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Businesses wasting money on valueless SEO

Google search, SEO, tablet

Don’t spend money on boosting your Google ranking needlessly or for little real return, the head of an SEO agency has said, claiming that many businesses could be parting with their cash for no good reason.

While SEO is unlikely to be relevant for a business with no online presence, StudioHawk founder Harry Sanders told My Business that it is “not for every business”.

“We have a whole audit checklist that we go through to check if it works for a business. And honestly, about 50 per cent of the inquiries that we get are not right for SEO,” he said while speaking on the My Business Podcast.

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“We give them some pointers, some advice and let them go and explore and maybe revisit at a later stage.

“But there’s different channels and you’ve just got to find someone that can kind of set you down the right path. A lot of people come to us inquiring for SEO, and instead we refer them to AdWords people. We don’t get any commission or anything, it’s just the right thing to do. So, that happens a lot of the time.”

Is SEO of value to your business?

According to Mr Sanders, there are two core scenarios where investing in SEO expertise can be a waste of money — at least at that particular point in time.

“There’s a lot reasons why you wouldn’t want an agency to do your SEO. First is, if you’ve just started, you’re a brand-new business, brand-new website, there’s a lot of things you can do yourself before you need to get an agency involved,” he said.

“Just very simple things that you can do in an hour or two hours, rather than paying an agency fee.

“Or another thing might be instances where maybe there’s no effort put in from the [business]. The client kind of just wants the SEO to figure itself out, but doesn’t want to commit to writing blogs or doing anything that helps with it. So, there’s a few different scenarios actually where sometimes SEO might not be a good fit.”

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What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which in effect means tailoring your online presence to make your website and web pages rank higher on online search engines like Google.

“Basically, whenever you Google something, a series of results come back. And I’m not talking about the ads. Only 20 per cent of people are clicking those now. I’m talking about the organic results that come up below,” Mr Sanders said.

According to the business owner, SEO can have a major impact on the profitability of a business.

“For one of the brands we work with, we work with Officeworks. For Officeworks, if we can improve their SEO by 20 per cent, that’s an extra [few] million dollars a month that they’re making,” he explained.

“So, that’s the kind of stuff we do and what we work with, and it’s very rewarding for us, but obviously also for the clients.”

Hear more insights from Mr Sanders on effective SEO for business on the My Business Podcast.

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Businesses wasting money on valueless SEO
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