SEO: Expectations vs. Reality


We all know how important SEO has become for businesses looking to market their products online. But some of us have wildly optimistic (or pessimistic) views of what SEO can achieve. Understanding what SEO can do for your firm is imperative if you are going to be successful. And so it’s important you know what to expect from SEO services.


Expectation 1: Link Building Gets Results On A Low Budget


Businesses tend to think that link building on external sites is a low budget operation. The truth is, however, that it isn’t necessarily all that cheap. Companies often come to link builders with a budget in mind. They think that if they spend a certain number of dollars, they’ll get a certain amount of return on their investment. But link building doesn’t work like this.



In reality, it’s difficult to know whether you can do link building on the cheap for your business. Building links, of course, requires generating content. And that content can be quite expensive. And the type of links you create will be dependent on the kind of business you run. So you need to know in advance what your requirements are and how hard it will be to produce content for your business.


Expectation 2: You Can Fully Outsource SEO To An Agency


Many businesses believe that once they have outsourced to an SEO agency, they can then be hands-off. And while it’s true that this option is available, it isn’t advisable.


The reality is that if you want to make the most of your SEO agency, you’ll want to provide some high-level guidance. Ideally, the agency would know your overall marketing strategy. Then they could tailor the SEO to match. What you don’t want is a lot of traffic to your website from people who aren’t interested in your content. Sites like explain why relevant SEO matters.


Expectation 3: Every Link Has A Monetary Value


Businesses operate in the world of facts and figures. They want to know that if they make an investment, the investment will generate a return. The expectation is that you can know the ROI on every link that you build to your website. In other words, you can capture a monetary value from every link and equate this to either conversion or profit.




But the truth is that it is nearly impossible to see the direct return from any one particular link. Even with sophisticated analytics, you probably won’t get very far. The reality is that you will have to look at your SEO efforts from a much broader perspective, as noted by One of the ways you can justify your SEO is to look to see if your site starts to perform better. If it does, following a big SEO push, then perhaps your SEO is making a difference. Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy. And as a result, it’s not as granular as you might be tempted to believe. It’s just not possible to say that X dollars of spending on links generated X dollars of return.