SEO: What Your Competitors Don’t Want You to Know
In all fairness, I have to admit I am biased. I work as a search engine marketing manager who makes a living from providing various SEO services to our clients. With that said, I am very proud of what I do and love seeing the ROI these services provide for our clients. I have personally helped companies grow their business with search engine optimization and I can tell you from experience, if done correctly, search engine marketing can provide more leads/sales than any other source of marketing.
Why Should I Invest in SEO In 2015?
How many times have you used a search engine (like Google) to find a product or service this month, this week, or even today? According to Google, there are more than 100 billion searches performed each month on their search engine alone. That’s more than 3.3 billion searches per day and over 38,000 searches per second. If you got 5 cents for every Google search, it would take you only 9 minutes to become a millionaire (Phandroid.com). And that’s just Google! Take a look here at the staggering amount of internet traffic going through all your favorite sites in real time.
Along with standing out among the masses of people and businesses on the internet, there are a few other distinct reasons SEO should matter to you.
- Brand Awareness & Credibility
I recently spoke with a group of people who don’t work within the industry or even have a firm grasp on what search engine optimization really is. One individual I spoke to said, “I always click on the first (organic) result, I don’t know why. I just have always thought that they must be there (in the first position) for a reason.”
Searchers make mental notes of the rankings for the terms they enter into Google and other search engines without even consciously trying. In the minds of consumers, your ranking is a vote of confidence — “Google says this business is relevant, so that must be the case.”
It may sound far-fetched, but look at it this way: back in the golden age of the yellow pages, if you were looking for a plumber, did you feel more confident in calling someone on the page seven of the listings, or did you start from the first page and work your way through? Your customers may not admit it (or even realize it), but high search rankings make you more credible in their eyes.
- Visibility & Traffic
Your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long (discounting maintenance downtime). It helps people understand your company, contact your business, provide leads, and generate sales. In SEO, as in anything, visibility can make or break your business. The majority of search volume goes to the first page of search results, and even more frequently to the first three results on the first page. Basically, if you’re not on the first page, your customers likely won’t see you and your business could suffer as a result.
- Ideal Users & Traffic
SEO attracts people who are already looking for your product or service. You’re not trying to sell bottled water with a sign on a bus to people standing at the bus stop. Instead, you’re at the end of the marathon with an ice-cold cooler. Organic search traffic has an optimal potential for conversion. You’re not trying to convince people they need your services, they are already convinced and looking for your service. Showing up in the first few results makes it that much easier for them to choose you.
Compared to the costs associated with other forms of online marketing such as PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing programs, etc., SEO provides a nice ROI. While paid search may drive more revenue and social media is still important for your brand image, SEO and organic traffic remains the foundation of your online presence. SEO provides 2 to 6 times the reach of paid search campaigns and is a lasting investment with ongoing returns.
- Your Competitors Are Doing It
Your competition is not standing on the sidelines waiting for you to join the game. If you’re lucky enough to have minimal competition from an organic search perspective, you should still be implementing an SEO strategy to get ahead of the curve.
SEO expert, Jason Bayless, says, “If you’re not moving forward and improving your position, you’re losing ground to a competitor who is” (Forbes). Don’t let your competition out maneuver your organization by ignoring the value of SEO and the power of the internet. If your competitors have already integrated SEO into their marketing strategy, start investing in Search Engine Optimization and earn your piece of the search marketing share.
What You May Be Missing:
Let’s say you own a company that sells oil spill clean-up and containment equipment. Based on rankings for product related keywords, click-through-rates (CTR), and conversion rates, we can estimate the amount of traffic and leads/sales you are potentially missing out on each month.
Based on the search volume for just the keyword in the first table, if your website ranks in the first position you could potentially see anywhere from 20-50 sales/leads a month for “spill containment berms.” In such a large-scale operation, that’s not a number to scoff at.
How Much Should I Invest In SEO?
When it comes to SEO, there is no “one size fits all” answer. It depends greatly on your industry and your specific business. What I tell anyone looking into SEO is this – your consideration and time is the very first investment. Take the time to understand the value of SEO and what it could do for your business. If you are reading this blog post, you’re off to a good start.
Your monetary investment will depend on the industry you are in, the current state of your website, and the amount of work you can accomplish in-house vs. what you have to outsource. Based on what I’ve seen, typical small businesses invest anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 a month. Some less, some more. In fact, many organizations invest significantly more.
The short answer is that every business is different. That being said, the results are real and taking the time to understand your SEO needs can do wonders for your business. See what our online marketing team can do for you and consider investing in your company’s online presence.
Questions about SEO? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / stefanschurr
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