Loss Aversion in SEO

SEO, when measured properly, will clearly grow organic search revenue for the right business.

However, many companies view SEO as a luxury. This is partially from a lack of urgency. In these cases, striking fear into digital marketing leaders can motivate action:

  1. Core algorithm updates, when not heeded, completely wipe out organic traffic.
  2. Not responding to, or even noticing, a manual action from Google will drop every keyword ranking even when all else is done right.
  3. Lack of awareness of Google’s quality guidelines, even without malicious intent, leads to a penalty that harms everything you do.
  4. Site redesigns can destroy traffic in the long run instead without SEO involved.
  5. Improperly deploying from staging & dev sites can reset all your essential on-page SEO tags.

According to psychology, we are biased to prevent or end pain now versus pursuing an upside, even when that’s more likely & impactful.

Reframing SEO as organic traffic preservation & recovery can be powerful!

Therefore, as a general marketing principle, test your copy to reframe benefits as removing loss instead of promoting gain to increase conversions.

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