The primary objective of the SEO activities is to bring more business for the clients. But, do all the SEO activities result in generating more business? Do businesses pin too much hope on the SEO and ignore other marketing methods? I have seen clients who keep on lamenting that their SEO efforts are not producing much of the results, even after they have changed the website design to improve conversion rates. It is difficult to respond to these queries. This also makes me think that do the SEO service providers promise too much?
To me SEO is a marketing effort to build up your web presence on those web resources which are frequented by the people from all over the world. Just as other marketing activities provide the information to the targeted market segments about the business, the same is the basic role of the SEO. In that process of building up the brand name and generating awareness about it in the online media, it generates the traffic to the site. The phenomenal increase in the number of people clicking on the site can be guaranteed, but how many will actually move through the whole process and make an enquiry or purchase something can not be guaranteed.
SEO runs on certain assumptions. First assumption is that ranks of the website can be brought to the first page of search engines on keywords which matter the most for the business. Second assumption is that improvement in ranks is directly related to the number of visits by people. Higher is the rank, more is the traffic to the site. Third assumption is that there is a direct relation between the number of people clicking on the site and the generation of leads. These are not merely far-fetched assumptions but are certainly true. However, the final step of making the purchase or making the query is solely dependent on the perception of the visitor.
I find it quite strange that the people consider expenses made on other marketing efforts as investments and they are not so demanding on the results of those efforts. But, when it comes to the SEO, it is seen as some kind of the magic wand. They expect quick results from the SEO activity. If these are not coming, SEO is designated as a wasteful exercise. Is SEO only about achieving these results? Can SEO not be taken as an investment in brand building on a global scale? I do not say that if SEO is not producing results then one shall not do anything about it, but what I do intend to say is that in the frenzy to produce results, the brand image is likely to be destroyed.
SEO shall be done with care and in a way that brand image is built upon. The focus has to be the brand and not the results. Results will follow automatically. A rightful image will produce the results, though it might take some time, since brands have its own following or customers. If taken as a branding exercise, the choices to be made for the SEO activity will need to be refined and there will be a need to be more cautious in doing it.