You may be wondering if SEO is right for your business or if it is going to be worth it. The truth is that SEO will benefit most businesses, but whether or not to go ahead with it is ultimately a decision you will have to make on your own – with solid advice from a professional if possible.
Here are some common scenarios that may help you along the way….
1. Your business needs more customers.
If you need more customers in your business, then SEO could provide them. If you have the type of business that would normally be found online – or by customers searching for your type of business online, then SEO would be a very good way of getting more customers cost effectively.
If you do it right, your business will be in front people interested in your products or services at the specific time they are looking for them. This is an important point because, as they are ready now, it shortens the time between seeing your business and making a purchase. It is also far more focused / targeted than traditional advertising like magazines etc. which may get you in front of say 10,000 people, but not when or even if they actually need you.
2. You want your business to grow.
If you are after business growth and growth in your market share, then SEO – possibly combined with other online marketing will deliver.
As most people now find new products and services online, if you are looking to increase your market share or grow your business, you need to be the business most visible in the search engines – not your competitors.
We covered getting more customers above, but for good growth and increasing your market share, you not only have to be visible, you have to be placed high in the relevant keywords searches for your industry.
Think of your own use. Which results do you click on? Probably like most people, you click on the top few search results only, and maybe sometimes you click on a few more on the first page, but that’s it. If a business is not there when you make that search, you don’t even know they exist.
To the right is a breakdown of the percentages of clicks that each search position receives on the average search:
As you can see, the first position gets over 32% of the traffic. Second and third get around 17% and 11% respectively and it drops off fast form there.
See the full stats and analysis here:
3. Your old marketing is not working like it used to.
If you are in a business that has been around for a long time you would have noticed many changes in your business and your industry. Probably one of the biggest changes would have been how you acquire customers and how the effectiveness of certain marketing channels has changed.
Not so long ago, you had to be in the Yellow Pages. Most people would use the yellow pages to find businesses – especially local ones. But how often these days do you open the Yellow Pages?
These days, what do you do? You just “Google” it. You may even “Google” it on Yahoo or Bing, but that’s the point, you’re searching online, primarily in a search engine. You’re rarely opening the Yellow Pages – if ever at all.
And it’s this way for a lot of old marketing methods that used to be the standard way to find something, simply because a web search is faster, easier, more accurate and with extras such as reviews and other information. Not to mention that you can simply do it on your mobile phone in seconds wherever you are.
Whether it is paid search marketing or SEO, you should now be considering your first marketing spend being in search, or at the very least diverting some of your old marketing budget to search.
4. Your competitors are eating into your market share and profits.
If you are in this situation, then most likely, they are more visible than you are online. Do a quick search for you particular product or service. Who’s there? If it’s someone else, then thay are getting the customers, not you.
Even just maintaining your current business these days requires a visible web presence as the economy has become super competitive. If you are not working hard at it, you can bet there will be someone else out there who is – and they will be more than willing to take your customers.
It doesn’t matter if your service is better. If your potential customers see them working harder for their business, they are most likely going to assume that they are going to work harder on delivering for them. This also applies to your existing customers. Do you think they are not looking around? Be there when they do.
Is the expense of SEO worth it?
Next, you need to consider the financial cost. The actual cost of SEO for your business is going to depend on many factors (see here) and depending on your goals etc. It may not be cheap. And like any business expenditure, you need to justify the cost.
You need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Can your business afford it?
- Can you start more focused / locally and build upon your SEO campaign later?
- How much can you spend?
- What results do you need?
There is more information on the costs of SEO here, but can get a rough idea on the return and expected results by talking to an SEO professional. Someone with experience will be able to look at you business, your industry and things like search volumes and give you some kind of idea what is possible – although it will not be exact.
Things that will help to know before contacting them are:
- Your current website traffic / stats – if you have Google Analytics or other stats on your site, they will help alot.
- Your current website conversion rate – how many people buy / contact you compared to how many actually visit your site.
- General business information like you average costs per sale, profits per sale and time to sale between initial contact and the sale.
Even if the costs of an extensive SEO campaign are out of the question, you still have to make sure your site is at least up to date, and you have you local listings etc. in order. It costs very little and adds credibility and visibility – particularly when someone searches for your business in particular.