When it comes to SEO initiatives, there are two schools of thought; one that understands that the web is a highly competitive arena that requires professional strategy and execution to succeed and the other that assumes that building a website and a couple of social media pages should be enough to drive a stream of consumers to a place of business. The second school of thought tends to embrace additional misconceptions that can prevent successful SEO initiatives, including:
The web is a low cost haven for business – This perception is probably based on the fact that the first steps of building a business presence on the web cost very little or can be done for free. For example, buying a URL and paying for hosting costs $25 or less. Setting up Facebook and Twitter pages is free. When these steps are perceived as the most important work that needs to be done to establish a presence on the web, the logic tends to follow that everything else shouldn't cost much more. This is one of the reasons that black hat SEO companies were so successful in selling their services. For example, buying 1,000 spammy links for $10 represented the prices that had previously been paid to get on the web, so the cost made sense to business owners.
SEO can be done on the cheap - Here’s the thing; the vast majority of consumers now search the web for things to buy. Even at the local level, the competition for the listings on search engines is fierce by necessity. For example, according a Marketing Land study, the top 5 search rankings for user inquiries get over 67 percent of the clicks. Attaining and keeping a top 5 ranking in almost any product category is only possible with the foot constantly on the SEO gas pedal, which is both labor and time intensive. Additionally, the best SEO campaigns get their results by distributing content that positions products with consumers while also building the brand of the business. Always keep in mind that SEO is a "get what you pay for" business, so getting high click through rates, professionally designed marketing pieces, and branding simply isn't going to happen for a couple hundred dollars per month.
It takes too long to get results - This is a key area of frustration for many business owners as money spent during the first few months on an SEO initiative may not deliver substantially more web traffic. The same is true with buying advertising with the rule of thumb being that consumers, on average, need to see an ad 6 times before taking some sort of action. While these practices are different in many ways, they are similar in that there will be some time that elapses between the first payment and an upswing in traffic.
The bottom line is that the web is the primary medium for consumers searching for everything from the best pizza in town to replacement parts for a vintage automobile. The competition for these consumers is intensifying, and the businesses that hire and pay for the best SEO talent available will reap the lion's share of the rewards.