The answer to your question is no.
If you’re asking yourself if SEO is a must for you business, there’s your answer.
Although generally speaking search engine optimization is important, it’s not always worth the time or money you have to spend to reap the benefits.
SEO For Small Businesses
A few years ago we struck a deal with a local carpet cleaner here in St. George, UT. It just so happens that residential and commercial carpet cleaning is one of the most competitive industries to rank for online. It doesn’t matter what type of terms you are looking at ranking for, it is going to be an online dog fight if you will. The reason this industry is so competitive is because the barrier to entry is significantly lower than most other businesses. So long as you don’t have a felony or some other crazy item on your record, it takes a business license and a little bit of hustle to start a carpet cleaning company.
This particular client had built a very successful carpet business on word of mouth and good service in a matter of just a few short years. We were actually very impressed with him and the way he ran his business and hoped we would be able to help him out. Instead of doing what we should have and done our homework and research before the meeting, we went into it without much data or information on this vertical from an online perspective.
Check Search Traffic
We had a short meeting about this man’s business and had earned his business by the end of the meeting. Shortly after making the deal, we discovered something that would have been very important to know going into it. We looking at the top three companies on the Google rankings for most terms related to carpet cleaning and made a note of the total traffic. Much to our dismay, we quickly realized that there wasn’t a lot of online traffic. In fact there was so little traffic that even at the number one spot in the SERPS this customer wouldn’t be seeing much difference in his business. Even if carpet cleaning SEO had been an easy-win it wouldn’t have been worth spending a whole lot of time or money on for the upside that would have been involved.
After just a few short months of attempting to rank this client in this competitive niche, we pulled the plug on the deal and gave the man his money back. It’s not that we were quitting him or gave up, we just couldn’t justify taking this man’s money month after month when we knew at the end of the day this would not result in more sales.
When you work withus you will quickly learn that we get it. We know that our job is to help you market your business online and do everything within our job description, but we also know that at the end of the day if our efforts don’t result in more money to your bottom line, we won’t be getting a check from you the next month. We don’t get paid to run your business, but it is in our best interest to think like a business owner and find little or big ways that we can add value. The more success you have, the more success we will ultimately have.
Long Tail SEO
Even though we didn’t find immediate success with some of the obvious phrases that you would think were high traffic in this type of industry, we adjusted our approach to the more long tail terms like:
- Carpet cleaner for hotel room
- Carpet cleaner for rental property
- Carpet cleaner forvacation rental
We did see a much better result from going after these longer tail terms, but ultimately given the lean budget they had given us, it wasn’t going to be worth our time or theirs.
The lesson learned is that when considering whether to do SEO, make sure to do your homework and see if the potential upside is worth your time or money.