Like most questions in life, determining the importance of SEO is never really black and white. It depends a lot on who you ask. Here at Main Path, we’d probably rate the importance of SEO right up there with the birth of a child and breathing. Ask a dairy farmer in the Midwest, and you might get a response along the lines of, “I don’t speak Chinese!” So, how do we determine the true value of SEO in the business world? The key is determining which businesses really need SEO (or who can benefit the most from it), and what SEO can bring to those businesses. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many business owners we talk to who think that because they just dropped $10K on a new flash site, they’re going to dominate in Google and see thousands of hits a day.

All sites on the web stand to gain something by implementing SEO strategies. Whether it be rankings, traffic, exposure, sales, or any other benefit of optimization, nearly all sites can improve their web presence using SEO tactics. Putting a dollar amount on these benefits, however, can sometimes be tricky. For an ecommerce site, it might be pretty straight forward as to the worth of SEO- if online sales increase, then SEO is working. For an informational site or free directory, SEO’s worth cannot be determined by dollars earned. Instead, we have to look at things like traffic, search engine rankings, amount of new visitors, time on site, bounce rate, and several other areas to determine the worth of SEO to those sites.

Knowing a client’s ultimate goal is an important aspect of carrying out a successful SEO campaign. Driving tons and tons of traffic may be nice, but if none of those visits convert into sales for an online retailer, than there is no real benefit to the client. A brand new site, on the other hand, may do backflips over the huge influx of visitors and increased rankings because it helps get them established on the web. In the SEO industry, the value of our work is determined mainly by the clients we serve. Obviously, mybrandnewsite.com stands to gain much more from SEO than, say, Google. The end result that each client is looking for also plays a part in determining what SEO is worth. There isn’t a solid, fool proof way to determine the true value of SEO for every website because every website is different. But, if SEO can bring some sort of significant benefit to your site that you were lacking before, be it sales, visits, or rankings, then SEO is worth every penny…or visitor…or contact…or…

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