Have you ever experienced the true wealth of SEO traffic and sales? If so, I'm sure you're also very familiar with some backbreaking SEO challenges to get there.
Share those experiences and how you've overcome them to inspire other businesses who come across this thread. If you haven't been able to overcome them, please drop me a line and I'm sure we can get to the bottom of it.
I think with most, the challenge is in the expectation. We need to stop treating / valuing SEO in the same way we did 10 years ago. The sad truth is the dynamics of SEO and the role it plays in your marketing has changed a lot over the years but unfortunately most businesses are not realizing this and it is creating a tonne of waste for them.
To keep it simple - in today's marketing climate there are far better investments for your time and money. When it comes to SEO (or the end result of organic) you should be focusing on building your social presence and leveraging a relevant blog.
With these, it doesn't always take much to get results. I work with a company where blogging was an afterthought. However, even though we invested zero into SEO, by just having a few well written, relevant blog posts, they started generating hundreds of unique visitor a month... and yes they are converting into clients. So lets just say now we are now allocating more money into community and content :).
There is no shortage of proof that you do not need to spend a bunch of money on crappy SEO services, hacks, back-linking etc. to get results.