SEO Is Measurable Marketing

25 Sep
2018

NEEDS TO BE RE-WRITTEN

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Builds Trust & Credibility
SEO can make your brand stronger, better and well recognized. The eventual goal should be that, when people search for business critical and relevant keywords and phrases, they should find you at the top of search results. Then, psychology takes over and prospects will believe that you’re the best.

Your website’s title and meta description tags can telegraph a powerful statement that strengthens your brand, while helping communicate a marketing message that’s in line with your strategic business goals.

Then prospects will believe that you’re the best.

These days, everybody “Googles it”. If you’re there, right on top of the SERPs, it goes a long way in boosting your credibility. If you’re right where your customers are, at the right moment, with the right solution, you’ll win big.

But being there is only part of the puzzle. You need more. You must get inside the heads of your prospects. Speak their language. Feel their pain. Present them with a solution. Once you do, your credibility with your audience skyrockets.

SEO Makes You Ubiquitous
We intuitively sense that a #1 ranking indicates top class. An athlete who wins the gold medal is a champion. Silver and bronze winners are runners-up. All the rest are ‘also rans’… and no one cares about them!

Search engine rankings are similar. The top spot on Google SERPs gets 36.4% of all clicks, the #2 spot gets 12.5%, #3 takes 9.5%, and from there it declines quickly. Being at the top of the heap wins you ‘front of mind’ recall and brand awareness and wins you more sales.

If your website doesn’t pop up on the first page of Google for your business critical keywords and phrases, then it’s… “Houston, we have a problem!”

On the off-chance that you’re running a healthy business even without good search engine visibility for your high search volume keywords, then imagine how much more money you could make when you rank for them and reach those extra customers and make more sales. Remember… if you’re not there, your competitors are, ready to take your money!

SEO Helps Build Your Brand
Branding is often complex, costly and chaotic. You throw many things at consumers, hoping enough will stick in their minds and be recalled when it’s time for a purchase. SEO can help accelerate your branding campaign and make you memorable.

When more people visit your site, get familiar with your business, and order from you, then you have more people likely to come back again and tell their friends about you. SEO is an effective way to get this ball rolling, by ranking your website high and attracting a flood of Web traffic.

It can then turn this initial impression into lasting recall through presenting the most relevant and useful information that a visitor is seeking through search engines, thereby earning ‘mind share’ and securing a lasting place in their heart.

SEO Is A Long-Term Strategy
SEO can deliver quick results. It can be effective in the short term and help businesses who need results now. And that’s the primary appeal of SEO to certain types of business owners. But SEO has one serious advantage over other marketing with a ‘short term’ focus… it delivers an ongoing ROI over the long term also.

While PPC and other advertising methods are quick at driving Web traffic, they are also expensive. Also, in the Tamar 2008 Search Attitude report, 91% of survey respondents said they preferred natural search results while looking to buy a product or service online. SEO can ensure you grab these plum spots.

Done correctly, SEO can be long lasting. With proper SEO analysis up front, you can stay on the front page of search results for years, without spending money in the future. Even after you stop your SEO work, your website can still rank high on your chosen keywords, though you’re better off continuing with the services of an SEO consultant or in-house team, or you’ll risk losing your search ranking.

Again, this isn’t an expense, but an investment. A quick and simple calculation will show you how quickly you’ll earn back your investment into effective SEO by way of increased earnings.

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.

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.

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.

SEO Can Be Made To Work For You
Yes, even if it didn’t work for you before, SEO can be tweaked and twisted into a form that benefits your business. I’ve heard it so often from clients that I simply ignore that objection and offer to prove my point through an inexpensive test.

Most often, the reason why SEO didn’t work is because the company invested too little time or money or resource into it. To blame SEO after neglecting it, not doing it properly, or simply fearing it as “something new” is unfair.

Assuming you did everything right in your implementation of SEO, it could have failed through improper planning. In SEO, failing to plan is planning to fail. That’s why it is important to assign a budget, study the market and search volumes, analyze the competitiveness and anchor your SEO campaign to business goals and strategy. This will prevent the campaign from going off the track.

An expert SEO consultant will steer you away from markets that are too small, competition that is too tough, or where revenue potential is tiny.

You’ll avoid wasting time and money chasing after the wrong targets, like more traffic that won’t convert, or higher rankings that don’t deliver the right prospects. Guesswork can lead to painful and costly surprises. SEO strategy eliminates these surprises and provides constant, reliable results.

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.

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?

SEO Is Rooted In User Intent
Where many forms of online marketing are based interrupting a prospect with a sales pitch, SEO is aligned with the intent of a searcher, meeting your audience halfway with a relevant, targeted message that appeals to their interest and delivers a solution they are already seeking.

Being there with the right information and facts may prevent dissemination of myths and false information, become valuable in reputation management, and build a stronger brand.

Good SEO fits the various types of search intent, including:

Navigational
Informational
Transactional
Commercial
In that respect, SEO is able to generate the highest conversion rate of any targeted digital marketing initiative, which is what makes SEO a high return effort.

Quick, cheap SEO is ineffective and has little lasting value, but healthy SEO costs more but has a longer term impact.

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).

The Business Case For SEO
Hopefully, these compelling reasons have convinced you about the value and benefits of an integrated SEO strategy in growing your business and taking your company to new heights of profitability, branding and success.

 

 

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Paul
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Get his thoughts at his blog (www.ranksurge.com) or follow him on Twitter (@semconsulting) G+ (https://plus.google.com/+PaulBliss3)

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