Most businesses, especially the ones that fall under the category of Small and Medium Businesses (SMB), equate a business’s success to their SEO efforts. This perception is even truer for those businesses that are in the early phases of digital transformation and are attempting to reach the large audience of the Internet to maximize their reach and sales.
I get asked this question by many small business owners. This group of entrepreneurs believes that SEO can solve all their customer acquisition problems. However, those of us who have tread these waters before know that while at one time SEO had a major impact on a business’s success, the equation has gotten more complex with more variables. Here are some of the reasons.
- Based on its definition, SEO, is meant to optimize a website to pull more organic search engine traffic. That traffic may or may not be a large piece of a business’s traffic. The truth is that with social media platforms in play, a business’s primary target audience may not be as active on search as on other platforms.
- SEO reflects only one dimension of an organization’s overall digital marketing strategy. An organization’s digital properties such as websites, etc. may also find more valuable audiences by pulling in traffic from PPC, social media, and other sources and thus SEO solely may not be as impactful in pushing a business to great heights. However, we can say that success in digital marketing overall can be more impactful as that means an organization is able to target the right audience, focusing on lead captures and sales conversions, etc. – all factors that together have a much larger impact on the success of a business than just SEO.
- Zooming further out, marketing, again, is one part of a business’s operations. Other aspects of a digital business play a role in its success as well. That includes the ability of an organization to create the right products for its market, selling effectively to the right digital audience, agile delivery, customer service, and so on. For example, no matter how much traffic you are able to pull in, if your products and services are not on par to your audience’s preferences, you will have difficulty converting that traffic. Gone are the days of the mantra “if you build it, they will come”.
In conclusion, your vision and focus should always be larger than simply making SEO work for your website or other digital properties. Your ultimate goal should be to deliver on the differentiating value proposition for your business and that means looking at all aspects to make your digital business a success.
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