Last week we received a call from a business that asked us to send them a search engine optimization (SEO) quote. Their primary focus was to get their website ranked higher for specific search terms in Google. Sounds pretty straight forward, right?

I arranged a call with the business owners and after a great conversation I explained that search engine optimization isn’t what it use to be. Just having a website full of keywords isn’t going to move the needle like it once did in the earlier days of the internet. You need to produce quality content that is useful and usable for the user. I explained that their business should be thinking about improving their overall web presence, and the SEO quote they asked for was only going to be one part of it. It probably wasn’t the quick answer that they wanted, but why should your business invest in one area of web marketing, if you’re lacking in other areas of your online presence?

Evaluate Your Online Presence

In the case of this particular business, their website wasn’t built to support ongoing marketing initiatives. It was built using a basic “out of the box” web platform which didn’t allow for optimal on-page optimization. It offered a poor user experience, very little content, and unclear value propositions. I honestly didn’t really know what their business did until I got on a call with them. Last, but certainly not least, it wasn’t mobile friendly. They have big expansion plans, but this website clearly wouldn’t be able to support the growth they are expecting.

It was clear that the first thing they needed was to develop a new website. So I asked them:

  • Why would you invest in Google Adwords campaigns if your visitors will come from smartphones and your website isn’t mobile friendly?
  • Why would you invest in SEO when your visitors do not understand what your business does and how you can help them?
  • Why would you invest in attracting more visitors when your current website has a really high bounce rate?

Just getting a quick quote for search engine optimization was not going to help their business achieve their true goals. Yeah, we might be able to give them a slight bump, but it wouldn’t help them in the long run. What they need is a more comprehensive online marketing strategy, a better understanding of who their users are, and a website that would support their company and web marketing efforts into the future.

A Quick Proposal Doesn’t Always Equate To Long Term Success

When I asked them if we were the first company they had contacted about SEO services they said “No, we’ve already received quotes from two other companies.”

So I use this example to caution you about quick proposals that might only offer you a temporary fix. If you want your business to achieve the goals you’ve set, you’ll need a complete online presence and an honest marketing strategy. This applies to everything from choosing the right technology, designing a great user experience, to providing useful search friendly content. This is key to attracting your target audience effectively.