There are all kinds of reports online about companies spending more money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) than ever before. Last May, Google reported that a recent SEO.com study showed that 52% of U.S. companies spent more on SEO to market themselves than in the previous year.
That’s not really surprising, since businesses have increasingly recognized the importance of a strong online marketing presence. Is SEO important? Absolutely! But if you’re paying for it, what are you getting? And if you think that optimizing your website alone is going to open the floodgates and cause the sales to pour in, you’re going to be disappointed.
Like so many aspects of successful marketing, SEO is an important part of what you need to be doing. But it’s only a part.
It’s a little bit like building a car that has a great engine that delivers lots of power. And maybe it’s even fuel-efficient, so it saves you money on gas. And it has a voice-activated GPS so you always know where you are—and where you’re going. There’s just one problem: you don’t have any tires. All of your speed, power, fuel-efficiency, and technological gadgetry doesn’t do you any good it you can’t drive the car.
If you’re spending money on SEO, you need to make sure it’s part of an overall, integrated marketing strategy. It can help get the right people to your website, but what are they going to do once they get there? Are they going to stick around or are they going to bail on you? Are you turning those visits into leads? If you get leads, what are you doing to nurture them and turn them into customers? And if you’ve managed to turn these visitors into customers, what are you doing to keep them?
Should you be spending money to optimize your site for the search engines? You bet! But don’t forget about what needs to happen after the search engines find you. There’s no prize for “the most searches leading to a site.” The big prize is getting people to actually do business with you.
Do you feel like the money you’re spending on SEO is worth it?