SEO: The Long Term Return On Investment

SEO seems to be losing its importance today. With free templates and tools that claim to have SEO factors built in, is SEO now more of a plug-in tool? Is there a need to know SEO anymore?

Groups are divided in their belief in SEO; there are staunch believers, the somewhat believers, and the non-believers; you will find a number of articles regarding SEO being dead, and that SEO should be scrapped…and also quite a few about the benefits that SEO provides….the debate goes on.

In my opinion SEO is still as important today. It is true that SEO does not guarantee top rankings, but is there anything that does guarantee top rankings? Except possibly when you pay for PPC ads/other ads, and the ads show up at the top. You can’t forever keep utilizing ads to increase your visibility; it will not make business sense unless you are a big brand with big bucks to spend.

The idea is to use strategies and techniques that will drive traffic to your website naturally. Agreed that this does not happen instantly and it takes time to get there, however, there are different types of Internet marketing strategies that can be applied to stay afloat till SEO results kick in, and even after that one should keep using different strategies to get the best results and Internet marketing is all about utilizing the various components of the marketing mix in the most desirable proportion.

SEO seems to have apparently diminished in importance because of the rise of the Social factors….But shouldn’t social factors be included under the internet marketing umbrella, just like SEO is part of the Internet marketing umbrella? Why are we replacing SEO with social factors? What does not make sense is that we are trying to replace SEO with Social and they are not related, there may be overlaps but SEO can’t be overwritten by social factors. The fact that SEO friendly templates exist, is it not reason enough to believe that SEO exists? And how do we rectify or optimize something if we do not know what and how to optimize? How do we make things better?

SEO has been changing and evolving but the basics have remained the same. The application of SEO best practices,

Results in websites and pages that are optimized for higher performance, not only in terms of visibility in the SERPs, but also in terms of attracting, retaining, and converting potential visitors into paying customers.

I don’t think this objective has changed at all. The very basic principle on which SEO has been built and evolved has not changed then why should SEO not be as critical as earlier?

There is a lot of confusion because of the number of ways by which we can reach our visitors today, each of these strategies are important and non-replaceable by any other factors, they can be combined together but cannot be scrapped.

Here is an example that I usually use to explain to people on the value that SEO provides for any on-line business.

Financial saving plans: All of us have some retirement planning in place, right? We put away or invest some amount of money today so that we can enjoy a more or less similar lifestyle that we are enjoying today when we retire…we do not see an immediate return on our investment, but we believe that we are building a strong foundation for tomorrow, and we know that someday this will be our only source of income…well that is SEO for you.

For SEO results you certainly do not have to wait until retirement 🙂 This was just a metaphor…

Websites that are backed by a strong and solid SEO foundation will reap the benefits soon enough, the question is, are we willing to invest the time and patience that is required in order to derive the benefits?

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