Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is quickly moving from being a misunderstood, seemingly optional marketing tool to a necessary and critical part of every business’ marketing plan. Doing business online is already ingrained in our culture, and as the search engines become more and more advanced in how they rank websites in search results, it’s becoming more and more important to have experts optimizing your website. Business who don’t utilize SEO in their marketing plan are being left behind and missing out on a lot of valuable web traffic.
Many people already know some of the well-known details about what SEO is: SEO makes your website rank higher in search results and gets your website more traffic. And we all know, the obvious benefits that come from that traffic is more leads, phone calls, and sales. However, there are many hidden benefits to SEO that drive our customers to choose SEO services with Fruition.
Increased value – Websites that generate quality traffic, leads, and revenue are an asset that increase the value of an organization. Along with this comes brand recognition online and in your industry, and cataloged evidence of your understanding of the business via blogs, white papers, press releases, videos, and any other information that you choose to publish. When people search for a general industry term and your business appears at the top of the list, the value of your company is quickly realized by searchers.
Your sales team is better at farming than hunting – Inbound marketing (or “farming leads”) can be much more efficient and profitable than outbound marketing (“hunting for business), yet most businesses continue to use outbound marketing for a majority of their business development efforts. Outbound marketing includes things like direct mail, cold calling, running ads on TV/radio/billboards/publications, etc. Outbound marketing typically requires a larger staff, larger overhead, and needs to be repeated over and over for continual success. Inbound marketing (or “farming” for business) is the process of attracting people to you who are in the market by promoting yourself online through website SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing. Farming for business (much like farming in real life) usually takes a bit of time and effort up front to get things going, but once your efforts begin to grow you’ll see massive benefits that are sustainable and inexpensive to maintain in the long run. Inbound marketing can be done with a leaner staff or an outside agency, and only requires consistent maintenance over the life of the campaign.
You or the competition? There’s something to be said about being an early adopter. 5-10 years ago most businesses were skeptical about putting resources into SEO, yet many have been benefiting from all that web traffic that you’re missing. Regardless of industry, it’s virtually guaranteed that some of your competitors are use SEO to attract (and win!) business. It all comes down to who is getting the business and benefits from being on top?
Future SEO – It is much easier and faster to rank for new product lines with an already-optimized website. Many businesses put off starting an SEO push because they don’t feel ready yet, or they think they’re too small for SEO to benefit them. But what happens when you are ready, or you have a new service or product you want lots of traffic to? Laying the foundation for a well-optimized site takes time, and SEO works kind of like a rolling boulder: it takes a heavy push to get it moving, but once it picks up speed it’ll keep rolling easier and easier. Instead of basing your decision on whether or not to begin SEO on your current needs, consider what your needs will be in one year and base your decision on that. You’ll thank yourself in a year.
Peace of mind – A large part of SEO is analytics. Analytics is the data and proof of concept that allows you to see detailed results of your marketing efforts. A well-run SEO campaign will always come with regular sets of detailed analytics that will be the basis for scientific and actionable next steps. You’ll know exactly how well your marketing dollars are working and what you’re getting out of it.
Recruiting – Although the economy isn’t great right now, many job hunters are still very discerning when considering interviews and job offers. Employees (especially ones who are trying to build their career) want good names on their resume, and they’ll tend to favor businesses with good reputations that are known in their industry. If a job candidate recognizes your brand, they’re more likely to get excited about applying to your job. Also, if you list the job on your website’s careers page (and use that link in any Monster, Craigslist, or LinkedIn ad you might post), it’ll get more exposure online and you’ll get a larger pool of candidates to choose from. In the long run, you’ll end up with a great, well-qualified staff that will help you grow your business.
Acquisition Target – For companies that have the goal of growing in order to sell to a larger company, SEO is the most consistent way of increasing your business’ brand recognition, authority in the industry, and overall value. A great deal of businesses are being approached by companies in vertical industries after being found on the web.
Lifetime value – the lifetime value of a new client can be several multiples of this year’s revenue. You can land high-value clients by using SEO because it attracts people who are specifically looking for what you’re selling. If someone takes the time to research different companies online, they’re more likely to be more invested in your services.
24/7/365 – Your website is working anytime your customers are looking, so it should be positioned to work overtime. Putting in the dollar value of one employee’s salary into an SEO campaign could return the production equivalent of 5-10 (or more) employees. Having a well-optimized site could mean the difference between landing business or losing it outside of office hours.
As you can see, SEO is a powerful tool, not only for the obvious reasons, but for so many more. Fruition’s team of expert SEO consultants can help you develop your SEO strategy and implement it from start to finish. All businesses in all industries can benefit from SEO, and the longer you wait, the longer it’ll take to begin capturing that potential web traffic.
Brad Anderson is the Executive Director and Founder of Fruition. Brad’s focus is supporting Fruition’s team to enable sustainable growth and excellent client satisfaction (EBITDA growth). With a strong statistical background, Brad built Fruition’s in-house software that is used to manage client success.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association