Search engine optimization can drive organic traffic to your website, increase leads, and ultimately, drive revenue.
In order to drive traffic, your team needs to have a strong search engine optimization skill set. SEO is an on-going process that rewards organizations that have a thoughtful plan, a discipline in their implementation and a little patience.
5 things you should know about SEO
1.) What is SEO?
■ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (organic) search results.
2.) Why it’s Important?
■ A study by Fleishman-Hillard revealed that 89% of consumers turn to a search engine – think Google, Bing and Yahoo – to find out information on products, services, and businesses before making a purchase decision. So, nearly 9 out of 10 people use the Internet for purchasing research.
■ An Acquity Group 2014 State of B2B Procurement study revealed that 94 percent of business buyers do some form of online research:
– 77% use Google search
– 84.3% check business websites
– 34% visit 3rd party websites
3.) What’s a SERP?
■ A search engine results page (SERP) is the listing of results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query.
4.) Why are your SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) Important?
Your SERP rankings on Google and other search engines help determine how much traffic you receive to your site. Traffic translates to awareness, interest and sales on properly constructed websites.
■ The #1 listing on SERP #1 receives 33% of clicks.
■ The #2 listing receives 20% of clicks.
■ The #3 listing receives 10% of clicks.
63% of clicks go to the first 3 listings!
Others fight for the remaining 37% of clicks. There’s a significant drop if you’re not on page 1 – the first 10 listings.
5.) What is the “Un-optimized Website” Fallacy?
Some business owners might say something like, “It’s just that we get most of our business from referrals,” or, “Our site doesn’t drive a lot of new business for us.” Although it may be articulated in different ways, some folks just don’t believe that their website can help them drive revenue. They treat it like a reference catalog to showcase their products and services, provide contact info, and list directions to their offices.
Here’s what they’re missing: The current state of your site’s optimization is driving how much organic traffic you receive, and as a result, the number of leads and the leads converted to revenue.
Unless you’re in the top rankings on several significant keywords, it’s hard to assess whether your website can be an effective new business tool. An optimized website makes all the difference. If folks are not coming to your website, how can you expect it to be a high performing marketing tool for you?
The Importance of Visitors and the right type of Visitors
Here’s what we see a lot of in the marketplace:
A business invests time, money and resources into a good looking website that reflects their brand and is easy to use. Then, the managers wait for customers to find the site and make a contact. And, they wait. and, they wait. Some business might trickle in. And, it might be high margin business. But, it doesn’t have a big impact on the company’s bottom line.
The managers’ assessment of the website: “Looks good, but not a priority for our business. It doesn’t move the dial. We get our new business from (fill in the blank: referrals, direct mail, outbound calling, etc., etc.”
Why are they’re usually wrong?
The company’s invested very little resources in driving traffic to the site via search engine optimization. Unless an effort has been made to optimize the site driving traffic, and the right type of traffic to the site; you can’t really evaluate the effectiveness of the site as a marketing tool.
The direct mail equivalent of this approach would be to spend a lot of time and money on the creative for a direct mail piece, but spend little or no resources on a mailing list. You can’t expect a great return if your message is not being seen and heard by your target audience.
Based on keywords that are important to your business, a well executed SEO plan drives the type of visitors to your site that are interested in your products and services.
Well executed SEO separates the haves and the have-nots. If a website makes it into the top 3 listings on a significant keywords, the managers associated with that website under the value of SEO because they see the results. For the business managers whose site doesn’t show up in the rankings for an important keyword until after the first page, it’s very likely that they haven’t made SEO a priority.
SEO That Works
In our business world that places an increased importance on measurability, SEO fits right in. It’s easy to track and record progress in keyword rankings, traffic numbers and engagement. Here are just a few of our success stories.
Medical clinic – Developed website, content marketing plan and SEO approach for a new medical clinic in the Twin Cities. Within 4 months, the clinic enjoyed the #1 listing on the first Google search engine result page for the keywords identified in their market area. Working with client, we expanded the geographical area targeted and moved to #1 ranking again within a few months. The head of the clinic attributes 10% of all patients and 20% of all profits to attracting patients from the website.
Online organic store – Increased website sales by over 800% per month within 4 months of beginning SEO and online marketing assignment. Identified an available URL which company purchased upon recommendation, and added another online store, further increasing sales.
Staffing agency – Developed and implemented an SEO process that moved this Twin Cities staffing agency from being outside the first 5 pages of Google search engine results, to the first page, and in the case of many keywords, moved to the top staffing agency listed. As a result, for the first time the agency received unsolicited call from prospects, of which, they were able to convert 3 new clients resulting in several hundreds of thousands dollars revenue.
Three ways Mike is different from most SEO Experts
1.) Having built sites and audiences from scratch, I know what it takes to drive traffic and build an audience. I know the best practices – what works and what doesn’t. I’ve used my own sites to test and assess the strongest tools and how to use them.
2.) Strong writing skills: I’m the author of 5 books and continue to work on my sites as a blog writer and editor (including having one of my articles was featured on the homepage of Yahoo.com). I can help with your written content and strong writing plays a key role in SEO.
3.) Having held executive positions in sales, marketing and general management in both agency and in-house environments, I understand business. My background includes: President of Magnetic Poetry, VP of McCracken Brooks Communications and Director of Marketing for The Learning Company (a $1 billion annual revenue software company).