How SEO Makes You Money
Imagine you found yourself driving down a deserted road with nothing but barren land in sight for miles. No houses, no businesses, no parks or foot traffic – just tumbleweeds and a few unsuspecting trees. All of the sudden you see a billboard in the distance, and as you get closer, you gaze upon an advertisement for high quality fanny packs. You turn to your passenger and comment on how strange it is for a business to consider advertising their product in such a deserted, lonely place.
Now imagine you are walking through Times Square, where millions of eyes are looking up and around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You see an ad for high quality fanny packs in Times Square, and you turn to your friend and say, “Those must really be some high quality fanny packs. Now can we please get out of here and grab a Starbucks?”
If your product or service appears on any page of Google other than the first, you might as well be advertising on a deserted road. But if your product or service appears in the first 5 results of Google, you may as well be advertising in Times Square.
Keep reading to discover why a successful SEO strategy is key for brand credibility, outranking competitors, brand visibility and locking in more customers organically, without paid ads.
If you are a living, breathing, functioning human man or woman living on planet Earth, chances are you use Google on occasion. Welcome to the Information Age, oh curious minds. A study by Forrester from 2006 found that 93 percent of all internet traffic comes from a search engine.
When your Uncle Tom can’t remember the name of that actor in “The Godfather” during Thanksgiving Dinner, you don’t have to rack your brain as a collaborative family unit. You need only pull out your smartphone and type into Google, “Who says ‘I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,'” and within seconds, you have the answer.
With a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips at any given moment, there is both power and money to be had for those holding the information. This is where SEO comes in.
What Is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is defined by Wikipedia as “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.”
Neil Patel, a top influencer on the web, defines SEO as “the process of optimizing your online content, so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.”
Not only are there 2 billion people online, but a new Nielsen Company audience report reveals that adults in the United States devote about 10 hours and 39 minutes each day to consuming media. 31 million of these users are also actively shopping for goods or services.
“Combine that with the fact that the first 5 results in Google get 67% of all clicks,” says Neil Patel, “and you get an idea of why search engine optimization is so important.”
If you are still not convinced there is power and money in mastering SEO, consider one subject of an article published by The Guardian last month.
“Seven years ago, Chiara Ferragni was a fledgling 23-year-old fashion blogger, studying law at university in Milan. She never finished her degree, but now lives in a $3.5m Los Angeles mansion packed with antiques, and spends her days travelling the world,” writes Karen Kay. “Ferragni has found fame and fortune solely by publishing photographs of herself wearing a variety of designer ensembles in a range of glamorous locations.”
Ferragni, or The Blonde Salad, combined her good genes with effective branding and developed an international following, inviting top brands to partner with her. It might sound too good to be true, but here is the tricky part: A platform is key. And for those of us without million dollar contracts with Louis Vuitton, we turn to Google, used 92 percent of the time as a search engine in 2010, according to Statcounter.com.
But, be wary. “If you ever need to hide a dead body, do it on the second page of Google,” goes the all too true joke.
So, you know it’s important. But how does it actually create revenue?
How It Works
There are four main frameworks that allow SEO to drive revenue:
- Increases brand visibility
- Outrank competitors on Google
- Improve brand credibility
- Get more leads/customers organically, without paid ads
Lets break this down. You’re interested in purchasing a high quality fanny pack, because like any logical person, you’re trying to stay ahead of the trends. You assume it’s easiest to look online, to give yourself a broader selection. Whether desktop or mobile, consumers have become conditioned to search for products and services through Google.
So, you type “high quality fanny pack” into Google and your search results display within seconds. How do you proceed? Most likely, you will proceed based on the following criteria:
You will most likely steer your purchase towards one of the first results you see, assuming the brands that appear closest to the top of the search results are the most credible. According to HubSpot, the top 5 search results on the search engine results page get 75 percent of user clicks. Furthermore, 90 percent of people only look at the first page of search results. In many ways, visibility = credibility, all things being equal.
Something as specific as a high quality fanny pack can be difficult to track down, so as a Google user we put our faith in the search engine to use a formula that delivers us with the most trusted results. It is a safe assumption that the first few results will be the most reliable. Consider successful SEO strategy your ticket to the top results on Google, exposing your product or service to wary eyes.
For Google users searching for products and services, appearing in the top results will distinctly separate you from your competition. This is because your product or service will be the first thing seen by a customer looking to make a purchase rather than “tire kickers” looking for basic information. By correctly optimizing to be seen by the type of customer that is most likely to make a purchase, you get an even bigger return on investment as it directly leads to higher sales conversions.
More Leads/Customers Organically, Without Paid Ads
According to the Search Engine Journal, inbound leads cost 61 percent less than outbound leads. By more transactions taking place online, or easier conversations taking place on the phone, you can easily cut down on salary dollars and decrease unnecessary expenditure on marketing channels that you cannot qualify or quantify such as print media, radio, etc.
Everything online has a number attributed to it – including clicks, views, and of course, purchases. Your company will be able to easily identify what is working and what isn’t, where you should spend their time and where you shouldn’t – invaluable information that can save countless dollars.
SEO: A Priceless Tool
The simplest way to attribute SEO to revenue:
SEO = exposure, exposure = more customers, and more customers = more money.
Start with a successful SEO strategy and you may be surprised where it takes your business. In the meantime, happy fanny pack searching.