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SEO: Why It's Not Always the Best Way to Go
SEO is often considered to be the most important component of building websites that attract users. Indeed, many people have been able to build successful website based on strong SEO skills and expert execution. However, people often default to SEO when there may be better options available. SEO is inherently limited, and there may be better techniques for building a steady, consistent base of users. Here some of the disadvantages of SEO and some alternatives to consider.
SEO takes time
One mistake people make is building too many links and connecting resources to a website too quickly. Search engine algorithms are honed to detect if users are trying to exploit the system, and they can often tell if links were created simply for SEO purposes. As a result, these links may have a minimal impact on a website's ranking. Further, the sheer volume of links necessary for successful SEO may be too much to afford in terms of time and money. Other techniques for building a base of users are much quicker; pay per click advertising, for example, will start sending potential customers right away.
SEO is fickle
There is perhaps no more frustrating means of attracting users than SEO. Search engine algorithms are constantly tweaked, and major revisions can change the rankings of a website dramatically. Many who have spent hundreds of hours working on a website or set of websites have seen their work evaporate in seconds. For small businesses that rely on Internet activity to drive a profit, this sort of fickleness can be disastrous. While SEO can be a key component of an Internet marketing strategy, it should not be the only component; other types of Internet marketing tend to be far more reliable and predictable than SEO.
Results are not guaranteed
The success rate for those who perform their own SEO is limited, and most amateurs give up in frustration. However, even those who rely on experts can never be guaranteed results. The ranking algorithms used by the search engines are purposely opaque, and the number of vectors used to rank a website makes thorough analysis impossible. While SEO experts can deliver decent results most of the time, these results should never be viewed as guarantees. The reliability of other means of advertising make them preferable for those who need results in a fairly short period of time.
SEO is not always productive
Using most forms of Internet marketing will ensure that most visitors are potentially interested in purchasing a product or service. SEO, on the other hand, will likely bring in users may not be looking to buy anything. Because of this, the high number of clicks generated through SEO is somewhat mitigated by the fact that these clicks may be less productive than clicks generated from other marketing techniques. Those performing SEO work will want to track how productive visitors are and determine if further effort in SEO is worthwhile. If it is not, trying another advertising technique may be a wise idea.
SEO has long been will remain a cornerstone of Internet marketing, and most who look to attract customers will want to add it to their toolkit. However, the power of SEO is often overstated, and it is wholly inappropriate for many purposes. By viewing SEO as one tool among many, those engaging in Internet marketing can accurately gauge its power.