Yep, we hear this question when we talk with prospective clients. We’ve heard it three times today alone. And yes, that’s what prompted this post.
Much like the last question we examined, “Should Social Media be Kept In-House” this does not have a simple yes or no answer.
1) When you do it wrong.
You might be surprised how wrong it can go, but lets just say most people want to optimize for a search term (keyword phrase) that won’t help them get a lead (a prospective client). Choosing the best long tail keywords (keyword phrases) is one of the main keys to unlocking the door of SEO success. Typically it’s not the obvious keywords that you’ll want your website optimized for, sometimes you might be surprised what search terms actually get your phone to ring.
2.) When your website doesn’t do it’s job.
A website can be one of your best marketing tools. Ideally it’s designed to attract your ideal client and its style or branding must be consistent throughout the website. You can land on the top of Google, or dominate the first page, but if your website doesn’t reflect what the prospect wants, it will do you no good. It’s all part of well structured internet marketing strategy.
If your website is confusing, or too clever so that the reader can’t figure out what you offer within a second you’ve lost them and SEO doesn’t help you. If you don’t have a lead capture form above the fold, in an easy to see place and easy to fill out, then your SEO won’t help you as much as it could.
3) When you can’t deliver the promise
Some businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs want to have their website optimized for things they don’t offer yet and may never offer, but because it’s a search term they want, they optimize for it If you can’t provide what that searcher is looking for right now, than don’t optimize for it.
4) When the cost is cost is prohibitive
To determine if the cost is exorbitant you’ll need to know how much money you’re spending on optimizing your website, and how much revenue comes in because your website is optimized. If you’ve spent a significant amount of money on SEO and searchers aren’t finding you, then you’ll find it’s not worth the expense.
This is a bit tricky to answer because the ROI analysts can’t analyze this without knowing how much money you’re spending to optimize your website, what your average cost per lead is, and how many leads you’re getting.
So, let’s take a more generalized look at this:
- Your website is up and running, and it reflects the style and branding that your ideal client will be attracted to, you’ve got a lead capture form and maybe a nice offer in exchange for them filling in your form/lead capture.
- Your website is converting. This means when a searcher lands on your website they fill out your lead form, buy your product, or they give you a call.
- You’re building an email list with your lead capture form, and you’re prepared to keep the leads warm by sending appropriate helpful emails without bombarding their email box.
- Your website is optimized for search terms (long tail keywords) that will result in a phone call if the searcher is happy with what they read on your site, and it looks like you can solve their problem.
- You’re set up to track your website visits and search terms (Google’s new “secure search” does hurt a bit when it comes to analyzing the search terms people used to find your site, but you can still see the other search terms).
- You test, track, measure and adjust your SEO strategy to get it to where you’re getting the inquires/calls you desire.
Now SEO could be worth it, right?
How about measuring the immeasurable?
If your website can not be found online, how many leads are you missing?
If your website can’t be found online, how many of your past customers are going to your competition because they forgot your business’s name and looked up only what your business does, such as “carpet cleaner,” and your competitors website comes up while yours doesn’t show at all.
How many of your current customers give your name as a referral, but the person who received the information just looked online because they forgot the name of your business, and now they’re calling someone else who they found online.
We don’t advise that search engine optimization be your entire online marketing strategy, it’s simply part of your overall marketing strategy.
1.) Get Professional Opinions - In order to determine if paying someone to optimize your website is worth it, talk with a few different companies and ask them to help you analyze whether or not it’s right for you.(As an example, some restaurants rock the review sites so awesomely that they don’t need to spend money on SEO.)
2.) Watch out for Guarantees - Be cautious of anyone who gives you a guarantee such as we guarantee you’ll be number one in Google.
3.) Get Clear on Search Terms - Ask what search terms they plan on optimizing your website for, and ask them how they determine what search terms to use.
4.) Educated Exploration – Take the time to explore your options and evaluate how organic search optimization may affect your sales, your online reputation, and how it would work with your overall marketing strategy.
Share your thoughts: have you optimized your website for organic search? Tell us about your experience.