Is SEO Worth it?

by Evotive

SEO analysis


Yep, we hear this question when we talk with prospective clients. We’ve heard it three times today alone. And yes, that’s what prompted this post.

Much like the last question we examined, “Should Social Media be Kept In-House” this does not have a simple yes or no answer.

When is SEO not worth it?

1) When you do it wrong.

You might be surprised how wrong it can go, but lets just say most people want to optimize for a search term (keyword phrase) that won’t help them get a lead (a prospective client). Choosing the best long tail keywords (keyword phrases) is one of the main keys to unlocking the door of SEO success. Typically it’s not the obvious keywords that you’ll want your website optimized for, sometimes you might be surprised what search terms actually get your phone to ring.

2.) When your website doesn’t do it’s job.

A website can be one of your best marketing tools. Ideally it’s designed to attract your ideal client and its style or branding must be consistent throughout the website.  You can land on the top of Google, or dominate the first page, but if your website doesn’t reflect what the prospect wants, it will do you no good. It’s all part of well structured internet marketing strategy.

If your website is confusing, or too clever so that the reader can’t figure out what you offer within a second you’ve lost them and SEO doesn’t help you.  If you don’t have a lead capture form above the fold, in an easy to see place and easy to fill out, then your SEO won’t help you as much as it could.

3) When you can’t deliver the promise

Some businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs want to have their website optimized for things they don’t offer yet and may never offer, but because it’s a search term they want, they optimize for it If you can’t provide what that searcher is looking for right now, than don’t optimize for it.

4) When the cost is cost is prohibitive

To determine if the cost is exorbitant you’ll need to know how much money you’re spending on optimizing your website, and how much revenue comes in because your website is optimized. If you’ve spent a significant amount of money on SEO and searchers aren’t finding you, then you’ll find it’s not worth the expense.

When is SEO worth it?

This is a bit tricky to answer because the ROI analysts can’t analyze this without knowing how much money you’re spending to optimize your website, what your average cost per lead is, and how many leads you’re getting.

So, let’s take a more generalized look at this:

    • Your website is up and running, and it reflects the style and branding that your ideal client will be attracted to, you’ve got a lead capture form and maybe a nice offer in exchange for them filling in your form/lead capture.
    • Your website is converting. This means when a searcher lands on your website they fill out your lead form, buy your product, or they give you a call.
    • You’re building an email list with your lead capture form, and you’re prepared to keep the leads warm by sending appropriate helpful emails without bombarding their email box.
    • Your website is optimized for search terms (long tail keywords) that will result in a phone call if the searcher is happy with what they read on your site, and it looks like you can solve their problem.
    • You’re set up to track your website visits and search terms (Google’s new “secure search” does hurt a bit when it comes to analyzing the search terms people used to find your site, but you can still see the other search terms).
    • You test, track, measure and adjust your SEO strategy to get it to where you’re getting the inquires/calls you desire.

Now SEO could be worth it, right?

How about measuring the immeasurable?

If your website can not be found online, how many leads are you missing?

If your website can’t be found online, how many of your past customers are going to your competition because they forgot your business’s name and looked up only what your business does, such as “carpet cleaner,”  and your competitors website comes up while yours doesn’t show at all.

How many of your current customers give your name as a referral, but the person who received the information just looked online because they forgot the name of your business, and now they’re calling someone else who they found online.

We don’t advise that search engine optimization be your entire online marketing strategy, it’s simply part of your overall marketing strategy.


1.) Get Professional Opinions - In order to determine if paying someone to optimize your website is worth it, talk with a few different companies and ask them to help you analyze whether or not it’s right for you.(As an example, some restaurants rock the review sites so awesomely that they don’t need to spend money on SEO.) 

2.) Watch out for Guarantees - Be cautious of anyone who gives you a guarantee such as we guarantee you’ll be number one in Google.

3.) Get Clear on Search Terms - Ask what search terms they plan on optimizing your website for, and ask them how they determine what search terms to use.

4.) Educated Exploration – Take the time to explore your options and evaluate how organic search optimization may affect your sales, your online reputation, and how it would work with your overall marketing strategy.


Share your thoughts: have you optimized your website for organic search? Tell us about your experience.


P.S. If you haven’t yet grabbed your copy of “The 13 Biggest Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them” be sure to do so, it’s FREE and will help you kick-start your marketing plan! You’ll also get our monthly Newsletter filled with great marketing tips, current marketing trends and valuable information you can use for your business

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy Taughinbaugh May 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Hi Aileen,

Thank you for some enlightenment on SEO. It is challenging for all of us who are somewhat new to the technical part of writing a blog. I know SEO is helpful, so appreciate your post!
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Evotive May 2, 2012 at 1:51 am

Hi Cathy, we’ve got some simple & effective tips we’ll be sending out soon that will help non-techies get their sites more optimized. :)


Paige | simple mindfulness May 2, 2012 at 7:09 am

Great advice! So many people think that SEO will solve all their online traffic problems. Even done well, SEO is a gradual process, just like social media. In both cases you’re warming people up to you and your business which takes time to do effectively. There is no one magic bullet. Everything in your arsenal has to be well integrated to make any of them effective. With all your posts here, it’s obvious that Evotive understands this.


Evotive May 10, 2012 at 12:14 am

Thank you Paige :)
It’s disheartening when we talk with a company who spent a good deal of money on search optimization and didn’t even have any type of lead capture on their website or analytics. There’s a lot of misunderstanding that’s “out there” and we like to help businesses get the information they need so they can make informed and educated decisions.


random dude May 8, 2012 at 8:26 am

great start would be to define what seo is


Evotive May 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

Hello. There are links in the blog post that link to pages about what SEO is and go into defining it. This post was intended for those who know what it is, but wonder if they need it or if it’s worth putting in the resources.
SEO is search engine optimization, also referred to as showing up on the first page of Google for your key search terms.
Here’s a link to more information on what search engine optimization is
and here’s another one
hope that helps.


jay June 16, 2012 at 3:51 am

some form of SEO effort is always rewarding, one of the best advices is simple just never stop building links. and don’t ever forget creativity, don’t be afraid to bend the rules


Evotive June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Hi Jay. Creativity is huge for successful SEO – thanks for adding your thoughts :)


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