You get them by email. You see them as comments on your blog. You read them through the Contact Us section of your website. And they want you to worry.
They’re the SEO fearmongers.
My wife Rona Fischman opened an email that began politely, “I thought you might like to know some of the reasons why you are not getting enough search engine & social media traffic on your website.” It went on–mostly in bold blue font that screamed from the page–to list the same useless advice that she and I have both seen from search engine optimizers over and over again.
Why useless? Because it’s generic. The fearmongers don’t know you and they don’t know your audience. Here are three reasons not to worry about SEO:
- You might not need to be found. If you’re a nonprofit, these days you may already be serving more clients than you can handle! If you’re a referral-based business, random searches are the equivalent of cold calls. They’re low-percentage sources. Why attract people who may never do business with you when you can spend the time and money attracting people who already want your services?
- Social media may do better for you than search. If you do need to be found, wouldn’t you rather be found in good company? People are not just Googling “realtor” (for instance) and calling the first on the list. Instead, they’re asking their friends to recommend someone. Facebook or Yelp may be more important to you than Google or Bing.
- What do they find when they get there? Improving the content on your website may get you better results for less money than increasing the number of people who ever happen to take a look at it. Spend your resources on content creation and content marketing.
You shouldn’t worry about SEO–but paying just a little bit of attention to it might be worth your while. Here’s a piece I wrote about “How To Get Found: SEO and the Small Nonprofit.” It includes ten tips on getting more eyeballs to your site. But most of them are not SEO.
Don’t worry, be effective!