SEO in 2020 - Should You Even Bother?

Whether you are working with in-house SEO or hiring an agency, search engine optimization requires valuable time and money. In the 2020 market, you might be wondering if you should bother with this investment.

The answer here is not always as straightforward as it may seem. You might need to begin investing in SEO immediately to help your company stay on track with its goals. In some cases, it may be better for you to consider implementing SEO in the future, once your company is ready. In rare (but not unheard of) cases, your company may not need SEO at all. Here are six reasons why you may need SEO, as well as six reasons why your company shouldn’t bother.

Why Bother With SEO? 6 Benefits You Many Need

Does your company need help in any of these areas of SEO results?


Two of the primary goals for SEO are 1) ranking high on search engines and 2) providing a valuable user experience. When done correctly, SEO efforts can help you reach customers who are searching for you and terms related to your business. One way that SEO achieves these goals is through consistent, reliable, and valuable content production.

Producing custom SEO content helps show site visitors (and search engines) that you are a valuable resource in your field. It provides an opportunity to let customers know that you are the real deal, which can help you stay ahead of local competition.


User experience and SEO go hand-in-hand. Have you ever visited a site with a spam-like user interface and little-to-no accurate, coherent content? It is likely that you didn’t invest your time or money into that business.

In-house or expert SEO involves improving user experience with informative content and technical site health. When users can easily access your site and find the information they need, they are more likely to give you their business. This improvement in user experience can boost the performance of your business and your search engine standings.


Unlike PPC, strong SEO work can help you reach clients over and over again. When search engines organically rank your site at the top of relevant searches, you can continue to reap the benefit of your SEO investment.

SEO provides content and website health that will continue to improve your search engine standings and drive relevant traffic to your site. SEO offers long-term results for your business.


In addition to content SEO, technical SEO can help businesses reach customers, improve user experience, and achieve higher rankings. This involves making sure that your site is structurally healthy and accessible to both users and search engines.

Technical SEO’s attention to sitemap, schema markup, and robots.txt will ensure that search engines can index your site and information about your business. If you need help keeping tabs on page speed, linking structures, dead pages, redirects, and more, technical SEO is for you.


Even if you have an exceptional website, your users might not see it if your presence on other platforms is resulting in a negative user experience. Customers often find your site through third-party sources, such as social media platforms and directory listings. That is where offsite SEO comes in; this service involves the optimization of your brand on other sites.

  • Directory listing optimization—GMB,  Bing Places, Yelp, Apple Maps – you may be listed on these platforms, but are you actively working to keep them up-to-date? Offsite SEO involves making sure there are no duplicates; your addresses, hours, and details are correct; and that your listings are verified.

  • Social media optimization—Using social media to promote site content works best when you engage best practices. Offsite SEO ensures that your pages are set up in an optimized manner while making sure there are no duplicates or imposters.

Offsite SEO can help you effectively drive more traffic to your site, increase your brand awareness, and improve your user experience.


You might be interested in the benefits that SEO can provide your company, but what if you do not have the funds to maintain these services long-term? Investing in SEO can help you learn to adopt best practices on your own.

You can use your time with an in-house SEO hire or an SEO agency to learn the ins and outs of organic search. You can invest in SEO to get your site on the right track until you have the skills resources to maintain these practices on your own.

SEO is Not For Everyone: 6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest (Right Now)

While these benefits might help some businesses, you might not necessarily need to invest in SEO. Here is a look at companies, individuals, and corporations that might not benefit from SEO efforts.


SEO is a long-term effort. If you are launching a short-term project, sprint, or limited business offering, SEO is not for you. This will have you investing time and resources into something that may not be relevant to your company by the time it begins to rank. Depending on the nature of your business, SEO might still be useful for your company as a whole, but it is not worth investing in for short-term endeavors.


SEO is an effective way to reach searchers, but it is more of a marathon than a sprint. If you are in need of fast, short-term results, PPC or display campaigns can help you achieve these results better than SEO.


SEO is not meant to be short-sighted. If you have a new company that is still finding its direction and brand, SEO may not be worth it for you (yet). Before you begin SEO efforts for your business, you should consider establishing a strong foundation and have the basics solidified with core branding questions, such as:

  • Who is my company?

  • What is my product or service?

  • Who is our target audience(s)?

  • Why should customers care?

  • What are my long-term goals?

It would be wasteful to invest thousands in SEO just to discover that you want to take your growing business in an entirely different direction. While content and site structure can always be changed, it will take far more energy, money, and effort to make corrections than it would be to wait a little while and get your SEO right the first time. The sooner you can begin your SEO efforts, the better—but make sure your company is ready.


If you have maintained SEO best practices from your company’s inception or have the in-house tools and resources needed to improve the value of your site, you may not need to make a formal SEO investment. Take a look at SEO tools and resources. What are the experts saying? If you are reaching customers on your own, and you are not worried about competitors or changes in the search landscape, you may not need to invest in this service.


If you work in an emerging market or a lesser-known niche of an industry, customers might not yet be searching for you and your terms. Unlike SEO, PPC can reach help you reach users when they’re not trying to reach you. While SEO is still essential to your long-term goals, if resources are limited, PPC may be your first-choice investment.


If your business or industry lacks a solid vein of consistency, SEO might not be worth your time and effort. This could apply to businesses with inconsistent inventory or those who continuously transition to different markets. Before ruling out SEO, see if your company has any overarching themes that you may want to rank for or areas of needed on-site improvements.

If your company needs help managing SEO, contact our experts to see how we can help.

Jeff Cooper

Founder & President, Saltbox Solutions

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