SEO – A Marketing SOS
28 September 2010
Posted by: justin
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ongoing marketing campaign for the internet. At its most basic SEO is about getting your product or service in front of your customer when they look for it on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. A successful SEO campaign is measured by the return on investment through increased sales, traffic, brand awareness and/or ranking. The work involved in SEO is 1. making your site readable by search engines and 2. increasing your site’s position on the search engines via various technical and non-technical labour intensive methods.
Search Engines such as Google and Bing’s major goals are to find and index the billions of pages on the web, and then deliver the most relevant to users when they search. Search Engines deliver two types of results in response to a user’s search : natural (organic) results and paid for (PPC/Adwords) results. SEO is concerned only with the natural (organic) results.
In order for Search Engines to deliver the best results for a search they use mathematical formulas to determine the most relevant site.
A user performs a search on Google for ‘digital camera’. Google delivers the results for all websites that have the key phrase ‘digital camera’ in their content. It orders them in accordance to its algorithm which determines which websites are likely to be closer to the user’s search than others based on many different ranking variables. These variables are the key to SEO.
WHY WE SEARCH
The basic goal of a search on a Search engine is to obtain information relevant to a query. The user experiences the need for an answer to their query and formulates it into a string of words (a key phrase) consisting of one, two or three words (the average length is 2.9).
Each search is one of three types:
. Navigational – the user is looking for a website.
. Transactional – the user is looking for something to buy.
. Informational – the user is looking for information only.
80% of searches are informational and 20% are transactional or navigational.
Like all marketing campaigns, one of the corner stone tasks of SEO is to understand the psychology of the target audience and how they use search engines. Once this is understood an SEO campaign can be developed to effectively reach and retain these customers.
HOW WE SEARCH
Searching is a multistep process. A user may make at least five searches in a search session to find what he/she wants. Whereas the initial searches will more likely be informational and the key phrases used more general and shorter, as the user gets closer to finding what they want their key phrases become more specific and longer and the search may change from an informational to a transactional search.
A user looking for a mobile phone may initially search on the key phrase ‘digital camera’, but then become more specific to ‘casio digital camera’, then to ‘casio digital camera 12 megapixel’ and then finally to ‘casio EXILIM Hi-Zoom EX-H10 Digital camera’.
There is also a strong correlation between being found online and offline sales. Studies show that for a high percentage of High Street sales start with an online search. This means that even for companies that solely sell their products or services on the High Street it is important to appear on the Search Engines when users search.
ROI. AND LOTS OF IT.
The key to SEO is ROI. Making a return on the investment in SEO is the only reason to commit longterm to SEO in the first place. In order to track SEO effectively deliverables must be agreed and a monetary value assigned to each before the commencement of the campaign so it can then be measured effectively against the pre-SEO stats and therefore SEO Campaign ROI can be calculated.
How do we estimate your ROI for the campaign before commencement? Two steps – first we estimate the SEO Revenue, and then we estimate the ROI of the campaign.
1. SEO Revenue = Number of searches on your keywords x est. click through rate x est. conversion rate x est. transaction amount (profit per sale/lead value etc)
Keyword phrase ‘casio digital camera’ has 90,500 searches per month in the UK (according to Google’s estimates) . Using an average click through rate of 10% for page 1 ranking (number 1 ranking on page 1 on Google has a 40% click through rate according to Google, but we believe this is an overestimation), an average conversion rate of 5% (industry average) and a profit per sale for each camera of £100 we get:
SEO Revenue = 90,500 x 10% x %5 x £100 = £45,250*
(these are approximate figures only)
2. SEO ROI = SEO Revenue/ SEO Cost
Using an estimated average monthly SEO cost of £2000 for a large complex e-commerce site in a very competitive industry and including the initial 6 months of work with no returns we get:
SEO ROI = £45,250/£12000 = an ROI of 3.7x*
but then for every month after month 6
SEO ROI = £45,250/£2000 = an ROI of 22x*
(these are approximate figures only)
SEO is a unique mixture of marketing analysis and technical know-how. A successful long term SEO campaign is based on the initial analysis of the market, customer search behaviour and keywords. Rushing into SEO without an in-depth understanding of the market place will result in wasted resources and money and will not generate the required ROI.
For more like this please visit http://sumacseo.com/