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Why is SEO an investment?

When you build a website for your business, it becomes your company’s “online real estate.” Much like physical real estate, this valuable space on the world wide web can expand and become more visible. The term for increasing your website’s visibility online is “search engine optimization” or SEO.

While almost every business owner in every vertical will admit that their website is important to their company’s success, not all of them invest in SEO. Some have tried optimizing their sites for only a few months and have quit, thinking it’s not worth the effort or expense.

Others have seen their competitors in the market dominating the search engine results pages (or SERPs), and feel that their site could never compete with those who’ve been around longer and have put more time and effort into optimizing their sites.

The fact of the matter is, 93% of consumers’ online experiences start with a search engine. If you don’t invest in optimizing your site, you are likely missing out on the web traffic and, by extension, clients or customers that your business could have helped.

If that statistic alone isn’t enough to convince you that you should invest in SEO, here are three more equally compelling reasons why this should be a priority for you and your business moving forward.

SEO Offers Lasting Results

You might know someone who stopped optimizing their website and instead put all of their web advertising budget toward pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns instead. We’re well aware that you might even have done this yourself, dear reader. And, for many, PPC campaigns are an excellent way to instantly make your website visible for the key search terms that your customers are typing in the query box.

The problem with PPC lies within it’s instantaneous nature. Your listing will only show up as long as you continue to fund your ad spend. It also might not appear at all if your competitors outbid you, or if Google decides to feature others in those top spots, and relegates your listing to the bottom of the page, or at the top of page two.

The benefit to investing in SEO is that the efforts you put in will typically yield results far into the future. A strategic and well-run SEO campaign will set your website up for success for the long run. Not only will your site show up for specific “money” keywords (the ones that immediately come to mind for most buyers or clients), but a good SEO campaign will also make sure your site shows up for “long-tail” keywords. These are keywords and key phrases that are more specific to a specific buyer who is looking for you, and might not be as obvious to your competitors.

By optimizing your site for both money and long-tail keywords, you are casting a much wider net. You ideally want your site to show up for as many different search terms as possible to reach your target audience wherever they might be looking.

This is something that PPC just can’t do. Once you turn off your ad spend, your website will be nowhere to be found. With proper SEO, your site will still appear in the SERPs, and sometimes for keywords you never knew you had!

SEO is Cheaper than PPC

As a business owner, this should get your attention. Or perhaps it will get your CFO’s attention. Either way, one of you might be interested to know that search engine optimization is often more cost effective than a PPC campaign.

As we mentioned above, paid search campaigns yield results quickly. SEO converts more efficiently though. Did you know that for every ONE click on a paid search result, the organic results generate 8.5 clicks?

This means that a long-term investment in optimizing your site to show up organically could ultimately yield exponentially more clicks for your business, and at a much lower cost than a paid search campaign.

For Most Websites, Organic Search Is the Primary Driver of Traffic

If you were to examine the analytics of almost any website for almost any established company, you would likely find that organic search is the primary source of that site’s traffic. Data shows that over half (51%) of all website traffic comes from organic search. Only 10% comes from PPC, 5% comes from social media, and 34% from alternate sources.

Visibility in search is an incredible asset to your company. It’s also a validator and a trust indicator. Not everyone surfing the web views things the same way. Some people will deliberately avoid paid ads, knowing they are just that…paid for. Many people will choose instead to scroll down and select from the organic listings, which have been ranked by Google based it’s search quality guidelines of expertise, authority, and trust.

The bottom line is business owners who ignore organic search results are doing so at their company’s own peril. If you want to learn more about SEO services, contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 894-8621 or reach out to us online. We’ll be happy to chat.