How Does SEO Affect My Business?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This term is often thrown around by marketing agencies and freelancers as the end all be all solution to your business goals. So, is this true? Well, it depends on you and your business. When looking into SEO for your business’s online presence think about how you currently get clients, why do your customers interact with your business, and what it is you do as a service. These three questions are of the utmost importance when devising a solid SEO strategy. Someone might ask “why are these questions so important, I just want to be on the front page of Google!” We agree being on the front page of Google is important, but the front page for what search terms? Would a DUI lawyer gain anything from having that #1 spot when someone searches for a local dog walker? Obviously not. This is an exaggeration of what can happen and Google. Over the last 21 years, Google has made huge strides in preventing poor indexing from happening, but there are small niches where it still does. An example comes to mind of an estate planner I spoke with at the Arizona State Bar last year. He specializes in million-dollar estates with special needs dependents, he had a very specific field and specialization. For all the effort that Google puts into their ever-growing search engine, picking out that kind of minute detail from a webpage, without the designer’s help, would be almost impossible.
The first question I’d like to ask is how do you currently get clients? Most of the Lawyers we speak with have a word of mouth business and do not see the value in SEO. My response to that is “Do you not think they Google your name?” when potential clients do this it is important that your business shows up and the most up to date information is displayed. This is a great place for SEO even if you do not want the full suite of keywords. Having control over the first impression potential clients have with your firm or business is easy and a must for the 21st century. My next question is why do your customers interact with your business? This might be one of the biggest questions for a business looking into SEO because it will dictate the direct value SEO adds to your firm. If your firm or business specializes in a niche field it is important to still show your expertise in the field. If general questions can be answered for potential clients then having your firm or business deliver those answers builds credibility and shows your level of involvement. Many of our legal clients are chosen because of their knowledge in the legal field and showcasing this strength is important for new and returning clients. what it is you do as a service this question is the most important when determining a (Return on Investment) ROI with SEO. For a DUI lawyer, every client has a pretty consistent fee and each client gained via a Search Engine marketing channel has a real dollar amount associated with it. With other types of law firms and businesses the value of SEO is slightly more abstracted as a business lawyer might want to look at the lifetime value of a client or the size of the case they are taking on, is it a simple LLC or a property dispute involving a 3 million dollar apartment complex? These are two very different types of clients each with their own needs. Working with an experienced SEO company will help you to get the right clients coming to your site.
What is the value of SEO?
If you have any familiarity with Google Adwords you will know that each term will have a cost per click (CPC) associated with it. At the most basic level, this will give you a good idea of what a key term is worth to your business, but a better question is what is the conversion on that term? We often quote a 3-4% conversion per click as being a healthy conversion rate for most businesses although this does change based on your specific service. Conversion rate is one of the areas where SEO really shines. The reason being you can target more specific terms to what your customers are looking for and have a message designed just for them. If they are looking for a service let them know you do it, If they need to know about commonly asked questions about some aspects of your work answering that question via SEO is free and highlights your expertise in the subject. Bringing in customers by solving their problems is most likely what you do already as a business, so why would it be any different on the internet?
For the first example, the dollar amount associated with conversion is easy to calculate. If it typically takes $7 to acquire a new user for a specific search term, to your website then each click from on organic search using that term is valued at $7. There is also the value of brand recognition that comes with SEO as well. If your firm or business consistently shows up in the top results for search terms related to your field then the number of potential customers who see your firm’s logo, tagline, and brand each time they inquire about a service no matter where they are in the buying process can measure in the thousands.
How does this affect your business?
The effect good SEO has on your business is in the quality of customers you bring in. Making sure that when you draw in potential clients they can easily identify your services and have as many questions answered before they contact you is a good way to convert quality leads. Most of your prospects will be looking for a firm in your sphere and your website is a great way to educate them on why you are different. The unique value proposition is an often overlooked part of small business marketing because it is the owner of the business doing the marketing and not a marketing firm. They often will not have the time to draft copy for their site let alone design an attractive webpage that will pull in potential leads and convert them into customers. If you are a dentist, chiropractor, contractor, or lawyer you know that not all customers are the same. Some have large projects or are in need of ongoing healthcare or legal aid and others may be simple jobs. Having a targeted business plan to reach these customers is important to any business no matter how big or small.