September 19th, 2017

Unpopular Opinion: SEO Isn’t Going to Fix Your Sales Problem

Author: Eric Lynch
Eric Lynch
Partner & Director of Business Development

seo isn't going to fix your sales problem

There are agencies all over the Internet either promising rankings results (the ones you obviously should run from) or at least can show that they’ve done the work to increase a company’s search term rankings. The latter is perfectly fine, and we do it. Reputable SEO agencies should show their work. But there’s a slight problem – it’s not probably not going to solve all of yours.

If you’re a business where sales growth is slow, simply throwing SEO dollars, or hell even AdWords dollars at the problem may not be what you need to increase those sales. An SEO agency who doesn’t look at your whole problem from top of funnel to the bottom is only fixing one issue. The hard truth and unpopular opinion in our industry is: SEO isn’t going to fix your sales problem when you have these factors.

The Leaky Funnel

An SEM’s job is simple, (Note I didn’t say easy) grow the keywords that are going to get the most traffic possible to put you in front of the most people. One problem, if you don’t have the holes in your marketing funnel sealed that traffic has less value. Those visitors aren’t being remarketed to, and nurtured until they’re sales ready.

Additionally, there’s the sales funnel that can have its own leaks. If you’re not using a proper CRM, or other sales tools to ensure that you’re following up on leads on a regular basis there’s a big hole that SEO can’t fill.

The Clogged Funnel

What’s your sales cycle look like? How long does it take from the moment someone first visits your website to the time they become a customer? Don’t know the answer? Is it a long time? Now imagine if you just kept stacking leads in that same clogged sales funnel. It sounds like a great problem, but honestly it’s a really expensive one.

You’ve got more leads than you can reasonably handle, so you hire more sales staff. The staff you already have are working every day, calling on those leads to move them through the funnel. Meanwhile, everyone’s getting frustrated, because, while they have leads they’re not paying off. You’re getting frustrated because you’re spending more on sales staff and not seeing the benefits. Then there’s those that are in the funnel but were never qualified.

Instead of being a filter to have the right leads at the right time, your process has a bottle neck. Again, SEO can’t fix this. It is singularly focused on getting you more and better traffic. If they’re not doing that, you’re firing the agency right? Exactly.

The Solution

The solution is looking at your digital marketing holistically, not as singular pieces. SEO is not a part of the pie, it’s a spice in your stew. It HAS to be there all the time, but it’s not singular, it can’t be taken away or added from time to time. SEO is also not the silver bullet to your sales problem.

Throwing more traffic, into your website won’t necessarily create more leads, certainly not better ones. You need to have conversion points. Having more leads won’t always create more sales if they’re unqualified. Finally, not looking at all the potential areas of weakness in your marketing and sales funnels won’t solve your problem. A head in the sand approach will not aid you.

So to look at how to grow your traffic, leads, sales, and returning customers, you need to look at fixing your whole problem with a whole solution. SEO alone just ain’t gonna do it.

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