Is SEO worth it? The value of SEO in 2022

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All businesses, large and small, can benefit from greater exposure. More website traffic means more people viewing your products and services, which in turn paves the road to more sales. The question lies in how to get it. 

Does SEO really make a difference? Let’s cut to the chase – the answer is yes! According to BrightEdge, 53% of all trackable website traffic comes from organic search. If you are trying to grow your traffic, it’s easy to say that playing nice with search engines pays off.

But the question is not whether SEO is effective or not, but whether investing your time, effort, and resources in an SEO strategy is actually worth the trouble. After all, SEO can be expensive and time-consuming, so what’s to say you’ll get back your money’s worth? And even if you do, who’s to say how long you’ll need to wait to experience the benefits?

If you’re not convinced that SEO is worth it or are yet to see a positive ROI on your SEO strategy, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll explore how SEO works, why it matters, and most importantly how you can leverage your SEO efforts to obtain the tangible results you seek.

Why does SEO matter?

Quoting the Search Engine Journal, “Today’s searchers search to solve problems, to accomplish tasks, and to “do” something.” Buying and hiring are two very important “do”s for all businesses. The importance of SEO can be summarized simply: search leads to action.

If (and this is a big if)  you manage to conveniently position your website so that your target audience will find it, you already have the upper hand in influencing their decisions and beating your competition. 

However, it is a well-known fact that people don’t frequently browse beyond the first page of results. If you want to influence purchase decisions, you have to make yourself visible in search, and in order to do that you have to be favored by search engines. The best way to do this is by optimizing your content. This means, making sure search engines like the content you’re putting out there.

Is SEO worth it?

Estimations show brands and agencies across the United States are spending around 80 billion dollars on SEO services.  Clearly, businesses are catching up on just how important an SEO strategy can be for online success.

But, how much should you spend to reap the rewards you’re after? How long will it take until the money you’re shelling out on those SEO experts starts to pay off? These are very common questions we get from SEO newbies and those that are struggling to make their SEO efforts work out.

At Inflowlabs, we’re all about data, so let’s take a look at the cold hard facts. According to First Page Sage, ROI for technical SEO services is estimated to be 117% in 6 months, while ROI for Web Content SEO services (with average quality keyword research and blog writing) is 16% after 15 months.  Results are even better for high-quality transactional keywords and blog posts, with a reported ROI of 748% in 9 months.

Truth is, when done right, SEO can have a major impact on business outcomes and getting seen by new potential buyers. Numbers don’t lie: according to Intergrowth, leads from search engines have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (ex. cold-calling, direct mail, etc.) have a 1.7% close rate.  At the end of the day, SEO is one of the most profitable marketing investments you can make.

We’ve witnessed the power of SEO first hand, with our clients doubling their traffic and tripling their sales using SEO alone over a one-year span. 

So at the end of the day, is investing in SEO worth it? It all comes down to this: if you are doing it right, SEO should essentially pay for itself.  

A well-executed SEO strategy can be expensive, but high-quality SEO services will help you generate leads, grow your audience and boost conversion rates. However, if you are impatient, cut corners on your content marketing strategy, or work with an inexperienced team of SEO specialists, you might end up spending more than you make. 

How long does it take for SEO to work?

SEO, like all good things, takes time. According to FirstPageSage, you can expect to obtain a positive ROI in an SEO campaign over a 6-12 month period, reaching peak results after 2-3 years. 

That’s not to say that you won’t see any results before the 6-month mark, but you should expect results from your SEO improvements to take some time. Before dooming your SEO as ineffective, make sure you’re giving your strategy a fair chance. You should also consider that SEO builds upon itself and every new piece of content, web copy, and backlink you obtain will impact your results.

Here’s what you should know to make SEO worth it

Your SEO strategy will (and should) change.

SEO will exist as long as people continue to use search engines as their preferred tool for exploring the web. However, it doesn’t exist in the same way. 

Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving to help search engines best meet the searcher’s needs. In the process, they change the way they evaluate websites, paying attention to new factors and prioritizing some elements over others. 

At the same time, searchers themselves are constantly changing the way they interact with search engines, browsing the web from different devices, consuming different types of media, and prioritizing different types of searches. For example, over the years we have seen the use of mobile devices rise above desktop devices. 

We also saw the appearance of voice-based search, starring the now well-loved Siri and Alexa, which is becoming increasingly popular among searchers. In fact, according to Google, voice search has a 20% market share of searches in the United States.

That means that the SEO strategy that is effective for your site now might not necessarily work in the upcoming year. No matter how good your current strategy is, there is no single solution that will work forever. With ever-changing game rules, your SEO specialists have to be ready to adapt to whatever comes their way.

Every Piece Counts

There’s a lot that comes into play when it comes to optimizing your site for search engines. According to Backlinko, Google uses over 200 factors in its algorithm for ranking websites. With so many pieces under evaluation, no piece of your site should be neglected during the optimization process.

SEO consists of many moving parts and there’s no single SEO technique or trick that will revolutionize your rankings on its own. Instead, you need to make sure all elements of your site, including the technical ones, are up to standard.

Prioritize Quality In Content

“Content is king”. We’ve all heard it before and there’s a good reason why. If your content is not engaging, well-written, or provides value, potential buyers will quickly navigate off your site and onto your competitors’.

High-quality longer content is more likely to be referenced by other websites and blogs and generate backlinks to your site. This can make all the difference to your rankings since the number of domains linking to a page had the highest correlation to rankings in Google, as shown by Backlinko.

Good content writing also paves the road to establishing authority, creating trust, building healthy connections with your audience, and ultimately conversion. In fact, research shows that 47% of consumers read 3-5 pieces of content created by a company before talking to a salesman.

So how do you create high-quality content? You should focus on providing your audience with the answers to specific questions, tailoring your information according to search intent, and personalizing the article according to their language style, experience, problems, and knowledge, rather than simply optimizing around a keyword. 

(Disclaimer: We do not claim that keyword optimization doesn’t matter. However, overstuffing your articles with keywords won’t get you the results you seek.)

Conclusion

As long as we continue to depend on Google and other search engines to browse the internet, find information, and make our purchase decisions, SEO will matter. Whether investing in SEO is worth it or not ultimately depends on how well you plan and execute your SEO strategy.
If you’re struggling to see results from your SEO efforts, it may be time to think about working with a specialized digital marketing agency to assist you in your SEO and content marketing strategy.

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