There are many people who are skeptical about the value of search engine optimization, but most of the arguments against SEO are over-simplified, contrived or just plain wrong. You only need to do a little research in keyword usage statistics and the competition in the organic search rankings to appreciate just how valued SEO is, – by enterprises big and small across the spectrum – and what about the dominance of search engines in the first place?
Of course, the overall value of SEO is 100% relative to the business in question and the market in which it operates, and the value of different SEO tactics also changes with certain factors. This article will help you understand organic rankings how different factors affect the value of SEO in certain cases.
Organic Search Rankings
The value of SEO lies in its ability to get you site placed higher up in the organic search rankings, which is valuable because internet users are much more likely to click on sites that are high up in the rankings. Organic listings are the major listings you see when you make a search, which will be relevant to the ‘keyword’ or phrase that you search for. In general, a higher organic ranking means a more useful, authoritative and popular website, and one that includes the relevant keywords.
Critical Factors for SEO
Generally speaking, SEO is extremely valuable when there is little competition for a given keyword. Because they are highly specific, long keywords usually mean lower competition, and so if you are a business with a specialized product or service or a unique selling point, your on-page optimization matters a great deal, and small efforts can have big results.
Most short tail keywords (‘shoes’, ‘pepperoni pizza’, ‘used motherboard’…), will have high competition and in this case the value of established SEO tactics reduces. In this case, search engines employ other metrics to decide the rankings, and this is where authority, popularity and linking increases in importance. It is still important here to optimize accordingly, but it is the law of diminishing returns when high keyword competition is involved.
The Business, The Market, The Customers
The overall value of SEO will depend on the nature of the market you do business in, the size of your business etc. and the demographics of your consumer base – as well as the element of competition mentioned above. If you are trying to decide the value of SEO for your business, it would do you well to first understand these factors and how they fit in with the bigger picture. Value is also highly dependent on how well a strategy is implemented.
SEO is not the Be All and End All
There are plenty of other ways to get noticed online, and the internet is not the only way to get noticed. Paid listings (essentially an online advertisement which is placed above the organic listings) are the easiest way to sidestep SEO and achieve high visibility for given keywords, and Google Places for Business helps local businesses gain local exposure with relatively little effort. Not every business requires an SEO campaign, but there are still many things you can do online with search engines to get noticed.
If you are confused or uncertain about SEO and its potential value for your enterprise, chances are you won’t understand it enough to effectively implement SEO techniques and strategies. While smaller SEO campaigns can be performed with relatively little manpower and few resources, professional SEO services and consultations can prove to be extremely valuable, especially if you are in this position.