Why SEO should be a Fundamental Element of Your Lead Generation Strategy
Many businesses realise the hard way after investing in a website that traffic, leads and sales do not magically appear on the internet. Businesses are competing with millions of websites to be seen, and this is where search engine optimisation comes in. It is no longer good enough to just have a website, you need to make sure it can be found through the major search engines and this is why SEO is so important.
A website that is not optimised is as successful at attracting new clients to your business as the sign above your business. It is only visible to those that are standing directly in front of it or who already know your business is there. People in the next street, the next town, the next city will have no idea you even exist.
That’s why SEO needs to be high on your list of imperatives. If you are not continually working on your online presence to boost and maintain your search engine rankings, your company will likely experience a poor return on investment for its online marketing efforts. Without a search engine optimisation strategy, your organisation could be losing countless potential prospects and new business to competitors who are focusing on SEO.
While many business owners believe that SEO can be a “set it and forget it” exercise it is more evident than ever that it requires constant vigilance and adjustment. Major shifts in the area of search have been taking place over the last few years and businesses that don’t adjust will see their listings sink to the bottom of the results pages.
Search Engine Optimisation is still new to many businesses and because of that it can be hard for department heads or business owners to justify investing in SEO. Here are some facts that might help your decision:
Top 10 Reasons Why SEO is Worth the Investment
Close Rate – According to HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, which are 8 times more likely to close into customers than outbound leads.
People Search for a Reason – Search engines are one of the most popular ways that people find information and make purchasing decisions. According to info please, 81% of internet users say they use the internet to do research on a product before buying.
Real time, All the time – The internet is alive and speaking to your potential clients 24/7/365. So while your business is closed and there is no one manning the phone lines a perfectly optimised website can be providing useful and valid information about your products and services, helping them conduct their research and putting you in the prime position when they are ready to buy.
Branding – SEO helps improve brand awareness. People are more likely to move forward with a company if they have an online presence that fills the searcher with trust. By showing up where users expect you to be and having a great online reputation you can earn that trust.
Relevance – Search engine marketing enables brands to reach the audience that is most likely to be interested in their products or services. This can be contextually, where results are based on what the searcher is particularly looking for or location based, where your audience is at the moment of time. Both of which add to why SEO is so important for business.
Reach – According to UKOM in September 2012, over 42 million individuals in the UK where online, that is 69.4% of the total population and on average people spent 25:44hrs online.
Creativity – Search engine optimisation offers businesses and marketing teams a limitless creative canvas to attract and captivate their target audience through multimedia: video, audio, imagery, text, all of which can be used to drive customer engagement.
Long Term Benefits – A print advert, a direct mail campaign, a radio advert once delivered is gone and if your target audience miss the advert there is little chance of them finding t again. If you have a website that is optimised for targeted keywords that drive traffic on a daily basis you will have the opportunity to engage potential clients on a day by day basis for years to come.
Competition – in most cases doing something because everybody else is doing it is not necessarily a strong argument. However if a business is serious about generating a healthy supply of leads then not being optimised while others in the niche have adopted a local seo strategy, will mean that those leads, prospects and sales will be going straight to those that have made the investment.
Organic – In a recent report conducted by GroupM carried out with Nielsen, Evaluating the Search Marketing Landscape, it was found that only 6% of clicks were from paid search while a massive 94% were from searches in the organic listings. This in itself highlights why SEO, and having your business listed for key terms related to your business and niche in the organic listings, is so important for business.
Accountability – Unique to the internet is the ability to show the entire customer journey: the number of sales, newsletter sign ups, the number of times people click on your listing in the search engines, where they go, what they interact with and much, much more.
All of this information can then be used to work out where to target your efforts to increase conversions.
Although it can be difficult to justify spending money on something that doesn’t yield immediate results and comes with few guarantees, it’s important to realise that SEO is a lasting investment and can be a fundamental part of your lead generation strategy moving forward.
Consumers are using the internet for everything, as the demand for information about products and services continues to increase and the numbers of ways people can access the information evolve, search engine optimisation is not going away. In fact the need is only going to get stronger. So instead of asking why improving SEO is a good investment, maybe you should be asking yourself why didn’t we invest in SEO sooner?