I recently had an interesting conversation with a business owner who wanted to start working on search engine optimization (SEO), but her husband (the other owner) didn’t agree.  This was one of those classic sales problems that I’m sure you’re well aware of.

The husband didn’t see the value in SEO because currently all of their new business was generated via customer referrals.  Does that sound familiar?  It should, because it’s the most common objection I hear when talking to businesses about SEO.  The logic goes something like this: if your new business is coming primarily from referrals, not from people searching in Google, then SEO is not a good investment.

Sounds logical, but it’s not necessarily true.  First of all, many of those referrals are still going to conduct their own research online by searching on Google.  There’s no way around that fact.  So SEO will enhance your referral marketing by ensuring prospects find your business during their research.

Second of all, just because you’re not getting any business from SEO, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good opportunity.  If your prospects are doing research online (like searching in Google to find the best business for their needs), then SEO is your ticket to get your business in front of all those prospective customers.

In case those two points aren’t enough, below are the 3 key reasons to start investing in SEO now versus pushing it off another year.

Reasons to Start SEO Now vs. Later

1. More Exposure For Your Business

This one is fairly obvious.  If your website is ranked on the first page of Google when prospects are searching for your product or service, then you’re going to get more exposure and more traffic to your website.  In other words, more people will become familiar with what you do and how you can help them.

That’s what all this marketing stuff is all about.  And SEO is one of the best opportunities because you can get in front of prospects at the exact moment they are looking to make a buying decision.  Either your business will show up in the search results, or only your competitors will.

2. Head Start In The Sales Cycle

As I mentioned above, even referrals will tend to do their own research online before contacting a business.  I know I personally Google businesses that are referred to me and I check out them and their competitors online.

This means that, for many of your prospects, their first impression of you is going to be the results on Google’s first page.  This will shape your prospects’ impression of your business well before you even get a chance to talk with them.  When you Google your business name, what do you see?  If you don’t see results for your business, then neither do your prospects!

Plus, when those prospects click through to your website and you have a way to capture contact information, then you’ll have a head start in the sales process versus your competition.  You’ll be able to follow up via email marketing to nurture, educate, and overcome objections until the prospect is ready to buy.

3. Time Is Not On Your Side

Unlike the Rolling Stones’ hit song, time is NOT on your side when it comes to SEO.

That’s because Google tends to trust established websites more than newer websites. So, the sooner you start optimizing your website and building links to your website, the better.  The longer you wait, the further ahead your competitors will be when you start!

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