search engine rankings
30 October 2014
30 October 2014,

What Should a Business Expect from Successful SEO?

One of the most challenging aspects of being an SEO professional is managing the expectations of clients. I have had some clients who have no expectations of SEO, but seem to feel that every legitimate business needs to invest at some level in SEO services. Others expect that they can spend a few hundred (or thousand) dollars on SEO and rely solely on that investment to create a successful business.

The reality is somewhere in between.

The first thing to remember is that even with the most successful SEO, your online results will be proportional to the number of people looking for your products or services online. So, for example, if you are a new company with a revolutionary product unlike any ever before produced, you are not going to be able to rely on search engine marketing to sell that product. There are other types of online marketing that might be successful, but people can’t search for something that they don’t know exists.

On the other hand, sometimes even products/services with low search volume can be successful with SEO. After all, the correct measure for success is not traffic volume, but rather the profitability of the SEO investment. I have had clients with businesses in niche categories that nearly doubled their revenue based on a single lead that found them through search.

The second thing to remember is that beyond bringing potential customers to your website, you must engage these visitors and compel them to take action—to call, inquire via email, and/or make a purchase. So, unless your SEO advisor provides guidance on improving the user experience, an increase in website traffic may not be enough to improve your bottom line.

This is why I rarely take on a new client that isn’t in the process of updating their existing website or creating a new one. SEO that works for the client must focus both on building web traffic and creating an attractive, informative, and user-friendly website.

I encourage all my web marketing clients to evaluate their SEO performance on the basis of profitability. I have had clients that wanted to judge my work on the basis of whether they rank at the top of the search engine listings displayed for a particular keyword phrase. When I have a client like that, I find that their attitude is often a matter of ego. They want a measure of SEO success that competitors can see—so they can be acknowledged as a “winner” in the SEO wars. That simply is not realistic today. Now Google and Bing’s rankings change constantly—within a range. So, a #2 ranking yesterday may be a #8 or #10 today. And it will continue to change frequently.

Finally, it is important to understand that the results generated by SEO are not necessarily proportional to the amount you paid for SEO services. On the low end of things, an investment of less than $500 is not likely to provide any profitable result. There is certain level of effort needed to produce good rankings, and you aren’t likely to be able to contract for that for less than $500, On the other hand, don’t expect that an investment of $10,000 will produce twice the result of an investment of $5000, either.

The key to successful, profitable SEO for most small companies is to find someone who will create a customized marketing plan/strategy that is based upon both the strength of their online competitors and the business’s reasonable expectation for generating new leads/sales online. Watch out for SEO providers that have package plans that rope you into long-term contracts or that seem to be one-size-fits-all.

Contact 1st Click Consulting at 720-341-6336 today to discuss a customized SEO plan for your business.

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