For the average small business, the cost of monthly SEO services can seem like a large expense.
However, what most business owners don’t realize is that while SEO takes more time and effort to achieve results than some other types of marketing, it’s a more sustainable strategy in the long run.
What is the value of SEO?
What is a system that consistently acquires new customers and can grow your business exponentially for years worth to you?
Here are five reasons that SEO is worth the investment:
1. SEO Drives Long-Term Results
There’s a reason SEO is still one of the most popular marketing strategies out there for businesses today:
But unlike some other digital marketing channels, SEO takes time to build momentum. This time differs from business to business, and from website to website.
However, once your website starts ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), it’s a sustained reaction that will continue to send you pre-qualified leads long-term.
SEO vs PPC
While PPC and other paid advertising can provide an instant boost in customers, SEO can be a more sustainable and cost-effective approach.
Once you reach a “critical mass” of optimization, your website can rank highly for months, or even years to come with less effort required.
PPC and other paid advertising can be great ways to drive traffic to your website in the short term.
However, they aren’t meant to have any lasting effect; as soon as you stop paying for them, your traffic will stop.
That’s by design—it’s how they’re intended to work.
In contrast, with SEO, once you rank, you’ll continue to drive traffic to your site as long as you maintain your position in the search results.
PPC = faster results, but SEO = sustainable results.
Both definitely have a place—but which type of results would you rather have?
2. SEO Brings Higher Quality Traffic
You want people to visit your website, right? But not just any old people—people who are actually interested in what you’re selling. SEO is how you make that happen.
One of the biggest benefits of SEO is that it produces qualified traffic. When your website ranks for relevant keywords, you attract visitors that are already interested in your products or services.
Unqualified vs. Qualified Traffic
This is in contrast to other marketing channels like paid advertising, which definitely have their place—but can still often attract unqualified traffic.
What’s unqualified traffic?
Well… remember the days when “sales” meant “cold calls?” (In certain industries, companies actually still do this.)
Here’s a statistic: Inbound leads from SEO convert at 14.6% compared to outbound efforts—like cold calls, which have a 1.7% close rate.
That means inbound SEO leads are about 8.5x more likely to become a paying customers of yours.
Unqualified traffic is—quite simply—a complete waste of your time.
These are the people who land on your site but have no intention of ever buying from or starting a relationship with your business.
They won’t be sharing any of your content.
They’re not necessarily on your site by accident, they’re just not likely to generate any sales for you. Ever.
Why is organic traffic qualified?
People who find you in search engine results are already interested in what you have to offer and are actively looking for someone that provides your product or service—at that moment.
Search engine traffic is the most qualified traffic you can get. These people are interested, often prepared to buy, and they’re just a couple clicks away from entering your sales funnel and giving your business their money.
They’re far more inclined to buy from you than people scrolling past an ad taking up space in the middle of their social media news feed—who aren’t already in the mindset of researching your product.
Qualified traffic from SEO is much higher quality (8.5 times higher quality to be exact, going by that last stat).
Higher quality leads produce more sales, and bring a higher return on investment—long-term, sustainable success with a higher ROI is always going to be superior to short-term success with lower ROI and no lasting effects, and savvy businesses understand this.
All site traffic is not equal.
In the big picture—the one that matters—SEO is the best way to reach people who are actually interested in what you have to offer, and the best way to generate long-term success for your business.
3. SEO Helps Your Business Establish Trust and Build Credibility
This is a more “fringe benefit” than the two easily quantifiable benefits above, but it’s an extremely important “fringe” benefit, so I’ll go over it:
When potential customers see that your website ranks high in relevant search results, they perceive your business as being a trustworthy, long-standing, credible authority within your industry.
This can help you win more customers, even if they later end up in your funnel through other means (i.e. word-of-mouth or offline marketing).
Perception and trust are obviously important for small businesses, who may not have the brand recognition of a larger company even in their local service area—and new businesses, who don’t have the history of their older, more established competitors.
How is this beneficial for business?
But—it can be even more beneficial for medium and large businesses.
Businesses that may have already been around for a while still don’t have the recognition they want.
Or companies looking to widen their scope, and exponentially grow their revenue by opening up their products or services to a nationwide audience.
In cases like these, SEO can be a trump card, tipping the field in your favor, and giving your business a more equal footing to compete with the “bigger fish” in your industry.
What’s the monetary value of a system that can tip the playing field of an industry toward your business?
4. SEO Produces an Unrivaled ROI
As I alluded to in some of the points above, the return on investment for SEO is significantly—quantifiably—almost always better in the long run compared to alternative customer acquisition efforts.
One of the hitches some businesses get hung up on—and it’s unfortunate—is that because of the nature of SEO, the lowest ROI happens at the beginning of the process.
That’s because the fruits of SEO take a long time to grow—in the beginning.
Starting SEO is planting the tree.
Again—proper SEO is a slow-building, steamroll-the-competition strategy—not an instant way to raise sales before the end of the quarter.
And for most businesses, the costs of monthly SEO become a drop in the bucket compared to the long-term ROI from SEO.
Think of starting SEO for your business as planting a tree that will bear more, and more, and more fruit as it grows—and continue to provide for years to come.
5. SEO Provides Compounding Benefits
The ROI for SEO is ultimately going to be higher than that of other marketing channels because it is an organic way to grow your business.
With traditional, paid marketing channels, you have to keep investing money in order to keep receiving equal benefits.
However, with SEO, your past efforts continue to pay off.
And unlike other marketing channels, the benefits of SEO are cumulative.
It’s like compound interest (what Warren Buffet calls an “investor’s best friend.”)
You can eventually reach a point where your business is getting more traffic than you could have ever attracted through paid advertising.
And as time goes on, additional efforts build upon past SEO efforts, compounding as time goes on.
This means that your ROI goes up as you continue to invest in SEO.
This is why business owners who’ve already had me perform successful SEO campaigns don’t think twice about handing over their money for SEO.
It’s the reason business owners ask to hand over more money for more SEO.
From my experience with my own clients, it’s easy to say SEO is one of the best possible investments a business can make—in marketing, or otherwise.
If you want a cost-effective, sustainable, high ROI marketing strategy that will continue to pay dividends down the road—SEO is it.
SEO takes some time to build up, but once it does, it’s worth every minute of the wait.
Why? Because organic traffic is the most sustainable form of inbound traffic there is—and it’s significantly higher quality traffic.
To reiterate, people who find your site through a search engine are already looking for what you have to offer, and are more likely to convert into customers or clients than someone who sees an ad in the middle of their social media feed—even a well-targeted one.
With SEO, you’re not relying on paid ads that will stop providing benefits as soon as you stop paying for them.
SEO may not be an instant gratification marketing strategy, but it’s one with an unrivaled ROI.
It’s a serious, long-term strategy for business owners with the patience to see it through—a sustainable system that continues to pay dividends far into the future., with substantial returns down the road.
If you’re in it for the long haul, SEO is worth every penny.
Play with cheap, quick-fix, short-term strategies, and you’ll get cheap quick-fix short-term results.
What’s the value of SEO?
What’s the value of a system that can consistently acquire new customers—and grow your company’s revenues exponentially—for years?
The results of SEO are long-lasting, but based on my own experience with my own clients, you won’t want to stop once things take off. That’s the value of optimization.