Should You Bother with SEO?

You have a site you are trying to launch; you have a long list of expenses, and the last thing you want to do is invest money if you are not certain that it will be a help or a waste. Should your startup devote any time, effort, or money to search engine optimisation?

Not according to Chris Dixon. “SEO Is No Longer a Viable Marketing Strategy for Startups,” which appeared in Business Insider, asserted that SEO worked well for those first intrepid sites who took advantage. Wikipedia is an example; it went from startup to trusted source and resident of the top spots in a variety of search queries. Older sites like this built their reputation and established themselves; now Google gives them weight not only for the content but for how old the sites are. According to Dixon, SEO techniques are virtually useless for startups because they simply cannot achieve the type of weight that Wikipedia and other sites already enjoy.

Is SEO a waste of time and money if you are trying to promote a startup? Sure it is – if the extent of your SEO campaign is to sprinkle some keywords you think are relevant throughout the site or if you rely solely on SEO to market your site. Sites in the first group understand the value of SEO but don’t really have a grasp on how to make it work for their site. They may become easily frustrated by the lack of results, thus blaming SEO. On the other hand, sites that rely exclusively on SEO techniques are ignoring important aspects of a comprehensive marketing campaign, such as the use of social media. In that case, results can be spotty, and certainly they can appear as unworthy of the expense or time.

SEO is effective when used properly and when included as part of an overall marketing strategy. There is no denying that sites like Wikipedia have tremendous weight and that it’s very difficult to compete in this fierce marketplace. That is exactly why sites need to use SEO. It may not level the playing field, but it helps sites gain a foothold from which to grow.

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