When SEO Is a Waste of Money

Let’s say you sell a consumer product and it bothers you to no end that you don’t rank higher for some keyword phrases.

Ask yourself: how much SEO knowledge do you possess? How often do you use that knowledge? What are your successes?

Let’s assume you read about SEO and don’t practice it and don’t have successes.

You could:

1. Lament that you lack expertise.
2. Complain that you don’t rank higher.
3. Pay someone to do it.

My suggestion is that if you hire someone on staff (or a consultant), don’t weigh in from your super obvious lack of experience. But ask some questions so you’re more informed.

And when the strategies and tactics start rolling in, don’t question all of them. If they collide with your messaging, then work out some compromises. Typically, I invent new content that allows me to have some freedom.

What I’ve found is that some company  marketers put on an SEO hat and fight everything. In the meantime, they plow through money while rejecting reasoned SEO approaches. Sometimes they recognize the value of creating new content. But, because they know the product so well – and have a certain voice they want to use – they pledge to create their own articles. And then very little happens. They don’t create the content.

And when the SEO tactics are rejected and the articles aren’t written, they resort to complaining that they don’t rank higher.

In the meantime, they’ve lost a bunch of money because they got in the way.

If you want to be successful with SEO, be willing to seek advice, accept it, use it and measure it. Otherwise, put the money into something else like paid search or focus groups who can give feedback on existing or new products.

I’m sure consumer-focused companies have never launched or priced a product without checking in with prospective customers that match a well defined persona.