Why SEO is not a magic bullet

Over the years, we’ve met just about every kind of client, big corporations, sole proprietors, mid-sized regional companies, e-commerce businesses, and so on. One thing we come across once in a while is a client who thinks of SEO as a quick, cheap, and easy way to unlimited riches. It is a similar kind of assumption that allows late-night infomercials to sell junk to people that they don’t need–“Instant abs!” “Quick riches in real estate!” “How to get A’s without even studying!” You know the type.

There are some unscrupulous SEO agencies out there, many from overseas where a living wage is far lower than in the USA, that will promise clients the moon. “Guaranteed #1 in Google!” “Flood your website with visitors!” again, you know the type.

SEO, however, isn’t a matter of pushing a couple buttons on some sophisticated software that will instantly tell Google to rank your site at the top. Just like getting in shape requires discipline in the gym and the dinner table, it website is not going to miraculously start outranking everybody else in less it has strong content, genuine social signals, a mobile friendly and responsive design, authoritative backlinks, in about 185 other factors.

However, over and above this, a website must actually offer something that people want.

SEO is more like a roadmap that builds the network of highways and byways to your website where people who are looking for your product or service can find you. That said, if you are offering something that people do not want, no amount of ranking your website is going to make you prosperous.

Here is a true life example that happened to a good friend of ours: he had made a website that was on the cutting edge of technology, offered what he believed was a real need in his country, ranked the site to number one for several keywords,and even had a number of people sign up for a service… The problem was, only a handful of them wanted to pay for it. After about a year, our friend shut down the website because it was becoming more like a charity than a business.

Why do we say all this? Because sometimes clients have the idea that they can generate sales without market demand… But it just does not work that way. The kind of clients that Jacksonville SEOs serves best are those with reasonable expectations, a product or service that is validated by the market ( e.g. you have got some sales under your belt!), and who understands online marketing as a handmaiden to generating more business for a successful product or service.

This said, we have a number of clients with professional backgrounds, (think lawyer, doctor, accountant, etc.) whose practices were moderately popular, but they wanted to expand their reach online. We were able to take each of them to the next level, and on more than one occasion, to the point that they were busier than ever. they may still think of our services as the magic bullet that catapulted them to new financial heights, but what is really behind the success is the fact that we ranked what was already a viable and valuable product demanded by their local market.

This post was something as a public service announcement to prospective clients who may be thinking about online marketing for their business. Our practice is to always look first at the business itself, the client’s expectations and current business model, and only then to agree to take them on board. In some cases this means they need a new website, or have to improve an existing one. In other cases it means complementing their existing website with a way to capture e-mails or develop an online store. Yet we cannot stress enough that nobody, even the best advertisers and marketers that ever lived, can make the market demand a product that they are not asking for and have no interest in.