Search engine optimization (SEO) sounds like an enticing endeavor for helping your business drive more qualified traffic that turns into sales. As you learn more about this strategy, you find that most professionals tell you it takes time to develop and impact your business.
So, what really is SEO’s effect on your business? How does SEO impact your business in the long run?
On this page, we’ll answer all your questions about the long-term business impact of SEO, including:
SEO can take a long time to develop, so if you don’t have the time to create and manage your SEO strategy, our team of over 300 marketing experts can help. Contact us for a free quote or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our SEO services!
Search engine optimization impacts businesses by improving your ranking in relevant search results. With a high enough ranking, such as on page one, your company can use SEO to bring qualified traffic to your site, which can lead to more leads, sales, and revenue for your business.
SEO can impact your business multiple ways, like by helping you accomplish the following goals:
The goals and effect of SEO is simple: Help your business growth through online search.
When you learn about SEO, you find that all the experts call it a long-term strategy. So, what makes it a long-term strategy?
One reason that SEO is a long-term strategy is that it takes time to work. You can’t implement SEO tactics and expect them to work overnight. It takes time for the optimizations to take effect and have an impact on your business.
For your site to rank in search results, Google’s crawlers need first to find your page and index the information. This process can take time, as Google crawls millions of sites. It can take a few weeks to a few months for your SEO to work to give Google time to crawl and index your site and others.
SEO is a long-term strategy because it requires continual optimization to rank in search results. You can’t optimize for SEO and be done. You must continually optimize your site to obtain and maintain rankings.
You’re competing with dozens of other businesses to rank in search results. If they’re continually optimizing their pages to deliver a better user experience, they’re going to outrank you if you don’t optimize your pages.
Continual optimization enables you to stay competitive in the search engine rankings.
SEO is a long-term strategy because of Google’s changing algorithm. Google gets better each year at determining what users want to find and optimizing the algorithm to help searchers get the most relevant results. This continual improvement, though, means you need to shift your SEO strategies often.
Some SEO tactics hold true over time, while others fall to the wayside or change completely. Keyword integration is a prime example. Years ago, any SEO marketer's goal was to try and stuff the keywords into their pages as much as possible. Now, that strategy is considered a black-hat SEO technique and highly discouraged.
Since the strategies change often and require shifting your approaches, SEO is a long-term strategy if you want to maintain rankings.
SEO’s impact lasts for a long time and impacts multiple parts of your business. Investing in SEO services will offer numerous benefits for your business that will help you grow continually into the future.
Here are a few long-term SEO impacts for your business:
One of the most significant impacts of SEO is that you increase traffic for your site. By following SEO best practices, you optimize your site to rank better in search results. As a result of increased rankings, you drive more traffic to your site.
Not to mention, SEO helps you drive more qualified traffic to your site, too. Since you’re optimizing for relevant key terms, you know the people who search your terms are likely to be interested in your products or services.
In addition to increasing traffic, you can also boost brand awareness. When you’re ranking towards the top of search results, people are more likely to see your listings. Even if they don’t click on them, they’ll get familiar with your business.
Brand familiarity is essential because it can help you earn leads down the line. People tend to choose companies they’re familiar with when they’re ready to convert.
When you market your business online, you want to use your marketing budget wisely to get as many leads and sales as possible. You want to invest in strategies that are cost-effective and help you drive revenue for your business.
One of the most significant benefits of SEO is saving marketing dollars. This strategy is very cost-effective, which means you get more from your marketing budget. Since SEO drives qualified leads for your business, you get a better return on investment (ROI) for your company.
We’ve talked about the business impact of SEO, but how does it compare to other strategies? There are dozens of different marketing strategies, both digital and traditional, that your business can use. So, what makes SEO a better option for the long-term?
When you look at SEO vs. other strategies, you will find that SEO has more longevity than other marketing methods.
For example, if you run a radio spot or put up a billboard, your ad will only exist if you run it. Once your ad is over, it’s gone, and people won’t see it. If you run a PPC ad or social media ad, your ad will stop appearing once you stop running it.
With SEO, that’s not the case. Once you publish a page or piece of content, it remains on the web forever. While you’ll need to optimize it continuously to keep it ranking, your content will always remain and serve as marketing for your business.
Not only does SEO have great longevity, but it also helps you reach more qualified leads over time. For one, you have greater reach by optimizing for search engines like Google. With over one billion people using Google every month, you can reach many people through this search engine.
When you maintain your ranking, you continually drive qualified traffic to your site over time. You aren’t limited to a specific region like you are with some traditional marketing efforts.
Additionally, SEO is more targeted than traditional marketing methods. When your listings appear in search results, you appear in front of leads looking for your products or services.
With traditional marketing methods, you’re marketing to people who may or may not have an interest. As a result, you’re not driving as many qualified leads to your business because you’re appealing to a less refined audience. Not to mention, once your ads are done running, you won’t drive any traffic through them.
One of the most significant long-term SEO impacts you’ll experience is cost-effectiveness. Since SEO target specific searches, you spend your money on driving leads most interested in your products or services.
Like we stated previously, traditional marketing methods don’t have refined targeting. You end up putting money towards many people who never visit your business or who don’t have an interest in what you offer.
As a result, you’ll make more money over time with SEO because you’ll reach more people with greater interest in your business.
If you want to measure the long-term business impact of SEO, you need to know what metrics to monitor to ensure you’re getting a good ROI.
Next, we’ll cover some metrics you’ll want to track that can show the impact of SEO for your business.
First on our list of critical SEO metrics is click-through rate (CTR). CTR is the number of clicks you receive to your page divided by the number of impressions. Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed in the search results.
This metric is critical to track because it indicates how many people see your listing in search results and find it relevant enough to click on it. This metric can tell you whether you’re optimizing for the right keywords, as well as whether your title tag and meta description entice users to click.
You can track your CTR using Google Analytics.
To monitor long-term SEO impact, you also need to monitor your keyword rankings. Since a big part of SEO is optimizing your site for keywords, you need to watch how your pages perform in search results for relevant keywords.
You want to see if your keywords help your site rank and if they’re driving traffic for your business. This metric will help you identify which pages match the user search intent best. It can also indicate how well you’ve optimized your pages to rank in search results.
You can see what keywords you rank for by:
When you check the queries, you can see what search queries triggered people to visit your website.
Another important metric to monitor to understand the business impact of SEO is conversion rate. Your conversion rate determines how many people convert after visiting your website through search results.
This metric helps you understand if your website is relevant to search results and fulfills their search needs. Tracking your conversion rate will also help you understand your ROI too.
One of the most important metrics to track for your business is bounce rate. Bounce rate is how often people bounce back to the search results after clicking on your page and not visiting any other pages.
Bounce rate is a critical metric to track because it helps you see if you’re delivering a relevant user experience. If you have a high bounce rate, it may indicate that your page isn’t providing a relevant experience for your audience. You may need to optimize it to keep leads on it longer.
Last on our list of metrics that you want to use to monitor long-term SEO impact is site exit points. Site exit points help you determine where people drop off from your site and is a critical metric to track for your business.
You want to monitor this metric to identify pages that have a high exit rate. If a page has a high exit rate, it can indicate that you need to improve the user experience on that page to keep people from leaving.
By improving the site experience, you can keep people on your site longer and drive more leads for your business.
Now that you know the long-term impact of SEO, it’s time to start building your strategy. If you need help crafting a strategy, the team at WebFX is here to help. We have a team of over 300 marketing experts ready to help you.
We know how to craft SEO campaigns that drive results. In the past five years, we’ve driven over $2.4 billion in sales and over 6.3 million leads for our clients. You can count on us to help your business thrive online through SEO.