Imagine a one-way street lined with 10 pizza shops. Your pizza shop is the very first one patrons see when they start walking down this street. The other pizza shops are much further down and would be a tedious walk, and because of this, you attract the most customers. This is one way to think about the relationship between search engines and your business.
One of the primary goals of SEO is to make your business first – or as close to first as possible – in the search engine results pages when people search for the products and/or services you offer. This type of traffic is known as organic, where visitors perform a natural search and click through to your website. Most businesses need organic traffic to generate revenue online and this creates competition for rankings in search engines.
The only way to be at the top of the rankings (like that first pizza shop on the street) is by creating and implementing a strong SEO strategy. However, that can be easier said than done. Generating revenue online requires ongoing research of keywords, customer demographics, and competitors. It also requires the constant questioning of “what else can be done?”
You can rank for almost anything
Whether you’re starting a brand new site or have an established web presence, remember that you can rank for almost anything. Granted, there are some highly competitive keywords as well as brand names and categories that simply have too many entrenched players.
Ranking for keywords as well as for the location(s) your business operates in has a vital impact on your revenue. Potential customers shopping in the different areas of your business have an easier time finding your website and the specific services they need.
Additionally, SEO allows your business to target every variable of the product and services you offer. For example, instead of just trying to rank for the “best pizza in NY” you can also do every style, such as “best pepperoni pizza in NY” and even “best stromboli in NY.” Every time you rank highly for a set of keywords, it’s akin to reeling in a new group of customers – people who are already searching for the things you sell.
SEO can be an integral part of your business plan
Generating revenue isn’t an easy task, and it certainly doesn’t come without an organized business plan. SEO happens to require a lot of planning as well, and researching and budgeting for different SEO tactics such as onsite optimization, content marketing, and link building can help you better understand how your business can succeed. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for businesses to underestimate or poorly budget for SEO campaigns.
As you research keywords and competitors, you’ll likely notice new trends and information about your target audience. This can help you not only improve your SEO efforts, but also better understand your demographic and revise your overall marketing plan accordingly.
To maintain a steady grasp on the flow of your customers and revenue, you should always strive for a mix of marketing strategies. And whether you’re adding dozens or hundreds of new pages to your website or simply creating new in-store promotions, the knowledge your gain through your SEO planning can help you achieve strong results.
You gain stronger competitive instincts
Search engine results pages can sometimes feel like a battlefield among similar businesses. The more keywords involved – and the higher their value – the rougher the competition. This forces you to absorb the world of SEO and keep a keen eye on your competitors. Prior to learning about SEO, you may have ignored the motives behind your competitors’ digital strategies. But after learning SEO and competing in the SERPs, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the competition is up to.
You’ll also have a good idea where the competition is headed. Businesses that stay on the cutting-edge of their industries can start planning their SEO way in advance. A new version or model is coming out? You can have content ready to go to build up anticipation and start ranking before your competitors catch on. Legislation is passing that loosens restrictions in your industry? Perfect, you can start ranking for an entirely new product if you’re the first to make it.
The intuition gained from working in SEO transfers over and compliments your business strategies to increase revenue.
Useful content can help customers convert
Sites that regularly publish content – fresh content – increase their chances of acquiring new links and rankings. That’s why content creation has become a critical element in any SEO strategy over the past few years.
Publishing new blog posts, articles, visuals, and other content gives your site more chances to increase traffic and revenue. You may even develop an educational section on your website, full of expert guides, tips, videos, and how-to’s that become a beacon of help for visitors. If your content is useful enough, the benefits don’t stop with SEO. In fact, if your content is compelling enough to your visitors, it can be a driving force behind conversions.
By setting goals for your blog, such as increasing click-throughs to a product page or to capturing emails in subscription forms, you actually make it easier to plan ahead – you have a goal to base your content around. And if you remember to always keep your customers in mind while you write, you’ll be well on your way to using site content to boost your SEO and generate revenue.
To publish content consistently, I recommend that you use an editorial calendar. We created a free template you can use to help stay organized.
It teaches you to be creative
SEO can get a rep for being mundane in some aspects. There’s a lot of keyword research, strict guidelines to follow, and replicated tactics. However, another side to SEO does in fact favor those with creative minds and those with critical thinking skills.
Optimizing pages for keywords – and getting them to rank – is one of the biggest challenges of SEO. Getting pages to rank requires a mix of link building, PPC advertising, and social media marketing. The success of these initiatives largely rests on how much creativity and insight you bring to the table.
For example, you might try to putting together a study within your industry to provide some cool data for relevant publications. You think it’s pretty compelling, but it falls flat. However, instead of giving up on your hours of research, you decide to rework the narrative or present it in a way that is more interesting to your readers. Maybe you unveil a statistic that has a strong relationship with a hot topic in the media, and that’s all it takes to launch your content (and business) online.
Although this may not seem directly tied to revenue, the creativity you learn through your SEO efforts can help you in all areas of running your business. You’ll learn strong problem-solving skills and new ways of looking at your products, which can help you better manage your overall workload.
SEO offers the direct benefits of increasing revenue through higher rankings and increased traffic, but also offers a new and subtle set of abilities to increase revenue. Which additional skills or insights have you gained from working in SEO? Let us know in the comments below!