There are 101 things (and more) to spend your money on in order to promote your business. Whether you have an established business or you’re just starting out – where should you be spending your money and is seo worth it in 2017?

The real answer to this question is that you should be investing in things that either provide a reasonable ROI, further your brand value or will allow you to do more business in the future.

So with your marketing spend is SEO (search engine optimisation) really worth the money?

We think the answer is YES . . . and not just because it’s a service that we provide.

Other alternatives for getting traffic to your website include traditional advertising (print ads, flyers, etc), Paid for advert banners, Pay Per Click adverting . . . even TV if you have deep enough pockets.

Here are the top pros and cons of each:

Traditional Print Advertising

You can get a lot of information on a flyer, brochure or advert. More than any other form of advertising, this is definitely the best for showcasing everything you offer. Online advertising can’t come close to this.

• It can be expensive – even with cheap print and adverts it’s increasingly difficult to get someone to firstly see your material and then to take action.
• Lower conversion rates
• Tracking – it’s hard to know if an advert has driven website traffic or online sales (unless it includes a coupon code)
• Time – to create the content, then get it designed, printed and distributed.

Paid for web banners / adverts

• It’s a visual web banner, that can be animated and used to showcase what you offer.
• Fast results from the day your advert is launched
• Tracking – if set up properly you can track every advert and campaign
• You can send traffic to dedicated campaign landing pages, leading to higher conversion rates.

• It can be expensive – you pay for every click your banner gets, including accidental clicks and those who don’t intend to take the action you want.
• Web banners used to work really well, but over time people have become aware that they are just another type of advertising

Paid Per Click Adverts

• Fast results from the day your advert is launched
• You can tailor and test adverts to see what works (something that’s hard to do with a print advert)
• Tracking – if set up properly you can track every advert and campaign
• You can send the traffic to dedicated campaign landing pages leading to higher conversion rates.

• It can be expensive – you pay for every click your advert gets, including accidental clicks and those who don’t intend to take the action you want.
• Consumer behaviour also shows that the average web user gives less trust to a paid advert than they do with an organic search result.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

• Long term results – SEO is worth it for small businesses!
• Various traffic opportunities – you can show up for many more keywords and appeal to wider interests
• Cheap clicks through to your website over a longer period
• More trustworthy than a paid advert

• SEO is a marathon not a sprint. However, technical issues can be fixed relatively quickly providing a boost to your entire site.
• Takes time to see full results – a continual changing platform.

As you can see each medium has its pros and cons. Is SEO dead, no way very far from it. For the best ROI we feel that if you get your SEO strategy correct, implement everything you need and stick to it, this will provide the best ROI in the long term.

If you have the time and resources, you can test out the different approaches to see what works best for you – we find a combination of PPC and SEO can work wonders.

We’d love to hear about your experiences – please comment below, or email [email protected] with any questions about SEO and online marketing.

Dave Sheppard

Dave Sheppard

Director & Educator - Big Bear Creative

Dave has taught his courses to over 1,200 students worldwide and now is Director of Big Bear Creative, a design and marketing studio near to Cambridge in the UK.