SEO is an investment

By Ilana Davis

We ask ourselves: “How do I get traffic to my site?”

As business owners, we have to set priorities and decide where we invest our time, money, and efforts. Usually with the goal of putting in the least amount of effort to get the largest return.

Believe me, I get it! I’m one person running a consulting business, a Shopify app, and a Shopify meetup not to mention giving my family the attention they deserve. I too need to put in as little effort as possible while seeing large returns.

SEO doesn’t just happen and it’s by no means free.

For me, most of my SEO efforts come in the form of writing articles just like this one. SEO is also the content on my website, adding structured data to my pages, linking to other websites (only when it’s relevant and makes sense to the content), social media, and YouTube videos just to name a few. Let’s not forget to revisit all these and make sure it’s still relevant and update content as needed.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for SEO. There are thousands of things I can do but not all of them fit my needs and goals.

That’s where the excuses come in. There are a lot of reasons not to invest in SEO.

  • Requires a lot of effort
  • It’s hard
  • Efforts take a long time to pay off compared to ads
  • There’s a lot of snake oil
  • SEO is both subjective and objective
  • It’s an art and a science
  • The algorithm is always changing
  • What worked last time, may not work this time

It’s just so much easier to run ads, right? Ads have their time and place and can certainly add value to your overall marketing strategies but they too have their faults.

If we are trying to put in as little effort as possible to get large returns, shouldn’t we also consider putting in efforts today for larger returns six months from now? Effectively saying that in a few months, I may not need to put in as much effort because my SEO is working for me.

It’s comical to me that companies invest thousands of dollars in ads, but expect SEO to be free. It’s not. You can do SEO by yourself or put together a team. Either way, someone needs to manage strategy, operations, writing and optimizing content, and ensuring your site is technically up to snuff. So you may not be paying an agency, but there is still a cost.

SEO is earned traffic. When you earn something, someone had to put the effort in.

Here’s why you should invest in SEO:

  • Customers need to hear from you many times before they trust you enough to buy
  • SEO allows you to educate customers and build that trust over time
  • Successful SEO speaks to the customer because they are the ones feeding Google’s algorithm
  • It’s a long game that pays off later
  • It’s a growth play where SEO continues to pay off time and time again

The best performance in SEO comes from being you. Your passion and experience talking about your product are what customers want to see. It’s not marketing speak.

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