search marketing

The Top 4 Excuses for Not Doing SEO

Written by Kurt Steinbrueck

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an effective marketing strategy for businesses and ministries alike.  But there are still many organizations which do not do SEO.  Why?  These are the top four excuses I’ve heard…and how you can get past the excuses and start moving forward.

1. I don’t have time.
We’re all tapped out.  Most of us are struggling just to get our current list of tasks done or, if you’re like me, your list seems to grow each day, not get shorter.  So, you just don’t have hours and hours to put towards optimizing your website.  But…

No more excuses!
Do you have  five or ten minutes a day, or perhaps 30 minutes in a week?  SEO does take time, but nobody said you have to do it all at once.  If you can carve out just a few minutes each day or 30 minutes a week, you’d  be amazed what you can get done in a month…in a year.  Even that little bit each day adds up and can make a huge difference in your search rankings and website traffic.  If you can’t find even 10 minutes a day, there are services out there which can do the work for you and require virtually none of your time.

2. I don’t have money.
Money is tight these days, there’s no getting around it.  Everyone is feeling it and churches, especially have gotten hit hard the past several years.  Hiring someone to do your SEO does cost money and, if you do the SEO yourself, there are tools that cost money.  But…

No more excuses!
One of the great things about SEO is that you can do it for free.  You may not be able to get quite as good results as a paid professional or get the results quite as quickly, but you can do it.  If you have a little money, there are some tools that will help things to go more quickly and easily, but if you don’t even have a little, then you can still do SEO without paying a dime.

Also, SEO, like all marketing, is an investment.  If you do have a few pennies laying around, but don’t want to do the SEO yourself, hiring a SEO should eventually lead to more income (even for churches).  Maybe the problem isn’t that you don’t have any money, but rather that you don’t think you can afford a lot of extra expenses.  So, keep in mind that SEO should bring in money as well as helping you to achieve your goals.  So, by not doing SEO, instead of saving money, it may actually be costing you (in  a sense) and preventing you from reaching your goals.

3. I don’t know how to do SEO.
SEO can be intimidating and not a lot of people know how to do it.  Maybe you know a bit about the Internet, but haven’t ever gotten around to learning about SEO.  Maybe you just don’t want to learn about SEO.  Or, perhaps, all this web stuff confuses you and just don’t think you can understand SEO, even if someone tried to teach you.  But…

No more excuses!
If you just haven’t gotten around to it, there are plenty of resources online (both free and paid) which are available to teach you about SEO.  You can find a lot of good information online.  Just do a search for SEO information.  I’ve also written quite a bit about how to do SEO on the Christian SEO Guys blog and the Church Marketing Online blog which can definitely get you started.  If you don’t really want to do it or if you don’t think you can do it, again, there are services out there which can do the SEO for you.

4. I don’t think I really need SEO.
In the end, I think this what all the excuses boil down to.  You’re just not convinced that you really need SEO or, at least, you don’t think it’s as important to do as all the other things you spend your time and money on.  Let’s face it, you may be able to get by without SEO.  But…

No more excuses!
If you are struggling to get people to your website or to your location, then I think you have a very strong argument for your need for SEO.  You just need to make it a priority.  If you are “doing just fine” without SEO, I’d ask, “Are you satisfied with ‘doing just fine’?”  Why not excel!?  So much about marketing is not about where things are tough, but where things could be better, even if they are current alright.  You may be making profit in your business, but you could be expanding.  You may be getting visitors to your church, but you could be getting twice as many visitors.  You may be helping people in your ministry, but you could be helping even more people.

If you have any questions about SEO, please let me know.  You can ask them below in the comments or give us a call 727-723-2454 and ask for Kurt.  If you know you want to take the next step, but aren’t sure you want to do it yourself or you just want some information, please fill out our free, no obligation consultation request form and we’d be happy to discuss your options.

Final Thoughts:
You have a big vision for your organization.   Things like SEO and other forms of marketing may just be the difference between achieving that big vision or “just getting along”.  We all have excuses for not doing SEO.  The question is whether you are willing to put those excuses down and start taking those next steps towards achieving your mission online.

Image from: Excuses pics on Sodahead

So, what are your excuses?

  • If you are not doing SEO, why not?  Let us know.
  • If you’d like information about SEO, let me know what you’d like information about.

About the author

Kurt Steinbrueck

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .


  • Kurt, thanks for writing this post. I've heard all 4 of these excuses a number of times. I think you're on to something when when you wrote that in the end, all the excuses boil down to #4 I don’t think I really need SEO. But I would phrase it a little differently…

    I think that ultimately, most people don't know now what SEO could do for them. Will it increase website traffic by 10% or 100% or 1000%? Will it increase online sales by 10% or 100% or 1000%? Will it bring 1 new visitor a month to our church or 50? When you don't know the upside, it's hard to gauge whether it's worth the time, money or priority.

    Even if an experienced, professional SEO can't project the impact SEO will have on the bottom line because it depends on so many things other than how well optimized the site is. So, what do you say to people who are just not sure SEO is worth it because they don't know the results it will produce?

    • Paul, I would tell them that SEO has consistently proven itself to be an effective means of marketing. It's proven itself in survey after survey, study after study, to be more effective than phone books, online ads, PPC (like Adwords), etc. So, it has a good track record; one, I think, is worthy of taking the risk.

      I would also tell them that SEO is something that can be honed and made more effective over time. By continually building links, testing different snippets that show up in the search results, or by testing different landing page designs, the SEO can continue to improve rankings, click-through rates, and conversion rates. So, if at first you don't get the results you were hoping for, it doesn't mean SEO failed, it means you can tweak it until it is being more effective.

      When you boil it down, the reason SEO is so effective is that it's simply about putting your goods or services in front of people who are already looking for those goods and services. I realize that it's a balancing act between what time/resources you can apply to SEO vs other things (web design, management, development, etc.), but as long as you have a good product or service at a reasonable price SEO can absolutely be effective for you.

  • number 3 is a huge excuse for me, followed closely by number 1 and number 4. I tried to learn about and implement some SEO early on and even followed a few suggestions. Then I read about major changes in the search engines that supposedly would affect SEO. So the time excuse came to the forefront–I really didn't understand what I was doing in the first place, and I didn't feel I had the luxury of taking time to learn it. Then I threw up my hands and embraced the "doesn't matter" excuse. The second of the two links on how to do SEO seems to have the kind of information I've been looking for. Maybe I'll start trying some of that stuff for a few minutes every day and see if there's any improvement in traffic. Thanks!

    • Lisa, I totally understand. The search engine keep changing and that does affect SEO. So, I understand your frustration. But the basic principles of SEO haven't really changed it a long time. Sure there some changed in the basics when search engines and SEO were in their infancy, but at this point, as long as you follow search engine approved strategies, the basics should stay consistent.

      I'm glad to hear you're going to start working on the SEO again. Even if it's just a few minutes every day, it adds up. Remember a marathon is done by taking one step at a time. Eventually you get there.

      If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

  • I thought the article was good. At my church the invitation is out to the computer savvy to help and I suppose it will be a matter of time to grow. We have included a computer/projector hookup in the sanctuary and may be a fine opportunity to work the SEO into our website plans.

    • Thanks Kevin, when you say your church as the invitation out for the computer savvy people to help, has it just been a general request or have you spoken with specific people? I've found that things happen much more quickly when specific people are personally asked about doing specific things.

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