Too many people look at SEO the wrong way. They think SEO companies and SEO experts are traffic generators and nothing more. However, what gets overlooked is playing defense with SEO and having a long range view about it.
Organic Search Is a Distribution Channel that Needs Continual Optimization
Think about this situation: What if you are a merchant and, let’s say, you make $65,000 a month from organic search traffic between Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The majority comes from Google. Wouldn’t you want to protect that $65,000 a month in traffic? Wouldn’t it be advantageous to spend $3,000 to $5,000 of that money and continually optimize it, grow it, and just make sure it is not going anywhere?
The search channels need to be viewed as gold mines, and your SEO experts/companies are the guys who continue making the gold flow. Even if you are not increasing, how do you know you wouldn’t be dropping without those efforts?
A lot of the time, as a service company, we have issues where we were not included during site redesigns or other important changes to a site that could ultimately lead to a large negative impact. If it weren’t for some search engine optimization techniques, you could be dug so far into the Google sandbox you would wonder why you hadn’t spent $4,000 a month protecting that $65,000 a month piece of revenue.
This is not us speculating; this happens to retailers on a daily basis, where their large business becomes a very tiny business due to their dependence on organic search traffic and the lack of optimization for that channel.
SEO Needs to Be Long Term Thinking
That headline might have made your eyeballs roll, since you have heard the same thing a million times. Except, not the way you think we want you to think of it. Your ROI from SEO needs to be long term calculated.
Let’s say you pay $5,000 a month for SEO to optimize your $65,000 a month organic search traffic channel. If you continue getting an additional $1,000 each month in additional organic search revenue, in two years you would be making $84,000 a month, compared to $65,000.
If we estimated the additional revenue and ROI generated from the SEO spend, we would get:
24 x $5,000 = $120,000
[Insert complex math in head] = $300,000
Therefore, we received a 2.5 times ROI.
Now, you might think, “2.5 times ROI is nothing, and I will lose money based on my profit margins.” But, if you continue building this revenue and calculate it into year 3 and year 4, 5, 6, ad infinitum, you will continue to see the increases and much higher ROIs from those efforts.
Overall, looking at SEO as “What will be my return in six months?” is a poor way to look at SEO ROI. Focusing on years of profit from the optimization is a better fit because, when you use a white hat SEO method, such as Visiture’s SEO services, the benefits continue for years.
SEO Helps for PPC and Google Shopping
With optimization of SEO, we also see higher quality scores for PPC, since the on page optimization fixes many deficiencies. We can have more—and better—keyword phrases on the physical page, which should help increase the quality score. SEO and PPC work well together, and, if you dominate the top space for both ad placements and organic search, your click through rate and conversion rate are higher, because consumers trust you more for taking up so much Google real estate.
The flip side is, when you optimize product titles and descriptions for SEO purposes, your PLA ads can show up for more relevant keyword phrases. For instance, listing out benefits on products can help your products rank when people search for a specific product with that benefit. Google can match it together and give you a better chance for closing that particular searcher.
SEO Helps with Multi-Step Purchases
Your traffic only converts at 1% for a reason. Consumers generally want to research products before they buy. They could come from different sources, different times, and different ways. If they come from PPC, they could continue researching, see you again in organic search, and then decide to buy from you. SEO and PPC work well together to close customers who are researching or who may have visited your site before. Having SEO is essential to your multi-step consumers.
SEO Helps Build Your Brand
SEO is a very valuable service if done the right way. If the agency or expert you use gets you good links and social shares, they are also building your brand and getting additional traffic from links. All of this builds your brand and makes you a bigger, better, and more popular company. Now, more than ever before, SEO is integrating closely with PR agencies, because a lot of what is required for SEO overlaps with PR.
SEO is a valuable service or tool, but it needs to be rethought. There is more to it than a simple black and white traffic generation tool.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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