In today’s digital age and competitive landscape, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an essential tool for wedding venues striving to succeed online. However, there is a common misconception that once you implement SEO strategies, you can sit back and reap the benefits indefinitely. It’s definitely not a crock pot; you can’t set it and forget it.
The truth is SEO is an ongoing investment that requires continuous effort and adaptation. In this article, I’ll share why SEO is not as easy as some claim, especially in saturated or competitive markets where algorithms constantly evolve and new venues pop up with a better marketing budget.
The Myth of Easy SEO
At first glance, SEO might seem like a straightforward process of optimizing website content and building backlinks. Slap together a few articles, add a title with the keyword, a meta, and you’re good to go, right? Wrong! If it were so easy or not time-consuming, I’d be very unemployed lol.
Some people in the wedding industry downplay the challenges, arguing that it can be accomplished effortlessly. And sure, if you’re a wedding venue in Iowa or a low-competition place in the Midwest, it will be a lot easier to rank than a major city or a competitive destination area. And that being said, SEO is not your end-all be-all. If you don’t pass the vibe check with couples, if your follow-up is subpar, if you don’t speak to your demographic well, and if your value isn’t adding up on your website or your packages, SEO won’t fix all that. Moving on…
Market Saturation and Intense Competition
In saturated markets, numerous venues are vying for visibility and customer attention. If you operate in an industry with well-established venue competitors, ranking high in search engine results becomes significantly more challenging. In such scenarios, relying on basic SEO tactics alone will not suffice. You must continuously refine your strategies, conduct thorough keyword research, and find unique angles to stand out (or let me do it for you). Speaking of…
This is where I come in with not only your SEO strategy but paid Google Ads, Google listing strategy, website strategy, and follow-up email and text strategy. It all paints one big picture of an ever-changing landscape, and if you’ve owned or managed a wedding venue between 2015-2023, you know JUST how much the market has changed. You can’t depend on things that worked in 2022 to work in 2023 and forward.
The Ever-Changing Algorithmic Landscape
Search engine algorithms like Google’s constantly evolve to deliver users the most relevant and valuable content. What worked yesterday might not work today, and what works today may be obsolete tomorrow. This continuous evolution ensures a fair and improved user experience but challenges businesses relying on SEO.
It is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes and understand their impact on search rankings. Google regularly rolls out updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, which can drastically affect website rankings. Failing to adapt your SEO strategy accordingly can result in a significant loss of organic visibility and traffic. That’s why some articles I wrote a year or a month ago must be reworded, rearranged, rewritten, or completely tossed out and absorbed into another article to avoid keyword cannibalism.
Human Touch, AI Power
To succeed in SEO, it’s crucial to strike the right balance between human and robotic elements. While search engines rely on algorithms to determine rankings, the ultimate goal is to cater to human users and make the content enjoyable. Your content must be valuable, engaging, and user-friendly while meeting search engine guidelines – at least!
So if you’re just copying and pasting content from ChatGPT or Surfer, you can expect it to be low-quality (please don’t come for me AI overlords) content unless you give it some pizazz and human touch (as of now). This could change in a month or a year as fast as AI evolves. You still need a human to rank you for SEO and an engineer to run prompts and put it all together.
Set It and Forget It?
SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy; it requires ongoing effort and adaptation. Downplaying the challenges and complexities involved can lead to disappointment and missed opportunities. In competitive and saturated markets, where algorithms continuously change, businesses must stay proactive, optimize their websites, and keep pace with the latest SEO trends. By embracing the ever-changing nature of SEO, businesses can position themselves for long-term success in the digital landscape.
You often see a company discontinuing work after several months or downsizing its SEO budget. The website traffic conversions may stay the same or even go up for up to a year, and the venue many think all is good – but things can suddenly drop for a number of reasons:
- A new or existing competitor optimized their content better after stealing your basic strategy
- A new or existing competitor has more budget and is putting more effort, and your content is now dated, and Google sees that your site lacks regular updates.
- Algorithm changes impact your existing content.
- Economic factors
- Fewer searches for that keyword(s) or keyword trend searches change that you are no longer on top of since you aren’t paying someone to take care of that for you.
If you reduce your marketing budget by 25-35%, you have 25-35% less marketing done for you, which can result in 25-35% or even more of a business loss or reduction in profit. It’s really simple, but many business owners don’t understand it. I don’t mean this harshly, but if you invest less in your marketing, you’ll get less in return. When it comes to venue contracts, that’s a lot of money to be lost.
One of the advantages of SEO is its cost-effectiveness compared to other marketing channels. In the long run, it offers a higher return on investment (ROI), as organic traffic is essentially “free” once you’ve established a solid online presence and you’re just paying a retainer or monthly fee to continue to optimize the SEO. Reducing your SEO budget limits your ability to tap into this cost-effective marketing channel, forcing you to rely more heavily on costly alternatives that may yield less sustainable results. Over time, I see that leads cost more from Paid Ads, social, and other channels. Organic SEO has the best ROI.
Should I Reduce my Marketing Budget?
In challenging economic times, businesses often face tough decisions about budget allocations. While it may be tempting to cut costs across the board, downsizing your marketing spend, especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), can have detrimental effects on your business.
Maintaining Your Competitive Edge
In any industry, especially the wedding industry, competition is fierce, and businesses are constantly vying for attention. SEO is an essential tool for staying ahead of the pack. Investing in SEO enhances your website’s chances of ranking higher in search engine results, effectively outshining competitors and capturing valuable organic traffic. When you reduce your SEO budget, you give your competitors an opportunity to surpass you, gaining an advantage that could be challenging to recover.
SEO is Critical
Downsizing your marketing spend is tough, but cutting your SEO budget should be your last resort. SEO is not a luxury; it’s a critical component of your business’s success. By maintaining and investing in your SEO efforts, even during challenging economic times, you can sustain your competitive edge, build brand credibility, and maximize cost-effectiveness. Embrace the long-term benefits of SEO and prioritize it as an essential investment for the growth and longevity of your business.
I got an email that my website SEO sucks, and this person is cheaper. Should I hire them?
And I always get emails that the Prince of Nigeria is offering me $1,000,000. Even though I am an SEO and web designer, I get emails EVERY DAY offering me web design and SEO services. Lol.
These emails are a dime a dozen and if it really were that cheap and effective, all your competitors would be doing it (because, trust me, they are all getting that same exact email).
I wrote this article with the help of GPT to save myself time from explaining this to non-clients. My existing clients understand it, but many who don’t understand the value of SEO do not know this.
At the end of the day, if you want to see your business grow, you need to invest in it. That’s all folks. Take care and talk soon!