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The Industries That Simply Cannot Exist Without Search Engine Optimisation

If you’re not on page 1, you don’t exist

If you’ve dabbled with SEO, you’ll quickly understand how competitive the market can be across all industry groups. The latest data tells us that Google processes more than 99,000 searches every second, which equals 8.5 billion searches daily.

In the vast world of Internet marketing, if your company cannot be found in search, it may as well not exist in the next few years. And if you’ve got your eye on the competition, you’ll notice they never slow their SEO spend but rather increase it to keep up with demand in their industry areas.

One key thing to bear in mind is that SEO can never be ticked off your to-do list; it’s an ongoing project because even if you find yourself ranking in search engines, your competitors will also be putting in the work daily to rise above you and better compete for your target customer’s attention. PPC here is not the answer. If anything, it’s an easy way to spend lots of money quickly, raising your acquisition cost for often poor or little leads (of which you still have to convert).

That said, check below to see if your industry made it into the top 5, and if you’re included, make sure to consider employing an SEO agency like ourselves to keep you relevant. 


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1. Private Healthcare Marketing

Dentists | Rehabs | Doctors | Private Hospitals | Medical Products & Brands

As a company that has worked in the dental industry and the wider medical community for over a decade, we know just how critical it is for companies in the private healthcare sector to set an SEO budget.

Businesses can potentially turn over millions yearly in private healthcare with high-value treatments like cosmetic dentistry or addiction rehab (we’ve seen it). But as it is a private industry, the consumer has a choice with who they want to carry out their treatment. Hence, when patients are willing to pay £25,000 per treatment, the competition goes wild.

Our advice:

  • Monthly spend: from £1,500
  • Max annual spend: £32,100
  • Minimum commitment: 4 years
  • Minimum hours per month: 20
  • Keyword difficulties: Medium & hard
  • Expected monthly traffic: Beginning at 1,000 users – expected to grow to 200 users per month
  • Traffic potential: 600,000 annually
serp results for dentist image proof
Results for cosmetic dentists in London by Vanilla Circus Ltd

2. Trade & Development

Another highly competitive industry, property developer, builder and other trade keywords, at times, can seem impossible to achieve. But we know here at Vanilla Circus that it can be done because we’ve done it for builders, plumbers and development companies since 2009.

On a local scale, rankings can maintain themselves because competition is so little. However, for keywords like “plumber London,” the market becomes excessively competitive. So, if you want your business to pull in expensive jobs like ground-up new builds, conversions and renovations, word of mouth and advertising alone will not be enough.

Our advice:

  • Monthly spend: from £2,000
  • Max annual spend: £30,000
  • Minimum commitment: Life-long commitment
  • Minimum hours per month: 25
  • Keyword difficulties: Easy (e.g. Builder London) – Hard (e.g. Plumber London)
  • Expected monthly traffic: 2,000 monthly users as a minimum
  • Traffic potential: 144,000 annual users

Finance & Management

There’s no shortage of accountants, business advisors or mortgage brokers, especially in big cities like London. As clients in this industry bring significant value, the best way to build up your portfolio would be to focus on long-term organic search value over advertising and PPC. The keywords and key phrases in this industry are endless – so you wouldn’t just expect to rank for “accountants in X” but rather all of its products, like “self-assessment”, with 82,000 searches a month.

Our advice:

  • Monthly spend: from £2,500
  • Max annual spend: £35,000
  • Minimum commitment: 10 years
  • Minimum hours per month: 31
  • Keyword difficulties: Hard
  • Expected monthly traffic: 4,100 monthly users as a minimum
  • Traffic potential: 872,000 annual users

See Goldmine’s Guide.

E-Commerce / Online Shops

Thankfully, in certain situations, Google can favour commercial, e-commerce and transactional websites – just look at e-commerce giants like Amazon, for example.

For independent boutiques, competing against big brands for outfit keywords can be particularly difficult and require substantial investment. However, without it, you’ll still have to invest in advertising or resources to grow your social media profile.

For local stores, who also want to drive footfall, SEO will be the most recommended route here as well as the most cost-effective. For example, “London boutique” keywords can bring about 500 users to your site per month – and going after keywords like “clothing boutique” have a minimum traffic potential of 2,450. However, a high-ranking boutique (Pink Clothing) estimates a total traffic of 84,000 per month.

Our advice:

  • Monthly spend: from £1,400
  • Max annual spend: £28,000
  • Minimum commitment: 5 years
  • Minimum hours per month: 28
  • Keyword difficulties: Easy – Hard
  • Expected monthly traffic: 3,000 monthly users as a minimum
  • Traffic potential: 1,008,000 annual users

See overcoming e-commerce SEO problems.

Any Local Service

It goes without saying that any local business offering a service will need to invest in local SEO at some point. If driving footfall is a goal or bringing customers through the door, you simply cannot exist without it. If searchers do not see you in the results, they will never know about you unless through word of mouth. How is that going currently?

Local SEO packages can extend up to 12 months – but maintenance and optimisation will still be required on a roll-on basis to thwart any competitors. Efforts and hours should then be focused on reputation management, reviews, increasing your social presence and selling more online.

Other Niche Market Spaces

Niche market spaces typically have lower competition in search results because the keywords have low search value, which translates to small monthly traffic. Businesses in niche spaces tend to adapt their SEO strategy to include “national” and broader keywords and keyphrases to acquire traffic from larger search volumes.

However, take, for example, an Airbnb management company (one of our long-term clients) like HelloGuest. Five to ten years ago, this was a niche market with little competition, and ranking on a local scale was somewhat easy. In 2023, seeing the billions being made, more and more companies have entered this market, including more established, big players in the letting industry.

Today, it’s competitive – and for our client to still receive regular customs and enquiries, they had to increase their spending, which meant they could improve the website’s content output and technical optimisation to ensure it remained an option from corporations like Airbnb.

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