it’s right for your business before investing in it.
Have we scared you off yet? We hope not! Here’s why.
As uncertain as SEO can be, it’s still one of the most powerful and effective digital marketing solutions today. As more people spend time online and use Google to search for almost everything, showing up on the first page of search results is more important than ever.
And for many companies, SEO plays a key role in generating more sales and revenue.
SEO clearly works for many businesses – good SEO, at least – and it may prove to be a solid anchor for your digital marketing campaign.
Just don’t expect it to be a magic bullet.
At KDM, we see to it that our SEO clients understand these things before bringing them on board. This ensures we’re on the same page while setting the right expectations from the start. We know that SEO can be a big investment, so we’ll do everything we can to make sure you get your money’s worth when you work with us.
Want to know more about how (or if) SEO can help your business? Get in touch with us to learn more.