When Does SEO Consulting Pay Off?

Tue, Mar 17, 2009

Business Tactics

There is a famous quote that goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know”. This rings true for many firms who don’t realize what value that SEO consulting can offer them. Your site may be doing well, but there could be a lot of uncaptured revenue and rank that you are leaving on the table. Sometimes spending money on SEO consulting can pay back big dividends when used correctly – they can help you realize unrecognized opportunities as well as instill some best practices that will help your organization down the road.

Let’s start with the basics – how does your site generate revenue? There are really two ways you are getting money in the bank. Either people know about your site already (it’s printed in a catalog, word of mouth, etc.) and they are coming directly to you, or they are finding you through search engines and are purchasing from you after finding you. The second scenario is the most common for many (but not all) firms – a good example of a firm where this is not true is Sears.com, where they get a majority of their traffic through direct visits because of their brand name and offline marketing.

Most firms are leaving revenue on the table because they don’t effectively manage their conversions (where they find you through a search engine and make a sale). It is here where many SEO consulting firms can help your firm by focusing in on rank, optimization and keyword conversion.

The next area is traffic. Some SEO firms focus way too much in on rank – and the truth is, rank changes way too often depending on a multitude of factors. The general rule of thumb is that if you are on the first page of results you are doing well. Many SEO consultancies focus in on traffic instead of rank – how can you get more traffic to your site so that some of that traffic can turn into conversions? Most of this comes through basic SEO optimization and content analysis. Remember, at the end of the day, content is always king.

Best practices are something that all of us can use a refresher on now and then. If your firm is not engaged in SEO right now this should be part of any consulting contract. The goal here is to show you how to engage in the correct procedures and standards that will maximize your ranking. This often goes hand-in-hand with training, where the consultant will spend a few weeks (or sometimes months) with the firms employees showing them how to apply best practices. Once you get employees inside the company engaged in SEO then you will find the buy-in by the company will increase significantly.

Finally, look at the big revenue picture – or what we call in the business world ROI. This is the most important metric for any firm. Can you show an increase (or decrease) in revenue as a direct result of the efforts you put forth for SEO? Once you can measure it, then you can better understand how SEO affects everything from rank to conversion to organic keyword search. Make sure that any SEO engagement you take part in includes both a before and after analysis of the revenue stream so you know exactly what you are paying for.

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.