By Charela Lee
So, you keep doing a Google search for your business and it’s not popping up on the first page. You have heard of this “thing” called SEO, but have no idea what it is or how it can help grow your business? Let’s discuss how SEO is RELEVANT to your business.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for SEARCH- ENGINE- OPTIMIZATION. SEO has been around for almost as long as search engines, but attitudes toward the industry and the specific tactics used by web developers have remained in constant flux. To those unfamiliar with SEO, it often seems complicated, unpredictable and well, just plain hard to understand. When it comes to search engine optimization for a new website, some business owners can be intimidated due to the amount of information out there. And often, if they don’t have the help of an experienced in-house SEO strategist or consultant, they will do nothing. Many just don’t want to venture into the waters of SEO without much awareness of what it takes to run a successful SEO campaign.
Why use SEO in the first place?
There are many benefits of SEO, especially if you’re using strategies like content marketing and social media marketing. However, the main goal is always to drive traffic to your website that converts into leads or new business. As your rankings increase to meaningful positions in search engine results pages, you’ll gain more traffic for your site, which means more brand visibility and sales.
How do I measure SEO success?
SEO takes a bit of analytic effort. Google does a great of providing analytics on your website activity. For business owners or marketers, it is important to track keywords to find out which are the most valued keywords for your industry. For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of SEO, a first month that yields little or no traffic increase may seem like a failure, when in fact there are significant improvements happening across the board, hidden from plain view. Through keyword research and rank tracking, you will be able to measure the true progress of an SEO campaign. There are also several software programs that will help you gain insight into which keywords are RELEVANT to your industry and how much your competition is spending to ranks. You’ve got to know what keywords to target and track, and you’ve got to track and graph them over time to get a realistic picture of your campaign’s progress.
It using takes 4-6 months before you will start to see the results. I am sure that you wonder, “At what point will my results start returning a profit over my costs?” Well, it is going to depend on if you are paying a regular rate (or investing a similar amount of effort) every month. If you decide to invest the time for research (or hire someone to do this) and focus on spending money on competitive keywords, there should be a “turning point,” at which your ROI becomes positive. Your early-stage results (in the first 12 months of your campaign’s development) will help you start to break even, but in my experience, it takes a little longer to yield a consistently positive ROI.
Again, not to put too fine a point on it, but within 1 to 2 years, I typically see clients start breaking even and seeing a positive ROI. This can be accelerated by adjusting the variables I outlined previously.
If you aren’t seeing success within that timeframe, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything’s wrong with your SEO campaign; it more likely means that your SEO competitor landscape is more competitive than originally estimated, in which case you should re-evaluate your budget. This assumes, of course, that you have vetted your SEO vendor and are confident that they’re doing a good job.