In September/October 2019, I helped a friend out with their SEO.
It was a small site running on Shopify, selling all kinds of power tools.
It was a 2 man business operating amongst a sea of competitors, one of which is backed by Ali Baba.
So you can imagine the competition and the pressure to get results.
Thankfully this was for a friend who is super understanding and had low expectations given the business climate.
I did my thing. I set it up, gave them guidance on what to do and left them to it. After all, this was a courtesy job and I like to teach people how to fish.
He ran ads on Facebook and Insta because a lot of his customers are DIY hobbyists and the platforms are great for targeting those consumers.
FB and Insta were his number 1 revenue and traffic sources. I’m talking almost 80%!
SEO delivered the goods, too.
Rankings were phenomenal and remained unchanged for a long time.
In fact, the site actually beats the largest competitor (the one enjoying Ali Baba money) on HEAPS of money keywords.
But FB and Insta still bring in the people and the money.
And then one day, the unthinkable happened.
In September 2022, he got hit with a policy violation.
His Facebook page was now restricted, his ad reach almost diminished and his number 1 traffic and revenue source was just about dead.
He runs a tight ship and gets incredible ROI with his ads. so naturally, he started to panic.
But that’s when the SEO truly came through.
And it’s the one thing keeping the business afloat.
Now I say this not to flex on you.
I say it because it highlights how incredibly fragile these ecosystems are.
One minute you’re paying good money for ads and enjoying the benefits.
And the next minute, you’re out on the streets and no one cares.
If he ignored SEO altogether or hired someone who did a poor job of it, he’d be out of business by now.
But he was smart – he didn’t put all his eggs in one basket.
He diversified and unbeknwonst to him, he was preparing for this day.
Now, he has a lot more money to spend on other things in the business (instead of ads) – because the SEO is doing all the work.
It’s really as simple as that.
Remember: all of these ad platforms are rented land and eviction day could come at any point.
Diversify your portfolio. Spread your investments. Don’t rely on one single channel for revenue.
Your safest bet? SEO.
You’re far less likely to run into problems with SEO than you are with ad platforms.
It’s also the best long term investment you can make for your online presence.