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Brendan Egan

With Higher Competition In Search Engines, Is SEO Really Worth The Costs?

Think back to the last thing you searched for on Google. The last thing I searched for was “Chicago Restaurants”. Most people never notice this, but if you look right below where you type the search term, there is a little spot that says how many results come up. For “Chicago Restaurants” the number of results is “About 122,000,000”.

Now I think we all know there aren’t 122,000,000 restaurants in Chicago, but that’s how many websites come up for that search term. So you might be thinking to yourself, with 122 million other results, how in the world do I even begin to get my website to rank on the first page of results?

Don’t get me wrong, ranking on the first page for a keyword this competitive is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But surprisingly, it isn’t impossible to do and with a large SEO budget it certainly is something that can be achieved. Remember the more competitive the keyword, the more time we have to spend on various optimization techniques which comes down to a higher cost.

High SEO Competition So you might be thinking now that your small business doesn’t have a “large SEO budget” and that since you can’t rank for “Chicago Restaurants” there’s no point in doing SEO because that’s where all the traffic is. Wrong! There’s actually still a lot you can do, even with the smallest SEO budget.

As we discussed in our blog post on Long Tail vs Short Tail keywords, even people with small SEO budgets can achieve first page rankings. But the difference is they will be ranking for lower competition, lower traffic keywords–which is perfectly fine!

Let’s do the math: Would you rather spend $100 or likely more every month to try and rank for a keyword like “Chicago Restaurants” or would you rather spend $300 a month to rank for several lower competition, lower traffic keywords that at the end of the day will deliver the same high quality traffic? So just because your company can’t tackle that highly competitive, 5 star keyword, through our keyword research and analysis we will be able to identify several other keywords that your company can rank for and still receive a good amount of traffic.

So to answer our own question, yes SEO certainly is still worth the costs even with higher competition, but it also is becoming increasingly important to perform proper keyword research and analysis prior to starting any SEO campaigns to make sure you are using your SEO dollars in the most effective way possible.