If you have a website and have some sort of interaction with people online, you need search engine optimization. Some people still feel that if they are not selling anything on their websites, they do not need to care about their website getting targeted traffic from search engine optimization. They do not know what they are missing out on.
Just to take one example. I have someone who told me that he does not feel that search engine optimization will be beneficial to his company, although he has a website which collect online inquiry from his visitors. After I probed further, he told me that most of the businesses deals that he has closed are mostly through face-to-face meetings. Does it mean that search engine optimization is not important?
We need to look at the bigger picture here. Internet is the most popular medium that people use to look for information and recommendations. If you have read the book "The Long Tail", it states that we are not in an Information Age anymore; we are in a Recommendation Age. People recommend business, websites, products, services on the Internet. I can say that one of the most trustable recommendations on the Internet is probably search engines like Google and Yahoo !, is not it?
Just recall back to the times when you are conducting a search on Google. Do you feel that the information that is displayed on the top 2 pages is more trustworthy? I bet that you will read up the information on the top 2 pages rather than flipping to the 10th page to get what you are looking for.
Now back to the "theory" of search engine optimization is not beneficial or important because businesses are conducted face-to-face. Do you think that if a company's website is ranked well on search engines for its industry, its reputation and call-in rates / enquiries will increase? I have clients who are in the brick-and-mortar businesses getting tons of inquires and calls, just because they are ranked well for their relevant industry keywords. They do not sell anything on their websites too.
This only proves one thing: Effective search engine optimization campaigns can bring you more business, which results in deals being closed on phones, emails, or meet-ups.