As an executive who’s responsible for a large enterprise website, it’s natural to want to know what you’re going to get out of something before investing in it. ROI is a problem you’re always trying to resolve. Do the benefits make your costs worth it?
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), the profitability is still unclear to some executives, which leads to many organizations simply mis-prioritizing SEO. As an SEO myself, I’ve encountered enterprise CEOs and CMOs who’ve missed (or misunderstood) the ROI of SEO, and have missed out on traffic, conversions, and revenue as a result.
Are you an SEO-dubious exec? Or do you know one?
If so, let’s walk through five reasons why SEO can boost your ROI overall:
Reason #1: You’re missing revenue without organic search, especially in today’s internet
The modern web bears little resemblance to the web of even a few years ago. If you have a website and aren’t prioritizing its SEO in the context of today’s internet, you’re missing traffic and its resulting revenue.
For one, people use a multitude of devices to search. In fact, in 2015, Google announced that mobile had overtaken desktop as the primary means of search. In response, Google has made mobile page speed and mobile-friendliness a ranking factor, as well as switched to a mobile first index, ranking content for mobile users on the basis of its mobile version rather than desktop. Google will reward brands (read: you and/or your competitors) that optimize for this multi-device reality, presenting a huge opportunity for traffic and revenue from the organic search channel.
The return? A substantial increase in organic traffic and revenue.
Reason #2: You’ll increase profits (and enterprise ROI) from web assets you already have
There’s a good chance you have immense organic traffic potential with content that already exists on your website. Many people assume that, if content exists on their website, then it’s showing up in search engines. This isn’t always the case. In fact, we find that Google ignores about half of the content on large enterprise websites. Additionally, even the content that Google can find might not perform well in search engines, meaning your target audience isn’t finding it.
For example, say you have 10,000 pages on your website — pages you’ve paid for in both dollars and work-hours over a few years. Applying what we usually see on enterprise-level websites, let’s say that Google is only finding about half of those pages. So, while you’ve paid for 10,000, you’re only able to profit on 5,000 of them. Add to this the reality that just a fraction of those pages (let’s say one-third) are ranking on the first page of Google search results, and you only have 1,650 active URLs out of the 10,000 that you invested in.
This is not ideal, to say the least. So instead, you can invest in SEO and open up new possibilities for organic revenue from all of the content you already have.
For example, identifying and fixing technical SEO issues can help Google find all your important content, and optimizing your content for the ways real people are searching can help your content rank higher and be clicked on by more searchers.
Instead of your website working at a fraction of its potential, you can increase ROI by getting search engines to index more of the web pages that you’ve already paid for (in dollars and work-hours).
The return? More return on investments you’ve already made.
Reason #3: You can also increase profits by bringing higher-converting visitors to your site
Once you’ve made the most of your existing assets, SEO can very strategically help you to continue to grow.
Atop a strong technical foundation and user-centric content, SEO can start drawing more targeted visitors to your website. Providing new content that addresses the real questions people are asking about you and your offerings is a great way to attract people to your website that need what you offer and are more likely to convert, adding even more revenue to that being generated by your enterprise site that was upgraded in Reason #2 (above).
Organic search is a traffic-driving channel—very likely your biggest acquisition channel—and you can capture as much traffic as you’re willing to work for. By monitoring search demand in your industry and continually creating content that meets those needs, you fill your sales funnel with more people who need (and will buy) what you offer.
The return? A sales funnel containing more conversion-minded customers.
Reason #4: You’ll decrease your customer acquisition costs via SEO, which is evergreen
Unlike paid traffic options like Google pay-per-click, traffic earned through good SEO practices is free and doesn’t have an end date. Rather than paying for every website visitor and then losing that traffic once your campaign ends, SEO allows you to benefit from sustained free traffic from search engines over time. Much of the content that we reactivated/developed in Reason #2 and Reason #3 above becomes “evergreen content,” which means the ROI of SEO keeps giving year after year.
As you work on your SEO, you increase the total number of website visitors while costs remain steady. Increasing visits (potential new customers) without increasing the cost it takes to procure them will lower your customer acquisition costs over time. Thank you, SEO!
The return? More customers for less money, plus evergreen acquisition.
Reason #5: You’ll safeguard enterprise traffic and revenue against dreaded losses
Without proactive monitoring and management of your website via an SEO strategy that includes long-term foresight, unanticipated issues can do a lot of damage to your organic traffic and revenue. Focusing on the ROI of SEO in this respect is also a great way to avoid unnecessary stress in the C Suite. You know how I mentioned some CEOs and CMOs above who weren’t necessarily the most natural SEO advocates? That tends to change once things like the following very real examples occur and result in serious traffic and revenue losses:
- Technical issues: Even seemingly benign website changes and updates can lead to unintended consequences. Without SEO monitoring, you may not catch these issues until they’ve wreaked havoc on your rankings and traffic.
- Algorithm updates: Google releases multiple minor algorithm updates per day and a handful of larger ones annually. If you don’t keep pace with these changes, you’ll fall behind.
- Competitor strategies: Your organic performance can suffer even in the absence of technical issues and algorithm updates. If you’re not proactive about your SEO, a competitor will be.
Put simply, there is a cost of inaction that you don’t want to have to pay because you ignored or soft-pedaled your extremely valuable enterprise website’s SEO.
The return? Happier enterprise executives from weathering SEO storms.
The “I” in ROI: How much does SEO cost?
The benefits of SEO are hard to ignore, but what about the costs? What type of investment does it take to support an organic search program?
The three main categories of SEO cost include:
- SEO professionals: Investing in SEO means hiring a dedicated individual or team. This can include outsourcing your SEO to an agency, hiring in-house resources, working with an SEO consultant, or any combination of these options.
- SEO-adjacent professionals: SEO works best un-siloed. Since search engine performance can be impacted by many digital specialties, from code to content, part of the SEO investment will involve new processes and training for web developers, writers, analysts, and others.
- SEO technology: You’ll need tools to both monitor SEO performance and grow your organic search presence. This is especially critical for large enterprises who need to scale SEO.
As you can see, Reasons #1-5 demonstrate how the high return from these investments makes so much sense. But the conversation doesn’t have to end here. In fact, it’s something that we can continue to help you with.
Botify is SEO-ROI technology for enterprises like yours
Botify can help with every step of the search process. Our technology helps you ensure search engines can find and understand your important content, helps you capitalize on real searcher behavior, and helps you drive qualified visitors to boost your revenue.
Botify not only enables you to start profiting from the organic search channel, but it helps you tie every SEO initiative to a result. The platform gives you greater visibility into how SEO is benefitting you by unifying your data and enabling you to tie every change to a specific outcome.
Because of its ability to add revenue and prevent loss, SEO can be a lucrative initiative for your organization, but you need a trusted technology partner to do it. That’s what Botify is here for. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your organization run a profitable SEO program, request your demo today!