It is fair to say that SEO represents a gateway to new customers. Due to the sheer numbers involved, a large percent of whom are ready to purchase which can be easily discerned based on their mood, navigation path and keywords they use.
Hence, if you fail to see the gravity of competition for each keyword, industry or benchmark, tendencies to underestimate the resourcefulness of others could lull you into a false sense of security when targeting results in competitive markets.
Before you set your SEO budget or etch out your goals, you should be aware that as your are intent on setting a ranking objective for a specific keyword or series of keywords, so are others who are willing to (a) spend more time (b) spend more money (to hire a larger team to execute strategies) as well as (c) they may already have the jump on you for those keywords weeks, months or years in advance, which will present all manner of obstacles.
It is true that SEO is scalable, scalable in the sense that he or she with the largest budget, or time, has the ability to leverage multiple marketing channels, angles and approaches in order to achieve their ultimate objective (to make it to the top 5 results for their primary keywords).
While the scope of distinction lays within each individuals subjective psyche, the outward manifestation is directly based in tangibles which can be measured. Are you the type that thinks one website at a time or one keyword at a time or has the magnanimous vision to see beyond trophy keyword rankings and focuses more on securing total market share?
Despite your decision, the fact remain that for everything you do, there is someone pushing just as hard as you are to balance the equation. For each milestone or key performance indicator (KPI) your website achieves it pushes someone off the top 10 horizon in an assessment of relevance score and brings you one step closer to consistently appearing in the top 10 for a plethora of related keywords and phrases.
Relevance is a moving target, and every time someone conducts a new search, the focal point shifts to accommodate the flavor and variation of intent. With this in mind, a certain amount of fixation needs to occur to present an island of stability amidst such prodigious change. All the while, the need to reinforce topical continuity is a must in order to stem from one topical peak to the next.
Search engines are known for assigning relevance to layers of content on a subject. Similarly, they are known for rewarding prominence and chronology. Even though every website starts at zero, the way it is assembled, the type of links it attracts or receives, the variation of the content, the internal links and site architecture all make each website unique.
All the while, as the web constantly redefines itself, more than 50% of all search queries are unique “meaning even search engines have not seen them before”. Which means that if your intent is to play it safe and be a “me too site”, then you may as well get in line.
The site that offers the most unique content tied together by a common thread stands more chance of gaining trust, traffic and rankings vs. a nebulous free for all hodge podge of topics all mashed together in an attempt to remain neutral.
The fact is, for every person out there spending $1,000 a month on internet marketing, there are 10 more spending that amount in 1 hour in order to make 10,000 and reinvest 50% back in to the method. Since results ARE scalable, sometimes it boils down to (a) who wants it more and (b) how many layers are they willing to engage and manage in order to pull it off?
If you are not serious about SEO, then perhaps you may as well get used to eating your competitors dust as they pull away and truly lean into a market. Although we may be limited by our imagination, when you get right down to it, it is a matter of quality, conversion and repeatability (alternate word) for businesses to stay in business online.
Like most things, you get what you pay for, so in many ways cutting costs may be applicable in certain circumstances, SEO is not one of them. Just like you wouldn’t venture into a jungle unprepared with one flask of water, no equipment and without a map, similarly, you should leave the chartered waters of competitive search engine optimization placement to those who specialize in their own unique variation of optimization and website promotion.
Although many may not admit, it you are in a competitive industry online, you have two choices if you like it or not, (1) be dominated by an authority site or (2) become one to insulate yourself from others. With that in mind I ask again…are you serious about your SEO?