Q: Is search engine optimization, or SEO, of your website worthwhile? —Robin Burrill, Curb Appeal Renovations, Keller, Texas

A: If you want to know the truth, the answer is Yes ... No ... Sometimes. Website SEO can increase website traffic. If done properly, it can increase qualified traffic. So why isn’t everyone doing it? SEO is a competitive contact sport, is sometimes expensive, and you are not assured of success (but so is running a business, and people do succeed).

Unless you rank very high for the search words and phrases that home­owners will be using to find you, there is more SEO you should be doing. And once you rank high, you have to work to keep your ranking. If you are not ranked high enough to generate leads, whatever you spent is wasted.

Marketplace and More

And, it’s not just what you do; marketplace also affects ranking. You could do the same things for your website SEO as a remodeler two states over. One of you will rank high, the other will not. Part of your ranking depends on how many other companies are competing for the search terms you want.

You have to rank high on the search terms that real people are using to find what you sell. Ranking high for words and phrases not used or rarely used is of no value.

If you invest enough in SEO you will likely rank high. In some markets, it might not cost much and is a worthwhile investment. In other areas, the cost to rank high and stay high makes SEO a poor marketing investment. So the answer really is Yes ... No ... Sometimes.

—David L. Alpert has worked with many remodeling companies as president of Continuum Marketing Group, in Great Falls, Va.