Why SEO and Groceries are Different


Dealing often with client budgets, I have come to realize that buying Internet marketing services is nothing like buying groceries.

Buying Groceries

When you are buying groceries, you buy the product at the cheapest price possible. There is no differentiation between a box of Hamburger Helper from Smith’s or from Albertson’s, and you’d never go to the store purposely that sold it for more.

Buying SEO

When you are investing in Internet Marketing services (especially SEO), bargaining for a lower price is a bad idea. If you are quoted $500/month to get you to the first page of Google, sure!  You can get the salesman to come down in price. We’re trained to barter with salesmen.

Why is Bartering Bad?

When the salesman did his initial quote, he gave you the best estimate possible for conservatively getting your site to the front page. As you try to bargain your way down, the salesman starts to have less and less confidence that your site will be able to rank at that level of spend. He doesn’t want to lose the sale, so he tries to move down with you. 6 months later, when you are supposed to be ranking for your keyword(s), you aren’t because instead of having several linkbuilding tasks done every month, you are only getting a few because of the decreased level of spending.

Fastest SEO ROI

Instead of bargaining down, try inflating your budget. If you hold back your budget now, you’ll get results slower. Try putting as much as you possibly can into SEO to get ranked and get traffic as soon as possible.  Once you are dominating the first page, then you can dial back your SEO spend to a maintenance budget and enjoy the increase in traffic and sales!

SEO is an Investment

Remember, SEO is an investment. It’s difficult to think ahead for your SEO campaign and patiently wait for results, but remember that investments don’t pay off tomorrow. Be patient, give it time, and know that when you achieve rankings, it will all be worth it!


Jim Hurst

The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. I read recently that something like 90% of searchers click on the organic listings, but 90% of internet marketing spend is on PPC. I’m not surprised because who wants to wait for results? Good things come to those who plan early and often and have patience. Your planting a tree for the long term. You have to begin with the end in mind, which is exactly what you are doing when you start an SEO campaign.


Well said Jim, I often use a gardening analogy by asking the question, “When is the time to plant the corn on the cob you eat at your 4th of July smash?” The answer is, “Not on July 3rd!”