After creating a site, the job of a webmaster is to get it ranked in various search engines. Now to achieve this goal, he thinks of search engine optimization (in short SEO). The reason is he has read and heard about SEO’s power to rank a website.
You may know the web is full of contents about the benefits of SEO. Hence, a website owner is forced to spend the major part of his time on improving website SEO. He focuses on building all kinds of links (both do follow and no follow) by visiting and writing to various sites.
In addition, he starts submitting his site to many web directories.
Now, a question comes to my mind. Is SEO the most crucial thing for a site and does it have only benefits? My answer is – SEO is vital, but not the most crucial thing. And, there are advantages and disadvantages of SEO.
We will go a little deeper on our topic of advantages and disadvantages of SEO for your business.
Advantages of SEO
1. SEO brings in quality traffic
Business owners and marketers use SEO as an inbound strategy. It is preferred over outbound methods which involve cold calling, cold emails (spam emails), and interruptive ads.
Let us understand the outbound strategy first.
To improve sales, a business owner calls a consumer (cold calling), sends emails (spam emails) or puts ads on TV, billboards etc. All these activities are carried out to persuade consumers to buy a product or service. It is irrespective of whether the consumer is interested in these offers or not. This scenario falls under outbound method and its conversion rate is quite low.
On the other hand, in the inbound method, a consumer puts a query in the search bar and reaches to a site to get information about a product, service or any offer. He is more likely to convert into a lead or sale.
As per studies, the quality traffic brought by SEO is the highest converting (into leads or sales) traffic. Therefore, the best benefit of SEO is targeted traffic.
More reading: High PR Blog Submission Sites List
2. SEO improves the user experience on your website
The user experience on a website is a vital factor that falls under the purview of SEO. There are some key factors that affect user experience:
Website loading speed – If a site takes a long time to load, users will get irritated. Many users will not wait page loading to complete and quit in between.
A site should be responsive (mobile friendly) – Today the use of mobile phones to access the web is at an all-time high. The site should load correctly and quickly on a mobile phone. Otherwise, it stands no chance of ranking high in SERPs.
Fix 404 error – After clicking on a link if a user encounters a 404 error, it creates a bad user experience. Although search engines don’t punish such sites severely, visitors do. They avoid visiting such sites in the future. So, as a part of SEO activity, one should fix 404 errors.
More reading: High DA PR Profile Creation Sites List
3. SEO saves expense on Ads
The traffic that SEO provides is absolutely free and saves a lot of money on ads.
The algorithms of Google and other search engines use many factors to decide which webpages should be shown after a query has been entered in the search bar. The best pages are presented in order of their ratings as per search engines.
The first page gets over 70% traffic which is absolutely free. So, you do not need to spend much on ads. That is perhaps another big reason that most of the business owners and marketers work late hours on improving their sites’ SEO.
4. SEO can beat the competition
You can beat your competition using SEO techniques. Be assured your competitors are also working on SEO. But, if you do better than them, you will win.
There are many SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc., that are used to carry out competitor’s analysis. Such analysis can reveal vital information on your competitor’s backlink profile, keywords, length of its posts etc.
Thereafter, you can optimize your existing posts for SEO in a better way – like creating more backlinks, adding contents to the posts, etc. Moreover, you can create new posts for keywords that are sending high traffic to your competitor’s site.
There are other factors also like page speed, readability score, etc., for which you can make your webpages better and score higher search ranking.
More reading: High DA Blog Commenting Sites
5. SEO builds your brand credibility
If a website ranks among the top three places of a search result, it indicates Google values the site. And users also make a similar impression of the site.
Normally, you will find top brand sites appearing in Google search results for competitive keywords. And it is really difficult for new sites to compete with top brands.
Then what is the solution?
New website owners can work on long tail keywords for which there is little or no competition. If they implement SEO properly, their sites can rank high. This way you can start building your brand credibility with the help of SEO.
More reading: High DA Forum Posting Sites List
Disadvantages of SEO
So far we have discussed some vital benefits of SEO. But SEO has a negative side also.
Let us discuss some disadvantages of SEO.
1. SEO takes a long time to show results
SEO involves a number of activities including building backlinks on various websites. And these activities consume a lot of time and effort.
But even after properly implementing the SEO, Google does not reward and rank your sites immediately. Normally, it takes three to six months when organic traffic starts pouring on a new site.
If your site’s niche is competitive, then it becomes even harder and time taking to rank. It is because your competitors are also striving hard to beat your site and surge ahead in the ranking.
2. ROI for SEO takes time
SEO demands investment. You will need to hire an SEO expert if you cannot work on your site SEO. As mentioned above, SEO cannot generate results overnight. It takes months to have a glimpse of results.
SEO is different for different sites. It means some techniques that work in a particular niche may not work on other niches. So, the SEO expert will have to experiment with various techniques. And, once he finds the right one for your site, then he continues to work on it for months.
Remember, SEO is an on-going activity which implies your expense will continue on SEO. As the site traffic grows with time your earning from the site also grows.
So, to get a decent ROI it may take one year or more.
3. SEO is no guarantee of success
For bloggers and website owners SEO is a popular word. Some people are fascinated by it and think if they implement SEO on their sites, the traffic will skyrocket. But that is not the truth.
Even if you correctly implement SEO, it does not guarantee
Consider a site whose niche is very competitive. Then high authority sites would already be ranking on top spots for the main keywords. You stand no chance whatsoever of any success there.
Your website niche has to be less competitive for SEO to get you success. In this case, if you correctly optimize your site with the help of an SEO expert and wait for some time, you are likely to beat the competition.
4. SEO does not give full control over results
Google’s algorithm considers many factors before deciding the rank of content in the search results. But, neither you nor I know for sure about these factors. Even the so-called gurus are not sure about the complex ranking factors.
As per a guess by SEO experts, Google uses over 200 factors for ranking. But all factors have different weights.
Therefore, a webmaster has no control over results even after optimizing a site for SEO.
Ranking of a webpage may vary with time. It is particularly true for medium and low authority sites.
We have observed that high authority sites ranking normally stay stable.
So, do not be overly optimistic about the results after implementing SEO on your site.
5. Fear of Google penalty
Google keeps releasing new updates of its search algorithm. In the past, Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates were released and ruined the efforts of many marketers.
You never know which white hat SEO strategy of today becomes black hat SEO practice in future in the eyes of Google. If such a thing happens your site may be completely removed from search results or may be pushed down to the 10th or 15th page.
Google hates link building. But link building is the core of SEO process. As per Google, one should create original and helpful content for its viewers. When people like a content they will naturally link it. Only this way of link building is supported by Google.
In actual practice people use all possible ways of link building including blog commenting, guest posting, web directory submission, outreaching website owners for links, broken link strategy, etc.
The matter of fact remains that you never know when your site is penalized by search engines.
We discussed vital pros and cons of SEO. Despite some cons, SEO still plays a crucial role in ranking. If we use white hat tactics and remain cautious while optimizing our sites for SEO, we can succeed.