Today, most businesses realize that you need a quality website and SEO as part of your marketing strategy. However, there are still often businesses (or as is more often the case, one or two individuals with power within the company) that just don’t understand why SEO is so important. In this case, it is often that a marketing manager or someone in a similar position needs to make the case for SEO. They know that it’s important, but don’t fully understand why. The reality is that SEO is one of the strongest, most cost effective ways to grow your customer base.

Why SEO Is Important

    1. It helps you with repeat business. Repeat customers should be able to find you easily. If they do a Google search for you, what do they find? They should be able to find you right at the top of the search results for your company name and similar variations. (I’ve actually seen SEO companies that can’t rank for their own name. This is bad news.) Chances are that if you get repeat customers that don’t have your phone number saved, they’ll Google you to get your information. If they can’t find you, that’s a major problem.If you do rank for your own name, what else comes up with you? Is it your social media accounts? Alternate listings? Bad reviews? This needs to be managed as well, and it’s all done with SEO. If there are bad reviews or other negative results, this could do more damage than not being found at all, driving away potential customers that would have looked for your information elsewhere (for more information on all this, we recommend looking into reputation management SEO).All of this is basic, but should be included in the scope of SEO. Just remember that if you’re a large practice with many names that you’d like to include, this will likely increase costs as well.
    2. You can gain prospects while they are specifically looking for what you provide. When you advertise on billboards and in newspapers, you are hoping to leave in an impression in customers’ minds so that they’ll remember you when they need your services. Maybe you’ll even get lucky and hit someone right when they need you. When you target search engines, you’re finding people exactly when they need you – because they’re already looking and at least in “explore” mode, maybe even ready for purchase.
    1. SEO has lasting value. When was the last time you read a newspaper? How about a search on Google? Online is where people get their information, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Search engine usage will only continue to grow as online and mobile usage grows. It may change, but it will continue to grow. The money you invest in SEO will have lasting value and return on investment.There is also sustainability to the investment. This isn’t an opportunity that comes once (like a magazine ad) then disappears forever unless someone has an old subscription, with now outdated information, on their coffee table. Your website will remain, and as long as you continue to rank in Google search and continue to expand, you will have an investment that continues to pay out over time.
    1. You can measure the value of SEO more easily than traditional advertising. Sure, there are ways to track leads from billboards and ads. You can use special phone numbers and provide special landing pages on your website (because let’s face it, that’s where people go to take the next step), but traditional advertising is still harder to track. You don’t know if people actually looked at your ad or if they seriously considered it before a call. Your website can be used to track additional metrics like length of engagement, traffic source that led to conversion, type of conversion, location, and plenty of other metrics. You can more quickly determine the return on your investment.
  1. You show that you are credible. Although it may not be true (there are terrible companies that rank well in search results), there is a perception that if you rank highly in search results, you are likely an expert in that topic and worth talking to. This is one of the reasons so many people click on the top three search results – it’s not just because they’re lazy. Even if someone was already considering you, the fact that you are on the top of the search results can help solidify the decision. You are now the expert, have credibility, and have a much higher chance of getting the call.

Is SEO the only marketing element you should consider? Certainly not. We are firm believers in other types of advertising like direct mail, billboards, and magazines. They all have their place and can be utilized effectively. However, there is usually a disproportionate amount of spending in other areas while SEO and Online Marketing are neglected.

There is significant value in SEO and the return on investment can be quite high and long lasting. Don’t overlook it.

What else are we missing? If you’re a believer in SEO, why do you think it’s important? Let us know in the comments below.

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This document was last updated on July 24, 2014