Soley depending on SEO and search enginesAt least a few times a month, I receive a call from a small business owner who is frantic about the state of their business.

When asking small business owners what their greatest problem is with their business, most of the time I’m told, “Our website is losing search ranking, and we’re losing traffic and business because of it.”

In most cases, unbeknownst to the small business owner, the nosedive in both search rankings and website traffic can be attributed to search engine updates, more specifically a Google update.

And if not a search engine update, then because they participated in some dubious behavior to game search engines in an attempt to garner search rankings and increase website traffic.

So I circle the wagon once more and ask the small business owner, “What is your business plan? How do you get traffic to your business?”

And of course, I’m met with silence as if I didn’t hear them the first time when they stated their website is no longer loved by search engines and losing traffic because of it.

Increase website traffic with options other than SEO and search engines

Of course, I press on with more questions around whether or not they used social media such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Still, they press the need to bring me back to SEO and search engines.

So at my own risk I continue on asking if they use review sites like Google Local Pages, Yelp, Merchant Circle, CitySearch, and so on. I listen to their tone change as combat all on my non-SEO questioning with fierce and fervent “No, but…”‘s at times.

Nevertheless, in all of the hysteria behind the state of their business, I find that most of these small business owners are at fault due to one simple mistake in their business plan: relying solely on SEO and search engines to drive their business.

See, in life it’s very rare that you’ll find people who have found success and sustained it based on one area within their life. The same can be said for small business owners operating an online business that solely depend on SEO and search engines as their business plan and only plan of action.

Stop letting the lack of time, money, and resources be your excuse to solely depend on SEO and search engines

Now I understand that small business owners are short on time, money and resources. However, being a small business owner myself, I don’t let being short on time, money and resources be my excuse for not diversifying my traffic sources for generating business.

When any of us solely depend on SEO or search engines as the silver-bullet answer to operating, growing, and sustaining our business, then we are asking for trouble to say the least.

Essentially, we are relinquishing all responsibility, forfeiting our business’ future, and taking the easy way out when we choose to solely depend on SEO or search engines.

Now nowhere am I directing you to not use SEO and search engines to increase or grow your business. However, I am informing and encouraging each of us to use both in moderation as we use other avenues of generating and increasing website traffic.

For when any of us solely depend on SEO and search engines, we are signing ourselves up to be pawns of both. We are at their mercy and any one little change, whether by accident or on purpose, can cause our house of cards to topple, shutting the doors on our business, employees and customers.

Who wants to live in such fear and place the business at the almighty hands of SEO and search engines that you and employees have tirelessly shed your blood, sweat and tears to build day after day?


Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.