Type ‘Search Engine Optimization’ and you will find about 108,000,000 results in Google. Couple this daunting number with the fact that most Small to Medium-Size Business (SMB) has neither the budget nor talent to effectively optimize the business’ website for top search placement, and you have to ask yourself “Is it worth the investment?”
Many businesses, not only SMB’s, have questioned the return on investment (ROI) of search engine optimization when compared to all online marketing options. Furthermore, whenever a search is performed for SEO services, SMB’s are often left more confused than helped. Even conducting a search for simple SEO or any related search will deliver millions of articles both supporting and arguing against the value of SEO. Let alone the fact that the practice of SEO is still relatively young, thus resulting in a wide range of skill levels and quality of work. This leaves many SMB decision makers in a difficult spot.
The Value is Not Lost
So where is the money going? A recent survey conducted by Merchant Circle asked 2,500 small businesses (this sample was from their 1.6 million member database), “If you had to put all your marketing time and budget into only one channel [SEO, Paid Search, Mobile, Social and Traditional media], what would it be?” The results (also republished by Search Engine Land) are below:
Image via: Search Engine Land
It is clear that most SMBs recognize the value of effective Search Engine Optimization, and it has more to do than just being on the first page of Google. One reason is probably because nearly 80% of consumers are utilize online searches prior to making their buying decision – Google calls it the Zero Moment of Truth, but it is essentially has to do with the change that Internet Marketing has had on the buying process of a consumer. In the end, having an online presence is crucial to all business efforts.
Maximize your SEO
The lesson from this is simple and at the same time complex. SEO is not as easy as googling “SEO”, but requires finding the right team (in-house or outsourced) and clear strategic goals. Once the team is built, to maximize return on your SEO campaign, the decision maker(s) must know the ultimate goal – whether it is increase traffic, reduction of bounce rate or higher conversions.
Ultimately, proper search engine optimization cannot only improve search engine placement, but help every small business owner see the effective return on the business’ online marketing investment.