You’re kind of like the Jedi, and the ongoing competition between your website, Google, and your competitors is kind of like the Clone Wars. The struggle for rankings and traffic may all be very necessary, but this wasn’t a fight you ever wanted to get into, much rather lead.
The monthly Search Engine Optimization (SEO) report lands into your inbox, right on time. It’s filled with numbers, charts, keywords and recommendations. It’s actually impressive. Most impressive. But there’s a nagging question in the back of your mind. “What is this stuff really doing for me?”
You wouldn’t be the first person to wonder this as you leaf through a report, or pay the bill from the SEO consultant. It’s actually very fair to wonder if your SEO consultant isn’t too dissimilar to Darth Sidious, quietly stoking the flames of conflict because it ultimately serves their purpose. “Of course you need more landing pages, the droids…err…competition issucking all up traffic you could be getting a piece of. And of course you need more inbound links, without them you may lose the war…(ahem)…competitive advantages the Internet is bringing you.”
Now, to be fair, landing pages, inbound links, higher domain authorities, they are all TRULY vital to the health of your digital marketing strategy. But they aren’t the target goal you’re trying to hit. This is the dirty little secret SEO firms won’t tell you:
The business model of a typical Search Engine Optimization company is to analyze your current situation, evaluate your potential to get more of the type of traffic you want/need, and then do the necessary work to ultimately produce a monthly report that will show statistical proof that your investment is bringing you more visitors/user sessions, which means more traffic…and the natural assumption to make from there is that more traffic automatically equals more paying customers/revenue.
The problem is, that’s a big leap. When I coach or consult with a client, I typically ask them, would you like 10,000 more visitors a month to your website, or 1,000 more sales from your website. The answer is always the latter. And asking THAT question of your SEO guru, my friends, is how you to smoke out an SEO Sith Lord.
It’s great to talk about numbers and statistics going in the right direction. I’d even say it’s vital. But you’ll be in a far better place in business if you can find someone that takes it all a step further and can show you how many of those visitors turned into sales leads, customers in the pipeline, inbound phone calls, etc. This is the type of consultant that is focusing on the result of the service, not the service itself.
At Goldmine we are obsessed with the conversions that result from website traffic. It’s the reason our average client stays with us for multiple years, not months. We do show numbers, but then we tie the numbers to an increase in inbound sales referral emails or phone calls. We create strategies and tactics that force us to ask the question “Is this working, or do we need to pivot?” Strategies that yield customers on the phone placing orders are worth investing in as a small to medium size business owner, not just SEO.
Remember, you’re more like the Jedi, a champion of doing what you do best to keep your personal galaxy in peace. Don’t let an SEO expert who profits from conflict alone lead you down a path of fighting a never-ending war with Google and your competitors. This approach is based and fear, and fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate…well, you know the rest.
Donte’ Ormsby is the founder of Goldmine. He’s a former poor kid who now works to share what he’s learned about generating revenue from that crazy place called the Internet. He’s a sci-fi geek, and lover of all pastries.