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“SEO” Should I really spend the money for it?

The Ultimate List of Reasons Why You Need Search Engine Optimization

 You’ve heard about SEO. You’re convinced SEO works very well for different kinds of online business. What you probably wonder is why it’s so powerful. That’s why I wrote this report – to show you not one, not five, not ten… but fifteen different reasons to buy SEO. To see why SEO is so powerful. To spotlight the role it can play in marketing and communicating. A few weeks ago, Search Engine Land carried my article about the difficulty of pricing SEO servicesand it got a lot of positive response. People reached out with new questions, and shared challenges they faced along the SEO sales process, as they struggled to convince internal managers and CEOs about the value of optimizing for search engines, and getting them to expand their marketing budgets for SEO. Those questions and issues are addressed in this article – beginning with the most compelling reason  why buying SEO is such a good idea.

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1. SEO Is Not A Cost But An Investment

An investment with a high return. By tying in SEO to Web analytics data, you may observe certain keywords having great conversion rates for which you rank only on page #2 on Google and know that you’re leaving money on the table. Lifting your rank to the top 3 spots on the first page, where most clicks go, can provide a massive return on your modest investment into SEO. It’s why SEO has been likened to investing in real estate – the returns can be truly stupendous when you get it right.

2. SEO Turns The Spotlight On Your Sales Rockstar

And who would that be? Your website! Think about it. It’s open 7 days a week, all year long, and never calls in sick or reports late to work. It does whatever it’s told to do, and pulls in sales, leads and opt-ins like clockwork. Your website is your ‘perfect employee’, multitasking effectively, tackling thousands of prospects at once, and only limited by what you ask of it. Search engine optimization lavishes attention on your sales rock-star, generating the highest performance by giving it the right emphasis and focus in your marketing arsenal.

3. SEO Beats Paid Traffic

Maybe you already use Google Adwords (or other PPC advertising) very successfully. Even so, it’s paradoxical that SEO, which drives 75% of search traffic, garners less than 15% of an average SEM marketing budget, while PPC that provides barely 25% earns 80% of it. An exclusive focus on PPC ignores the large hidden component of the iceberg that’s search traffic. Just think about it. If dominating the source of one-quarter of overall traffic gives you such excellent rewards, how much better will they get when you also control the rest?

4. SEO Impacts The Research/Buying Cycle

SEO will increase your sales without proportionately increasing your marketing costs, thereby growing profits exponentially and over time. SEO can further all your business goals at a better ROI than most other comparable forms of online marketing because of this fundamental effect of better conversions and more sales at little incremental cost. Assuming that everybody has heard about your brand or thinks that you’re the best place to buy can be a very costly mistake. People are constantly researching good deals, and are using the social-driven Web for comparison shopping. And price conscious shopping behavior is more common in tough financial times, when consumers spend their money more cautiously. SEO plays an important role in this research and buying cycle. It’s like a prospect magnet, attracting potential buyers to your website through critical and relevant keywords and phrases ranked high in search engines where searchers are already looking for information about them. It’s about being where your customers are, and directing them towards solutions you offer them.

5. SEO Is Cost Effective

Over years, SEO has been proven to be one of the most cost effective forms of online marketing, delivering a higher return for every dollar invested into it over time. Your Web hosting, design and content creation expenses are similar, whether your site is visited by one hundred people, one thousand, or one million. You pay the same for each visitor to your website, whether they join your list, buy your product or interact with your brand. Your marketing costs are identical whether one visitor in a thousand buys from you, or one in a hundred, or one in every five. Effective SEO can attract thousands, even millions of targeted prospects to your business website, and increase your conversion rates by delivering the exact solution to problems they are facing. Better still, the ongoing effect and impact of SEO continues far beyond the time you invest into a campaign, because the momentum will sustain for many weeks, often years, making SEO very cost efficient as a marketing choice.

6. SEO Is Never Too Costly!

Nowhere else in marketing is it likely to pay off by being a contrarian as with choosing the right SEO company. In comparing several companies, you’re often tempted to pick the least expensive pitch, while it may actually be a smart choice to pick the most expensive one! How? SEO is not a cost. It’s an investment. And even if the highest priced SEO company charges you twice as much as the rest, as a marketing manager or decision maker, you should look deeper into why they are so expensive. What makes them so confident as to pitch you with an offer others would toss into the dust-bin without a second thought? If the more expensive SEO company helps you reach your financial goals and growth targets in half the time at twice the price, is it really ‘expensive’? Let’s say I offer to pay you $4 for every dollar you give me, how much money would you give me today, assuming you’re convinced I won’t take your cash and run away? That’s where SEO pre-analysis can help. If the study proves that your market is big enough to drive enough volume, the competition is weak enough for you to fight and win, and your experience with SEO consultants and SEO firms over time shows that you are getting a larger amount of targeted traffic from their efforts. If this traffic converts at a high rate into sales and profit, then the impact on your business from this SEO campaign will be responsible for well more than “4 dollars for one” over time. Is it time, then, to step back and take a harder look at the allocation of your marketing budget? Should you be looking to reap the potential of SEO, and grab the low hanging fruit within your easy reach? This isn’t an emotional decision. It’s based on logic and hard data. ‘Costly’ SEO is like buying an automobile. Why does a Ferrari cost more than a VW Beetle? There are many good reasons and similar ones apply to SEO.

Get the most out of your social and online marketing efforts. Own, understand and activate your best audience through the power of the link with our URL Shortener and Link Management Platform powered by Pridek

Get the most out of your social and online marketing efforts. Own, understand and activate your best audience through the power of the link with our URL Shortener and Link Management Platform powered by Pridek

7. SEO Attracts Relevant Traffic With High Conversion Potential

SEO is highly targeted, down to minor details. Using keyword analysis, you can find just how big a “market” is, how many people are searching for that exact keyword, how competitive the arena is (in SERPs), and with some keen deductive reasoning, even identify the intent behind keyword searches. It’s not all intuitive and obvious, and the devil is in the details. That’s why having an insightful SEO consultant can generate huge returns on your marketing dollars spent on optimization. Web traffic from a good SEO campaign has high conversion potential. And by correctly tapping into ‘searcher intent’, addressing your audience’s concerns and problems, building trust, and convincing prospects that your company is the right one to do business with, you can enjoy a high rate of visitor-to-sales conversion that’s the envy of your industry. For example, a well-planned SEO campaign for a hotel will reach potential customers looking to take a vacation, lead them to your website, and to the right section that addresses exactly what they’re looking for. In this way, SEO acts like a hybrid of a guide, receptionist, concierge, marketing executive and salesperson. Without SEO, finding your website in the tourism industry will be hunting for a needle in a haystack. Without fully understanding the intent behind your visitor’s search and their unique and individual needs, the chances of losing the prospect forever is high. Getting them both right means more visitors, and more sales. Bonus: SEO Is Measurable Marketing Every element of your SEO can be measured, evaluated and corrected. By doing this continuously, you can find out your return on every SEO dollar invested.  

8. SEO Is More Than Just SEO-Friendly CMS

So your CMS vendor told you it was SEO friendly and optimized? Don’t be fooled. That isn’t all the SEO you need. Not by a long country mile! They should know (by now) that SEO is not only about code. Google doesn’t look for ‘code’, it looks for ‘content’. There are over 200 ranking factors, and algorithms change many times every year. CMS code is just a fraction of the whole. By providing the right framework for your site, an SEO friendly CMS can help. But it takes a lot more to dominate search engines. Chief among those ‘other things’ is content. Content is king. The devil is in the detail – keywords, neighborhood, and your overall marketing mix. Your CMS has little to do with these. You wouldn’t buy a great frying pan and food processor, then hope they’ll magically turn you into a Michelin star chef! SEO isn’t new. Yet many CEOs and managers haven’t formally been taught the importance of good SEO for online business. Yes, CMS vendors may misguide and mislead. After all, this is a highly technical and sophisticated marketing technology, and if you can’t wrap your head around it, you are not alone. But if you ask the right questions, you’ll win through in the end.

9. SEO Can Multiply Your Impact

How much did it cost to print your visiting cards? Or your marketing brochures? I’ll bet it wasn’t much compared to how much you invested in your website. Did you carefully proof-read those cards, brochures or flyers before sending them off to the printing agency (or get someone else to review it for you)? I’ll bet you did. But you didn’t have a search specialist “proof read” your expensive, infinitely more powerful marketing tool – your website – before you launched it! Would you design and order all those visiting cards and brochures at considerable expense, and then just lock them up in a shelf? Of course not. By ignoring SEO, that’s exactly what you’re doing with your fancy new website. A website that could have been viewed by thousands of your best prospects and ideal clients. A website that you’re now leaving to the whim and fancy of Google to rank at its will. Just because you own top of the line printing equipment, would you print your business cards yourself? No, I’m sure you don’t. You probably order them from a professional company with long experience with printing. SEO is your digital calling card. It can multiply your impact massively by getting your website in front of targeted eyeballs. There’s good reason to have it handled by professionals who know their job. They will ensure that your website appeals to the right audience, and gets viewed by a wide segment of it, so that your digital visiting card best performs the critical task your business assigned to it – getting qualified leads and converting them into cash-spending customers.

10. SEO Keeps You From Missing Out On Free Advertising

Would you trust another agency to write your door sign, or decide what goes on your visiting card? Will you allow your competitor to design your display ads, or decide who sees your storefront? If you don’t strategically craft your website’s title tags and meta descriptions, that’s what you’re permitting. And that’s not good for business at all. It’s like leaving “lorem ipsum” text on your printed marketing materials! SEO lets you dictate how your business should be featured on search results. If thousands of your prospects are viewing “random text”, you’re leaving money on the table. You’re letting a wonderful chance to get free advertising slip through your fingers. The good news is that once you’re aware of this, it’s easy to fix. SEO hands you back the controls, so you can steer your business along the right path.

11. SEO Leverages Social Sharing

Are you engaged in social media like Facebook? SEO plays an important role here. Content shared by users on social networks are directly related to SEO specific parameters like title tags and meta descriptions. This is what you see when people share posts and stories on their Wall, Google+ profile, or in a tweet or share. An SEO strategist will help you manage this process, in collaboration with your marketing and communications department. Through SEO you get to control what people read, think and do on social sites and spread through their networks at the speed of light.

12. SEO Will Help People Find Your Website

Your website is the first point of contact with your audience online. It can generate leads, qualify prospects and attract potential new customers, partners or investors. But unless people can find it, your website is good for nothing. SEO plays an invaluable role here. No longer is SEO just about ranking a site in search results, getting more clicks and views, or keeping ‘bounce rates’ optimal. That’s a dangerous misconception. Modern, effective SEO should be rooted in the company’s goals and strategies, and swivels on the psychology of individuals in the target market and segment. SEO gets your business found, noticed, and loved.

13. Your SEO Consultant Is A ‘Secret Weapon’

A professional SEO consultant will be a great asset in developing your business. Your SEO consultant can find lucrative keywords and niches with great ROI where you can make money easily, carry out detailed market research and competitive analysis, and help you build content to pull in traffic that will close big deals for you. A skilled SEO consultant can run in-depth analyses of your business competitors, study their strategy, and more. Your consultant can mock up a “war” and test your strategies in battle against your competition… and if those computations work in your favor, it’s time to go to war! It can also show you if the strategy is ineffective or the competition too well entrenched to unseat. This will save you money and time wasted in pursuing ownership of that keyword or niche, leaving you to focus energy on more profitable areas. Such market pre-analysis can be priceless to the right company or business. Remember what Al Ries and Jack Trout highlight in their timeless book, “Marketing Warfare” – Marketing is a war! And just as you won’t think about going to war without conventional weapons, you can’t enter a competitive market armed only with a tommy gun! At the same time, using old fashioned weaponry will only prolong the suffering and lead to an inevitable defeat. You need powerful, state of art, effective weapons to win. And in the digital battleground, cutting-edge SEO will give you an edge.

 
14. SEO Provides Endless Opportunity

SEO is a continuous process. It’s like the machinery you use to drill for oil, or mine for gold. You’ll need more powerful equipment if you are to go through granite or hard rock, your engines will require frequent maintenance, and the drill-bit may get worn out and need replacing from time to time. Your SEO is just the same. It will need constant tweaks, reviews and shifts to keep it moving in the right direction, so that it continues to deliver stellar results. Sometimes the ground may be so hard that you need diamond-tipped drills to break through. And yes, diamond drill-bits are more expensive. But as long as research shows the presence of a vein of gold, or a large reservoir of oil, the drilling must proceed if riches are to be tapped. In the same way, in tough markets, the SEO you need might be more expensive because of tougher competition. Yet the ‘hidden treasure’ you’re seeking will be more precious, making it worth mining for. Research and analysis by expert SEO advisors can tell you if there’s a gold mine there or not. That’s how your investment in expensive SEO consultants pays off. At first, they may look bad on your budget sheet, because they appear as a “cost”. But if the impact of their research is to correctly guide you to the most profitable niches and avenues to mine for wealth and profit, then it will multiply your modest investment ten times over, or more! Good SEO is like a fine-tuned engine. Unless you take good care, it won’t be able to keep going and will burn out. When you embark upon an SEO driven strategy, be prepared to hunker down for a long fight. You’ll take some hits along the way, but you’ll throw harder punches and score more wins. Eventually, that’s what matters.

 
15. SEO Helps You Capitalize On Weak Competition

SEO can let you reap what your competitors sow! When your competition has a smaller marketing budget, they will make mistakes (or overlook opportunities). Good SEO can help you take advantage of these weaknesses. This makes SEO a smart move for small and medium sized businesses in competitive branches. Take the case of clueless marketing campaigns that run expensive TV commercials, mass media display advertising, billboards and the like. These ads serve to activate interest in the market niche, in general, or broadly in a product or service category. Usually the company developing these ads are unconnected with search marketing divisions. This leaves a wide open hole for you to fill. A study by market research firm Ipsos OTX based on a survey of 5,000 US smart phone users found that 71% of users search because of an ad they’ve seen online or offline. When interested people turn to search engines for more information, you can use SEO to position yourself to harvest the traffic. This is like casting a fish net into waters that are teeming with sea-life and hauling back a rich catch! The approach does not involve sneaky or stealthy practices such as targeting other business’ brand names. No. These are generic keyword searches sparked off by mass advertising and you can target this traffic through an intelligent mix of organic SEO and pay-per-click ad campaigns (because these are often faster and instant in impact).

Get the most out of your social and online marketing efforts. Own, understand and activate your best audience through the power of the link with our URL Shortener and Link Management Platform powered by Pridek

Get the most out of your social and online marketing efforts. Own, understand and activate your best audience through the power of the link with our URL Shortener and Link Management Platform powered by Pridek

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