Top 5 reasons that SEO alone might not be right for you

Wait, what?

Yes, you heard correctly. We’re in the business of helping clients with their SEO, gaining organic website traffic, but the reality is that SEO is not always the right answer for every client in every situation. Let me explain.


1. Sometimes your SEO budget is not enough

This is usually the most common reason. SEO projects have a lot of variables to consider including the difficulty of ranking for search terms and other competitive issues.

For some clients, the work required to achieve their goals within a fixed time is simply not realistic inside a tight marketing budget. Unfortunately, some SEO companies will promise results using tactics outside Google’s guidelines, which ultimately causes more harm than good.

2. The timeframe for your objective is too short

The changing nature of SEO rules, as well as the moving marketing strategy of your competition, means that setting a precise timeframe to achieve results is nearly impossible. SEO success is inherently not an overnight strategy and if your objective is to get to page one from page three immediately, you would likely be better served to leverage other methods.

3. Ad competition is too stiff

Recent changes to the way Google displays ads is not making organic SEO any easier. There are now up to four ads displayed at the top of a page and the length of these ads are now even longer. The result? Even if you do rank on the first page it might be “below the fold” meaning users will have to scroll down to see it.

4. You have a new product or service

Sort of like “if a tree falls in the forest…”, you might be offering something totally new and awesome but no one is searching for it. You need to focus on an educational and awareness strategy that might be better served through ads and content.

5. You’re a new business

Similarly, if you are a new business, organic search can take some time to show results. As a result, if you’re looking for immediate results, you should consider a different tactic initially and use SEO to build organic traffic over time.


Today’s competitive marketplace demands patience and a variety of tactics. Marketers need to have realistic expectations about what can be achieved in a given time frame and within a given budget. An integrated marketing approach consisting of SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing, is usually the best recipe for long-lasting results.

5 replies
  1. Linden Schwark
    Linden Schwark says:

    Exactly. Many clients expect a lot for a small price, but I ask in a way “do you really think someone can turn around your business for $XX and you want to get to $XXX?”

    I use multiple tactics during a campaign to try and generate traffic right away, rather than have them wait months before results.

    “you might be offering something totally new and awesome but no one is searching for it.” I had a client like this just recently and their product was abstract enough that there was no search volume despite being a great product. For these people they need to go for closely related terms to introduce the new product or just skip SEO entirely in favor of exposure marketing.

    Google is definitely pushing their ads over organic – more money for them. They’ll likely push it as far as they can before people start getting PO’d with them.

    I related with your list a lot, haha. Thanks for the read!

  2. Chavdar Iliev
    Chavdar Iliev says:

    I absolutely relay with you. Seeing so much clients with wrong expectations that have been a victims of internet SEO magical promises from overseas companies – gurus that can rank you for “defence attorney” overnight just for $49 per month.

    I have to re-educate the clients that all of these is hurting them and if they are serious with their business they have to invest in it and treat it with respect.
    Love to work with PPC clients that spend already for traffic and usually are ready to invest in their website and business rather spending each month on ads.
    Thanks for great your article


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