On average, Google processes over 81,000 queries every second. In other words, at any given second, there are tens of thousands of people searching for stuff on Google.
Imagine that one of these 80,000 people is a potential customer. That’s one potential customer per second, 60 potential customers per minute.
Imagine if you start tapping into 10% of this potential traffic. That’s six potential customers per minute.
And how much does it cost to get these six people per minute on your website?
Nothing in direct costs, but thousands of dollars in indirect costs, and months of SEO.
So why should small business owners and startups invest in SEO? Let’s discuss this in details.
What does SEO do for your website?
Search Engine Optimization increases your website’s visibility online. People searching for products, services, and/or information related to your industry are more likely to find your website via Google if your website is ranking high for the right keywords.
And by ranking high, we mean the first page for any given keyword.
75% of users don’t scroll past the first page of search results. This means that you can miss out on a huge chunk of web traffic if your website doesn’t appear on the first page of the search engines.
But you can get your website up there with Google Ads, right?
You can get your website to take the number one ad spot but it will cost you a fortune, and you will have to work really hard in converting the traffic you get.
This doesn’t mean that PPC doesn’t work though. Ads take the top spot which pushes organic results down and more people are inclined to click the top couple of results.
However, organic traffic is a much bigger source of traffic than its paid counterpart. In general, organic traffic accounts for 53% of all traffic for most websites while ad traffic remains at 15%. This does not include paid and organic social media traffic though.
You will be paying Google for every click though, as opposed to organic traffic where you will not have to pay anyone. The traffic you get from paid advertisements will be capped, because the ads will remain up and running for as long as you have the budget for them. As soon as you run out of your monthly budget for advertisement, the traffic will stop.
Can small businesses / startups rank high for highly competitive keywords?
That was the initial selling point for SEO – that it levels the playing field and gives startups the same opportunity as big organizations. And it was true in the early days of SEO. Big organizations that did not depend on search engines, or their websites, to generate income, thought it was a good idea to create a website and leave it at that, giving smaller businesses plenty of opportunity to grab higher ranks. However, soon these businesses realized the potential of SEO and started dedicating more resources towards it.
This means that 15 years ago it would have been you vs some guy at Walmart trying to optimize their website. These days, it is you vs an entire digital marketing team that consists of multiple SEO professionals with years of experience behind them and a decent SEO budget for content creation. In short, the playing field is not leveled anymore.
Should you forget about SEO then?
Not at all. You just need to be innovative to make it to the first page. Giving up on organic traffic is not an option if you want to survive as a business. You cannot rely on paid advertisements alone. Getting up there for the right keywords organically is just as important as doing paid advertisements.
What about resource drain?
As a business owner, you always have finite resources, and you have to make the call about where to spend those resources. You cannot always have a multi-channel strategy when it comes to marketing but it is always a good idea not to put your eggs in one basket. If you can get a positive ROI on your ad spend, use some of that money and invest it in SEO. May be go for one keyword first, see the results and scale your SEO efforts from there.
How do you go for one keyword?
At this point we are assuming that you have done your keyword research and have already narrowed down a list of keywords you want to rank for.
- Pick one of those keywords and Google it.
- See the top 10 results
- Open all 10 in different tabs
- Start analyzing all 10 for known ranking factors such as the quality and quantity of backlinks
- Start analyzing all 10 for other factors that may affect ranking such as word count, keyword density, internal links, external links, page author
- Create a roadmap of what you need to do to get to the first page (i.e. what do these 10 pages have that you don’t?)
We are in the process of building a feature called competitive research that will help you simplify this process and perform the analysis for you.
The Rank Tracking Plug
To see how well you are doing for your selected list of keywords, you will need a rank tracker. Try Rank Genie’s keyword rank tracker and sign up for a seven day free trial today. No credit card needed.