Does SEO Really Matter To You?

Earlier this week, I met with one of my long-time clients. We designed their website, oh, probably a decade ago, and it needs now to be updated, made more contemporary – freshened up.
“Dave” mentioned his concern about their Google results. “When you search a partner’s name,” he said, “we come right up, there on the first page. But if you Google (or is it google?) “middle market investments Chicago” we’re like on page 120. How can we change that?”
I rattled off ways to improve SEO; through directory listings, through social media, through blogs and updates and links. The web guru (the man who makes my designs “live” on the web) on the speaker phone agreed – that’s the type of things that will help move this client up the Google ladder. Dave paused then, leaned back in the big comfy chair and put his hands behind his head.
And the Big Moment struck.
This organization is built strictly and completely through referrals. Casual contacts and Looky Lous are not their target. They don’t want unsolicited proposals. Attorneys, bankers and others whom they’ve formed a bond with, met face to face – the referral sources they trust – are the people they want to educate and inform with their website.
We all get so caught up in more, more, more equaling better. Sometimes it’s just not. This client realized that their business model is about the finest quality, about personal service, about not being the guys at the top of that generic Google search.
For many businesses, SEO is indeed vital. For many, it can make or break a business. But for just as many, including many professional services, it’s just not that important. Those websites are resources for referral partners and referred clients.
Now, you just need to decide – which one are you?