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Are Businesses Falling on the Negative Side of the SEO Maturity Curve – A Case Study


Today we saw two interesting items online. One was an excellent article published on Search Engine Land’s website, written by Jim Yu of BrightEdge, entitled:

The SEO Maturity Curve: Enterprise Scale & Development
– How do you take your organization from SEO dabblers to industry leaders? Columnist Jim Yu discusses how to mature your SEO program. –

The article (which is worth the read) shared a graph outlining several main stages to get to “SEO maturity”. The first stage described, the lowest level, had the business owner/leader just recognizing the need for SEO but not prepared to know what it might take or why it might be really very important for business and their online success. Basically, not understanding the value of SEO and therefore not prepared to know how to value it budget wise either. The top-level stage was described with the business as being the “leader” because of them knowing the values of doing things correctly and knowing the risks of doing things poorly. These top-level businesses are intelligently able to move forward and not be afraid to lead the pack and to be innovators. They know that to be the best in their own businesses that it needs the best people to get things done – and, in most cases, a team of the best!

seo maturity model
The article nicely describes how both the business requires a level of understanding and knowledge so as to move up higher in the maturity scale, as do the marketing team members, the expert people involved whether they are digital marketers, SEOs, PPC managers, content writers, social media marketers, etc… As stated correctly in the article, “[businesses] need to have the talent and the collaboration in place to incorporate SEO into their wider marketing goals [so as to] function well across the marketing landscape.”

It is the business leaders who are willing to become the greater, more mature ones, who will offer the “green light” to move forward and actually “grow up” to that maturity. Without that knowledge and understanding that “growing up” is truly helpful, the business owner can fall short….very, very short… never grow… and quite possibly fall into the negative side of maturity which can be damaging (time & money lost) to their business!
This brings me to the other item seen today. In our opinion, it aligns in the “negative side of maturity”.
With that said, take a look at the below Job Posting we saw for a local law firm. Actually, we know this law firm as they had approached us at one point for assistance. We couldn’t meet their needs! :-/

“What,” you ask, “a high-class group of digital marketers could not meet the needs of a local law firm?” Maybe not so surprising if you look at the posting and how they describe what they believe they need. We did spend an [unappreciated and undervalued] amount of time trying to help them better understand what could help them best. They had a longtime person before who had worked in-house and they believed that was best. To note, if it helps, they spend over $10k to 15k/month on Google Adwords (PPC) bidding on as many as 33,000 keywords (a local law firm bidding for singular keywords like “attorney” and “lawyer” and a whole lot more) and they get no traffic (and I mean maybe 1 or 2 people a month who know their domain name only) from organic search. We are sure that Google thanks them for the extra wing they helped fund at the Googleplex! What do you think?

Need we say more?

Anyway, we have been seeing more and more that business owners want it all, they want it in-house (less likely to choose the consultant/contractor type), they want it cheap (don’t want to risk the investment), they want it in their control (wanting to believe they know best about the various digital marketing channels and how-to’s), and some “one” to do it all (you ask for just one to do it all, expect little expertise in any one of those things).

Yes, it is our obligation as knowledgeable digital marketers to help our business owners understand how the SEO maturity curve works! Thank you, Jim Yu. Understanding that there is a curve will help us all to grow!

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