'Is SEO really worth it?'
Search this term into Google, and you'll find SEO self-promotes to the max.
The top SERP results say things like:
'Yes, SEO is absolutely worth it.'
'SEO is important.'
Terms like 'highly valuable' and 'return on investment' appear frequently in bolded text, telling the searcher to opt for SEO. This in itself, is an indication that SEO works.
It's no secret that SEO is a big project. Getting SEO rankings on the rise takes lots of time, patience and tactics. Plus, it's not cheap.
So we look at answering this question from a well-rounded, non-biased angle: Is SEO really worth it?
SEO is like cat and mouse
SEO is an ever-changing game. SEO in 2024 is not the same SEO from two years ago. There's always something different going on with SEO, and it even depends on the time of day. It's about as unpredictable as the British weather.
SEO is all about timing and adaptability. It's about keeping a close eye on patterns. In lots of ways, it's trial and error.
It's not about peppering your content with a few keywords anymore. SEO used to be a bit of a dark horse. It was a specific set of wires and cables that would work on any website. It was simpler when it started, and far less heard of. In some ways, it was a badly kept secret.
But in 2024, SEO is so much more than the humble keyword. SEO has snowballed into its very own marking specialism, adapting to the competition amongst richly packed markets.
SEO has adapted to our unceasing need to access information right here, right now. It works heavily on location, timing, and customer data.
Each year, we see a new shift in SEO. Google's core updates, to the ominous 'algorithm.' And year after year, SEO experts meander their efforts around these shifts, as though the head-scratching algorithm were some sort of all-seeing, all-knowing presence of red-taped code that Google holds the key to.
It's frustrating, and it's a long game. It's the marketing big gun that some marketers will swear by. SEO is a hive of industry because it works.
What is SEO in 2024?
We're all keeping up with the AI revolution, and SEO has front-row seats. Google has filled up its engine with AI technology. With its generative AI, the searcher can find results quickly, without even having to click on a site. That means when you search for something, Google starts a kind of conversational flow between your original search and your continuation of exploration.
Google describes it as 'doing all the heavy lifting for you', knowing exactly what you're after as soon as you press the keys.
It turns the search engine into more of a chatbot, doing all the research for you.
It's the same for shopping, too. Google's generative search will automatically pick the products that match your search query - an instant carousel of gratification that appears as soon as you hit 'enter.' This means lower click-throughs, and less chance of exposure - even for the sites that hold first place in the rankings.
Weigh up the pros and cons before opting into SEO.
Pros of SEO
What benefits can you expect to see when you invest in SEO?
- Gaining trust and credibility
- Higher chance of exposure
- Higher volumes of traffic to your site
- It gives you a competitive edge
- Can churn a high ROI
Cons of SEO
What's not so great about SEO?
- Competitive field, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door
- Popular keywords can be difficult to rank for
- It's expensive and requires specialist help
- Tough to keep up with ever-changing demands
- Can take a long time before you see any results
It's all about whether your business could benefit from specialist SEO. Although the majority of businesses can benefit from SEO, it's not for everyone.
- Does your business solve a niche problem that your leads are searching for?
- Are you a local business that could benefit from geo-based searches?
- Can you optimise your content for SEO without having to splash the cash?
Figure out where your buyer persona is located. Which digital circles are they populating? Could you benefit more from other avenues of exposure?
4 in 5 consumers are on Google to search for information (Google, 2022). There's certainly scope to attract your specific buyer persona (whoever they are), but it ultimately depends on whether it's worth it for your specific business, and what exactly they're using Google for.
Plus, we shouldn't only rely on gold-tier SEO for all traffic.
There are other avenues for gaining exposure. If you're on a tighter budget, go heavy on your socials/email marketing, or invest in cheaper basic SEO packages. Take advantage of a CRM to cast out the nets, and network yourself.
Never be content with dud content
It all comes down to content. Content is always the best way to generate leads. Crafting decent content is always the most powerful way of magnetising new leads and turning heads.
Google isn't stupid, and it knows when you've stuffed your marketing with SEO keywords. Plus, it knows when your content is AI-generated: They're cut from the same cloth.
What Google will prioritise is personable, human content designed for your buyer persona. Ditch the copy/paste, and make your content as relatable as possible. Marketers call this 'personality-driven content.' Composing this kind of content will engage with your specific target audience. Organic results come from a healthy balance of SEO mixed with solid content.
Need some clarity?
Thrown off by the 'marketing AI revolution?' It's not as big or scary as it sounds.
At Method, it all boils down to solid, engaging content that really speaks the same language as your buyer persona. We're all about keeping things as simple as possible, to keep it easy for everyone. If things are moving a bit too fast, or if you need a bit of translation, pop us a message.
We've got a proven inbound strategy under our belt, as well as a team of creatives and strategists. We've got the knowledge and info you need to help grow your business. We've got your back while the robots take over.