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Optimization

How Good SEO Ranking Makes Your Company Money

What does a bottom-line financial analysis even look like through an SEO ranking lens? It’s probably easier to show than tell.

Let’s say you run a tiny company, called Willow’s Pillows, that specializes in throw pillows. You’re small but mighty, and you can reasonably supply your product to any U.S. customer. You’ve done your homework, and you’ve set your single-pillow price at the exact market rate. Thirty dollars per pillow sounds about right. 

Related: Improve your rankings with our SEO focus keyword cheat sheet.  

At the time of this writing, approximately 74,000 people across the U.S. search for the term “throw pillows” each month — like most SEO ranking specialists, I can get that data from any number of paid web utensils (SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, etc.).

Assuming that standard click-through rates hold for this specific search category, approximately 30 percent of those searchers are going to click on the first result. Let’s say that spot belongs to your chief competitor, Pillow Talk, and they convert about 10 percent of that traffic into a single-pillow sale ($30). Here’s their monthly revenue, just from this one search term:

([74,000 x 0.3] x 0.1) x $30 = $66,600

In plain English, we think Pillow Talk gets about 30 percent, or 22,200, of the total 74,000 searchers available because of its high-profile SEO ranking. It converts 10 percent of those monthly visitors, or 2,220, into sales. And if each of those sales is worth $30, they’re earning about $66,600 each month.

Despite all your best efforts, your company, Willow’s Pillows, is stuck in the second-ranking spot. Pretty good, but here’s the rub — most data suggests the second-ranking spot draws just 15 percent of all searchers. We already know you price your pillows the same as your competitors; and assuming you convert your traffic at the same rate as the dreaded Pillow Talk does, your math would look like this:

([74,000 x 0.15] x 0.1) x $30 = $33,300

Ouch. You’re pulling in half the revenue of your closest competitor just because they’re beating you in the SEO ranking game. Granted, there are a lot of variables in play here; maybe you decide to raise your prices to boost revenue, or lower them to try and up your conversion rate. But the basic principle remains the same.

Now imagine if you were selling a product worth $300 instead of $30. Or how about $3,000?

This isn’t to say you should give up if your company is idling at No. 592 in the Google search results ranking. If anything, it’s quite the contrary. Moving up in the SEO rankings is almost always worth the cost, if you’re willing to put the thought, time, and effort into doing it.

So that brings us to the how. How do you move that needle? SEO is an incredibly important piece of your company’s digital strategy, and you now know just how much revenue you could be leaving on the table without it.

That being said, I know you aren’t made of free time. Below I break down an ideal SEO schedule, with you dedicating time from your days, weeks, and months to improving your digital presence. Is the schedule worth it? Absolutely. Is it viable for everyone? Maybe not. But at the very least, use this as a guide as you build an SEO improvement schedule that’s doable for you.

Your Daily SEO Ranking Improvement Schedule

Block out 10 minutes each morning to take a hard look at one piece of content on your site. During that block, think about two magic questions:

  1. What search term are you targeting?
  2. Is your content serving the reader’s needs?

If you come up empty in either of those two answers, re-rig the piece appropriately. If you stumble across some woeful piece of content that needs more than 10 minutes of attention, set time on your calendar that week to get it up to snuff.

Before you move on with your day, make sure you take note of whatever search term you want the page to rank for, and come back and check in each week for the next two or three months. Did your content move up in the SEO rankings in a meaningful way? If not, either throw another 10 minutes at it to see if you can move the needle, or build out time with your content or marketing teams to replace the page entirely.

No matter how strong you think a certain webpage is, if it’s not drawing traffic, it’s not serving any purpose. A master spreadsheet of your current pages and their SEO targets is highly encouraged; it will help keep everything straight.

Your Weekly SEO Ranking Improvement Schedule 

Set aside 30 minutes at some point each week to think a little bigger — namely, what kinds of terms you actually want to be ranking for. This is your opportunity to see how competitive your desired terms are — and how your competitors are faring in their SEO ranking efforts. (Again, a spreadsheet would be helpful for this.)

There are two primary ways to investigate the search terms you’re interested in:

  • Using paid tools like SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs, which are cost-efficient and can provide you with remarkable insights on keywords, search engine patterns, and websites.
  • Googling terms you’re interested in.

A Four-Step Guide to Choosing Keywords (Sans Paid Tools)

  1. Fire up Google and type in a term you want to rank for.
  2. Jot down whoever is ranking in the first 10 spots.
  3. Read over the next 30 to 40 SEO ranking spots. Write down where your site falls as well as where your competitors’ sites fall on that list.
  4. Click the first five results and evaluate how those sites are presenting their data. Take notes on how to improve your own content accordingly:
    1. What methods can you employ that can better serve a reader?
    2. Is there something aesthetic or textual that all the top-ranked sites share?

Use the weekly insights to help inform your daily content check-ins. You’ll be surprised how quickly your confidence will grow once you have actual data to work with, instead of just blind guesses.

Your Monthly SEO Ranking Improvement Schedule

Close the circle with a one-hour window each month dedicated purely to the keywords you’ve either neglected to write content for or new ones that your company has decided are important. As it’s likely that you can’t pen, edit, and post content in just an hour, use this time to:

  • Identify the hole you’re trying to fill.
  • Draft an outline or concept for the page you want.
  • Build out the schedule (with a live date).
  • Pass it along to your content team for creation.

Once you’ve got finalized content back, make sure your two primary questions are answered — is it targeted to a keyword, and does it address reader needs — and then, just like in your weekly SEO ranking efforts, take note of the current landscape for that keyword.

Check in on your content frequently. If it’s dying on the vine, you’ve got 10 minutes set aside each day to make changes.

The Big Picture

It’s important to realize that even though you can make changes to any piece of content in just a few minutes, the SEO ramifications will likely take much longer to manifest.

While Google maps the internet every second of every day, and does so at brilliant speeds, the web is a huge place. Crawlers may not visit your site every day; and even when they do, there’s no assurance they’ll map every one of your pages during each pass through. Even if your changes are immediately mapped by Google, the search behavior metrics have to reach a certain degree of mathematical significance before Google decides to start moving around search results.

So don’t get frustrated if you don’t see big changes right away. Just keep checking in and making small improvements. Soon enough, you’ll start leapfrogging competitors up to those coveted first 10 search result spots.

Want to keep talking about SEO ranking? Contact me, and stay tuned on our blog and social channels for more content like this.