Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has often been touted as the panacea for business success. Anyone that would tell you such a thing is not being entirely truthful, though. Yes, getting on Page 1 of the search engines will provide you a better chance of getting clicked on by a potential buyer. But, it’s like being up against the rail when a celebrity walks by; you have a much better chance of shaking their hand than someone ten people behind you. But, even getting the coveted #1 spot on Page 1 has been the death of businesses.
First off, are you really ready or can you scale up your business to handle the potential onslaught of new customers?
Let’s assume that all other factors are in your favor, such as your web site is clean, well laid out, easy to navigate, and provides useful and quick information to the human eyes that click on it… You’ve now got the top spot, and orders are flowing in.
Can you fill them all in a timely manner?
Do you have enough staff to handle it all?
Can your supply chain keep up with your increased orders is another concern. They too might not be able to keep up with demand if you are suddenly doing business at a blistering pace. The truth is, if you find yourself getting clicks and conversions to sales in more volume than you can handle, that’s almost just as bad as having only a little business. You will instead start encountering customer complaints, merchant account disputes, chargebacks, refunds, and angry customers. Eventually this will damage your brand and can ultimately lead to your going out of business.
Secondly, your competition will learn of your new position atop the rankings, and will do what they can to fight back. They might try to knock you off the top spot. Or have negative reviews about your posted online. Or start their own aggressive marketing campaign to keep their customers and try to steal some back from you. So once you start getting results from your SEO, you have to be ready to really to duke it out with your competitors as they will start taking notice of and actively fighting you for market share. If you’re not ready to play hardball, and step up your own marketing efforts even more, then a competitor’s counter attack can also damage or destroy your business.
Much has been said about having your ducks in a row where your web site is concerned, since even having top billing won’t mean anything if your site looks bad or is hard to order from. But, more pitfalls await those that get top billing and sales start to come in at a pace that can’t be kept up with. Your brand is the most important thing you have, and not being able to keep up with demand can damage it worse than anything your rivals can do. These are serious questions that need to be asked before taking on an aggressive SEO campaign:
Will you be able to fulfill your obligations?
Are you willing to step up your own marketing efforts to counter your competitors attempts to fight back?