We talk a lot about organic search marketing and what it can do for your site, but I bet a lot of it sounds like it’s saying the same thing over and over. “More traffic. Better ranking!” -And yes, that’s great, but what does it really mean for your business? What does “more traffic, better ranking” actually accomplish?
The SEO Elephant in the Room
First, I want to get something out of the way. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
Some people talk about organic SEO being free. It’s not free. It’s nowhere close to free. Somebody always pays the piper. It costs in time—and if you don’t have a lot of time, you hire someone to do it, which costs money. And that person, whoever they may be, spends time and resources.
On top of that, SEO takes a lot of time, because you will frequently be checking on how well your campaigns are doing, or coming up with new ones. Why? Is it because your optimization didn’t work the first time? On the contrary; it’s because your customers are constantly changing how they search. The words they use, the reasons they search (information vs sales, for example), the devices they search on.
Your competitors know SEO works, and target those customers. Which means their sites are constantly evolving to fit the current market. Not much different than the beginning days of nylons, razors and cereal, really.
So, I’m not going to tell you that SEO is free. I’m going to tell you something better than a fairytale. I’m going to tell you that your dollars will stretch further than with traditional advertising. I’m going to tell you that optimization, paired with legitimate products (I have a hard time seeing banana shoes going places), does provide a whole lot more than most other marketing tactics.
Like what, you ask?
Let’s look at just a few of the real benefits of organic search marketing.
1. Organic search marketing makes your marketing dollars stretch.
Okay, how does organic search marketing make your dollars last so long? Well, let’s call it the Eternal Internet Principle (I checked, we can do it. It’s not trademarked).
The Eternal Internet Principle says that what goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet. It’s not at all like “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” because that indicates that whatever happened doesn’t get around. With the Internet, all it takes is one person (the right person) to pass it on, and your post, image, article or whitepaper will probably be up there forever. Especially if you manage to create something viral, whether it’s good or bad.
With some types of marketing, you spend your money or time, implement the strategy, see the results for a week—maybe a month—, and then watch them slow down to a trickle. Rinse and repeat. Worse yet, sometimes the results stop as soon as you stop the campaign, as often happens in television or radio.
-But organic search marketing has the Eternal Internet Principle. The effects can go on for several months, not just one. In fact, they can go on for years.
For example, in a single, one-off post created specifically to garner backlinks, Level343 garnered over 1,200 in one week. All natural, all the time. That campaign, with the post as the focus, ran for a week and then stopped. No more was done on it. Four years later, we’re still gathering several links a year over the same content, although we’ve not touched it since then.
2. Organic search marketing provides additional brand exposure.
One of the problems with being online, for business owners, is the fact that a lot of people have never heard of them. So, here you are, going online (because that’s where people are looking nowadays), but very few people even know about your business. Faced with this prospect, there’s no wonder so many people turn to PPC first.
However, with PPC, you’re stuck on the ads. The ad leads back to a landing page and (hopefully) conversion. So the only possible interaction comes from the search results. On top of that, once the ad is stopped, it disappears off the Internet.
Now, organic SEO is a little more complicated. You’re not placing ads, you’re building communities and relationships.
For example, a typical organic SEO campaign might include posting on Twitter about your totally awesome, new, informative SlideShare that was based off of an equally awesome blog post, and you’ll use the associated infographic as the heading picture. In the process, you’ll expose your brand to thousands on SlideShare, Twitter and search that have never even heard of you.
Here’s how that happens:
You may only have 300 followers on Twitter, but your Twitter followers have followers. And their followers have followers, and so on. The point at which followers quit sharing is called your social reach. In other words, social reach is the maximum amount of people who might see your post on any given social network (or all of them combined, if you do a multi-platform campaign).
So, you share your Twitter post to your 300 followers; ten of them retweet your post. Let’s say each follower also has 300 followers. Your post has now gone in front of 3,000 Twitter users. Each one of them have 300 followers, and ten of them share. You’re up to 6,000 eyes on your post. Now, it’s a little more complex then that, but I think you get the idea.
The Eternal Internet Principle
Once you put a slide up on SlideShare, it’s up there until you take it down. This means that anyone can come across it, even long after you’ve put it up—even years later. The same can be said for the post and infographic. It’s residual marketing at it’s best (subscribe to our blog to be notified about an upcoming article about residual marketing and how it works). The same goes for a blog post and infographic.
3. Organic search marketing gives you more eyes on your site.
First, ad placement, depending on how much you pay, puts you at the top of the search results or on the side. Seems like a good thing to be the first in line, right? However, here’s the thing. The average CTR (click through rate) for search ads is less than 5%.
How does that compare to organic search marketing? The average CTR for organic search ranges from 22% on mobile devices to 30% on desktop if you’re in the first organic position.
Notice that. Fully one-third of the people who search your targeted term will click to your site if you’re in the first place of the organic search results. Now, whether they stay or not depends on the content of your site and what you’re selling, but that’s another blog. You have to get eyes on the site before anything else matters.
Now, think about what that means for your brand. If you rank in the top position in the search results for a term that has an average search volume of 14,000, you’re looking at approximately 5,000 people that will click through to your site. Just from one term. If you manage to rank for several, you can double—even triple—that.
There are several other points, but it all adds up to this. Most marketing methods target specific users and agendas. A TV ad, for example, is a short-term activity, and only targets a specific audience.
Organic SEO, on the other hand, is a very holistic marketing method. It’s a bottom-up method, with the foundation being your website. By the time your site is optimized, you’ll have a faster website, better user experience, higher-click-through rate and better conversions.
These aren’t empty promises; they’re proven facts.
The only way you’re going to find out for sure is to implement and measure. Contact us today to take your website to the next level.