Justin Stein over at Search Engine Journal has a great article on the perils of ignoring search engine optimization when it comes to your business’ Website. Google and Bing are the only major players in the search engine space right now. Because of this and the fact that people turning away from traditional mediums like the yellow pages, it is imperative that SEO isn’t ignored.
As a Philadelphia area Search Engine and Interactive Media firm, we have clients constantly concerned about the price of organic search. One of the biggest complaints is that even though ranking organically is free, it really isn’t. Unless you have an internal team that knows the ins and outs of SEO, businesses must hiring outside consultants to advise and tweak their business’ site to be best optimized for the targeted keywords.
In his article, Stein further addresses the need to not ignore SEO:
It has always been hard for SEO people to get across the importance of ranking high for a keyword and all the good it does for a business. Many people don’t realize that a large part of SEO is optimizing the site, not only to rank well, but also to achieve the best chance of converting those visits into paying customers. Nor do they understand that the core of SEO is understanding your customer base so that you can advertise on the keywords they are using.
Ok time for an example:
Let’s invent a site for this, let’s pretend you own “http://www.anniversarygifts.com/” and as the name suggests it specialises in gifts for anniversaries. Last month (August 2010), there were 201,000 searches for “anniversary gifts” in the US, (data from Google Keyword research tool).
It is generally agreed in the industry that ranking first on a search will get you somewhere between 35-45% of people looking for that keyword. This number is usually half for 2nd place and continues to drop from there. The second page sites are lucky to receive 5-10% collectively and likely receive many repeat customers, which would inflate the percentage.
If your site ranked first for “Anniversary Gifts” even at the conservatively low estimate of 35% that is 70,350 visitors a month. Before we even get into purchasing that is 70,350 people viewing your site, reading about your products, finding out about your brand and acknowledging your existence. If your site is designed to be user friendly (which is part of the SEO) then the users are likely to have a pleasant experience, share that experience with friends, and return to your site when they need another anniversary gift.
Stein shares a great chart showing what would happen if the site didn’t rank first:
I completely agree with Stein’s view of SEO. It’s something that needs to be integrated into every Web project. If not, why even bother building a site? The chances of it getting found on its own for the appropriate keywords are slim to none. Be sure to click over to Search Engine Journal to read more of Stein’s great post.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on SEO and it’s place on the Internet? Post your thoughts in the comments below.