Why Brands don't invest in SEO

Why Brands Don’t Invest in SEO and Miss Out Big Time

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the lifeline of online visibility and a significant determinant of web traffic for any website. But surprisingly, many big brands are missing out on the potential of traffic from organic search. Here we will explore why brands are not currently investing into SEO and why they should be doing that today.

The Shocking Stats

According to recent data, only 44% of businesses incorporate SEO into their digital marketing strategy. This number is even lower when we look at big brands. Despite their sizable marketing budgets and vast resources, many brands are not investing in SEO. The corporate SEO spending reached $47.5 billion in 2020, and it’s projected to grow up to $77.6 billion by 2023. However, a significant chunk of this spending is not coming from big brands.

With their limited resources, small businesses seem to be more attuned to the importance of SEO. More than 26% of small businesses surveyed are actively involved in search engine optimization and 36% of all small businesses are actively blogging.

In contrast, 56% of big brands do not invest in SEO at all, and a staggering 57% don’t even have an employee or team dedicated to SEO.

This data paints a surprising picture. Despite the clear benefits of SEO, big brands are lagging behind in leveraging its potential. But why is this the case? Let’s try to understand the underlying causes and perceptions that depict SEO as the ugly duckling of the digital channel mix.

Perception: SEO is Complex

SEO is a diverse and multifaceted field. It consists of various components including onsite and offsite optimizations, content creation. Onsite or onpage SEO involves optimizing the website to increase traffic. This includes identifying keywords and including them in meta descriptions, headers, titles, content, alt text for images, and more. It requires constant revision of the site to maintain its ranking.

Off-Page SEO, on the other hand, involves promoting the website through other channels like link building, social media marketing, PR. This type of optimization relies on other web pages to drive traffic to your site.

Content creation is another area that may look scary: building a content pipeline by using internal and external resources may take some time.

This complexity can be daunting, especially for big brands with many product lines and services.

Perception: Results are Slow to Show

One of the major reasons big brands shy away from SEO is the time it takes to see results. Unlike paid media, which can provide immediate visibility, SEO is a long-term game. It requires time, investment, skilled workers, and a lot of patience before results start to show.

Businesses are always under pressure to get immediate and visible results. Brand managers and ABMs are supposed to show quick wins from quarter to quarter. So it’s easier to put money into a media buy or a TV ad and see a quick lift. Unfortunately, such quick lifts are expensive and usually short lived.

But SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes 4 to 6 months, on average, to start seeing results. It’s worth the wait, though. The gains from SEO are long-term and compound over time (we will talk about that below).

Perception: Difficult to Measure

Another challenge with SEO is its measurability. Many brands find it hard to measure the success of their SEO efforts compared to other channels. This is because SEO doesn’t produce immediate, easily quantifiable results. However, this does not mean that SEO’s impact is unmeasurable.

Various metrics can be used to measure SEO’s success. These include organic traffic, keyword rankings, backlinks, and more.

Perception: SEO is Always Changing

The world of SEO is constantly changing. Search engines, especially Google, regularly update their algorithms, affecting search results in significant ways. Marketers need to stay updated with these changes and implement them in their digital marketing strategy to improve their websites’ search engine optimization.

While this might seem daunting, it’s not an insurmountable challenge. With the right resources and a proactive approach, brands can stay ahead of the game and leverage these changes to their advantage.

The Hard Truth: Brands Underutilize SEO

The bottomline is that many big brands avoid SEO due to the above-mentioned reasons. Are they missing out on anything by turning the deaf ear and blind eye to SEO? Let’s see what traffic from organic search can offer your website.

Is SEO difficulty?

Golden Mine of Opportunities

Despite the challenges, SEO offers a goldmine of opportunities. According to data, more than 53% of a website’s traffic comes from organic search. This traffic does a lot of good for any website. Here are the benefits.

The SEO Payoff

Investing in SEO offers several long-term benefits. These include increased web traffic, improved user experience, and a competitive edge. Moreover, SEO is cost-effective, offering a better return on investment compared to other channels.

Increased Traffic

Paid ads are great for a quick boost, but their effect fizzles out the moment you stop paying. With SEO, once you rank high, you’re there to stay for a long while. This gives your site a steady stream of organic traffic.

Improved User Experience

SEO work also helps to enhance user experience. A well-optimized site is generally more user-friendly. Better navigation, rich content, and faster load times mean more customers who engage with our sites (and eventually buy your products).

Competitive Edge

Some of your competitors are already investing in SEO. This means you’re giving them free rein to establish stronger brand presence.

Cost Efficiency

SEO is cost-effective compared to other channels like PPC or traditional advertising. Your investment in technical SEO or content creation are usually much lower than your media buys.

Credibility Boost

People trust Google. If our sites rank high, your brand is seen as credible, which mans consumers are more likely to trust our products.

Your Quick Starter Kit

Starting your SEO journey might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some actionable steps to get you started:

Keyword Research: Identify the right keywords that your potential customers are likely to use. Consider using long-tail keywords, which are highly specific and less competitive.

Content Creation: Create high-quality, relevant content that solves your potential customer’s problems. Make sure to include your identified keywords in your content.

On-Page SEO: Optimize your website by including your keywords in meta descriptions, headers, titles, and alt text for images.

Off-Page SEO: Promote your website through link building, social bookmarking, and social media marketing.

Continuous Optimization: SEO is not a one-time activity. Monitor your SEO efforts and optimize them as needed.

Real Stories

Many businesses have reaped the benefits of SEO. For instance, one car-detailing client started earning more than $140,000 a month through organic search. Another example is a B2B enterprise that generated twice more revenue from organic search compared to other channels. These case studies show the tangible results of SEO and the significant impact it can have on a business’s bottom line.


The debate between SEO and Paid Search (PPC) is a long-standing one. While PPC can provide immediate visibility, the effects wear off the moment you stop paying. In contrast, SEO offers lasting results. Once you rank, you’re there to stay, providing a steady stream of organic traffic. In terms of cost-effectiveness, SEO offers a better ROI and is less costly in the long run. A Databox survey revealed that 70% site owners believe that Organic search is more efficient in driving sales, for example.

We always recommend our clients to use both: PPC and SEO. Each of these channels have their own benefits and goals. PPC is all to drive people to the site quickly, while SEO is aboutt the long-lasting effect.

Final Words

In conclusion, ignoring SEO can be a costly mistake for big brands. With the right approach and resources, SEO can significantly boost your brand’s online visibility, drive traffic, and yield long-term gains. So, if you’re a big brand that’s yet to embrace SEO, it’s high time you jump on the bandwagon and start reaping its benefits. Reach out to our team and we will provide expert SEO advice for your brand!

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