Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be a core component of every businesses online marketing plan. But every day I am asked the same question over and over again. Is SEO really that important anymore?
The answer is a resounding yes. Actually it’s probably more important now than ever. But don’t’ take my word for it…let’s look at the hard numbers.
Users Use the Search Engines
According to eMarketer.com – a TNS Global report showed that 81% of all internet users worldwide used search engines to find information. So when you consider that in the US there are approximately 230 million internet users simple math will tell you that 186 million people are using the search engines to search for information and products.
Green Widgets, Inc. Forgoes SEO
So let’s take a hypothetical company and see if SEO is an important activity for them to invest in. Please welcome our old friend Green Widgets Inc. Through their own research Green Widgets has determined that its potential market consists of approximately 2.4 million consumers who use the internet. So during any given year it is safe to assume that 1.94 million of Green Widgets current and potential clients will be using the internet to conduct a search.
If Green Widgets decides that search engine optimization is not important enough anymore to be part of its online marketing plan – well – there goes 1.94 million potential clients that may never find what Green Widget is trying to sell.
Here is one more set of facts to drive the point home.
Position Does Matter
While the search engines do not reveal the click percentages based on position, researchers have determined that over 89% of all clicks occur on the first page of search results and fewer than 10% of clicks occur on page two. This means that less than 1% of clicks occur past page two of any search result. This fact alone is proof enough that not being found at least within in the first two pages of search results is simply….1,000’s of missed opportunities.
Now consider the following. Over 42% of all clicks occur at the number one position of search results. The percentage of clicks drops to under 12% at the number two spot or three and half times less traffic. The third spot receives 8.5%, fourth 6% all the way down to 2.99% at position ten (14 times less than the number one spot).
So what does all this mean? Take a targeted term such as “left handed golf clubs”, according to Google Adwords this term receives approximately 22,200 searches on a monthly basis. That means, if you were to have a site ranked in the number one position for this term you could expect approximately 9,300 clicks to your site…every month.
So What Are You Going To Do?
So to answer our original question SEO is absolutely an important part of any successful online marketing campaign. Failing to optimize your site for the terms your potential customers are searching for greatly diminishes your chances of being found when one of your customers has recognized a need for what you offer and begins their search for information or worse yet searches for your product or service and you are nowhere to be found.
This is equivalent to building a fantastic new brick and mortar store with all the bells and whistles – out in the middle of nowhere. You’d lucky if anyone ever found you.