I do a lot of research in two SEO services for my job. As such, I recently ran across a press release announcing a new financing service for small businesses looking for help in paying the SEO bill. From what I can tell, this is a private lender offering to finance SEO services the same way any type of business expense might be financed.
Small business owners, would you do this? Would you finance your SEO services and the same way you might finance capital improvement projects? I can definitely see the case for doing so. But I can also see a significant risk. I would have to think long and hard before I took out a loan to pay for SEO services.
Perhaps all of this is lost on you because you don’t understand the basics of SEO (search engine optimization). It starts with coming to grips with the fact that nearly all marketing in the 21st century is now done online. Furthermore, the key to online success is the search engine – particularly Google.
SEO is a set of tools and strategies designed to ensure that businesses can be found online. Between Google’s organic search rankings and paid advertising, companies that can be easily found online are more likely to achieve superior marketing results. This leads us to the reasons why companies might choose to finance paid SEO services.
SEO’s foundation is doing well in organic searches. If you’re not familiar with organic searches, they are the searches people run when they go to Google or Bing and enter words in the search box. The results that come up are known as ‘organic’ results. Most of the traffic driven by search engines is the result of these organic searches.
The challenge is this: it takes time for SEO campaigns to affect organic searches. On average, a small business won’t begin to see serious results from an SEO campaign for about three months. Meanwhile, they still need to pay for SEO services.
Investing in long term SEO services is ultimately a financial commitment. A company is investing for 12 months or longer, expecting a long-term return in exchange for short-term pain. That pain is in the form of spending money.
The rationale behind financing SEO is one of consistency. In fact, according to Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing, consistency is one of the keys to making SEO work. Webtek recommends consistent content creation, consistent keyword research, and so on. The more consistent a company is in its SEO efforts, the more impact those efforts have on organic searches.
Consistency in SEO requires a consistent budget to fund SEO efforts. But since most companies experience regular ebbs and flows in revenue, they might not always be in a good cash position to invest in SEO. Financing is one option. Financing SEO services provides a consistent and reliable budget to keep campaigns going month after month.
No doubt there are risks involved in financing SEO. The biggest risk is putting a ton of money into a year’s worth of services and ultimately see no increase in sales or revenue. Not only will you have put money into a service that did not deliver, but you are also now on the hook for paying off a loan without any additional revenue to cover it.
As a small business owner myself, I would have to think long and hard about financing SEO services. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it, but I would be cautious.