Return on Investment (ROI) is the lifeblood of any advertising effort. Even if return can’t be directly measured, getting the greatest return with the least amount of money invested is always the name of the game.
Online marketing has exploded simply because the return can be huge while the investment is relatively low. An added attraction is that online advertising campaigns can be tracked with a great deal of precision.
Organic Rank is Gold
One of the largest opportunities for businesses to achieve incredible ROI numbers is achieving a top organic ranking in the search engines, like Google. Most people understand that a top ranking on Google’s search engine results page can extremely valuable.
The value essentially is determined by the search traffic volume received for a particular phrase and how well your business model can monetize that traffic. For a particular business, it is pretty easy to assign a rough value to a certain position on google’s
Predicting Exact Position is Tough
The problem lies in predicting what position your business is going to achieve. The difference between a first place rank and a fourth place rank is huge. Your position on google’s is determined by a variety of variables determined by google’s Relevant links in to your website, the structure of your site and the content on your site are universally understood to be very important in determining where you will show up in the search engines.
Then there the other variables. There are roughly 100 different variables that go into the search algorithm that google’s uses to determine your position. This number is a rough estimate because only google’s knows just how many variables there are and what they are.
If someone were to gain access to google’s ‘secret sauce’ and see all the variables in the algorithm that would only be valuable until these factors change. And these factors do change, often. Google’s updates its search algorithm regularly every few months (google’s changes the frequency of updates too).
This reshuffles the deck of all the search engine positions. So you could be the proud owner of a website with a top ranking in google’s for years and wake up the next day to discover you are five pages deep in the search engines.
Forecasting SEO ROI
Because of the imprecise nature of predicting your future position on google’s it can be very difficult to assign an expected ROI number on SEO services. The potential returns can be extraordinarily high, but if the returns are high, typically the cost of achieving those returns are also very high.
Investing substantial time and money in a particular SEO effort can be very devastating if your desired position isn’t achieved. Even if you are able to achieve a top spot in the search engine results page, that may only be a temporary victory due to search engine algorithm changes or competing website changes.
Long Term Returns on Investment
However, while the value of SEO is hard to precisely forecast, proper SEO techniques will absolutely help you in the search engines. The key is to focus on the factors that are universally understood by experts to aid search engine exposure.
Part of achieving visibility in the search engines is understanding that SEO shouldn’t be viewed as a one time project, yet should be an ongoing focus of your business model, much like good customer service. Executing the basics well over the long term will deliver substantial, ongoing and very real returns.
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