Shirley sounded sick about her $7,188 mistake. Each month for the last year, she’d been faithfully writing out checks for SEO, but eventually she had to face the uncomfortable truth. Something was very seriously wrong. As it turns out, Shirley had been led to believe a myth – a very expensive myth. Let’s take a look the most popular SEO myth and discover the real truth of the matter.
Busting the #1 SEO Myth
Although Shirley was getting lots of “clicks,” she wasn’t getting what she wanted most – phone calls.
Myth: SEO Increases Sales
This popular myth is promoted by unscrupulous search engine optimizers as well as those who simply don’t know any better. The myth goes like this – if you want to increase sales or leads on your website then you need to do more search engine optimization.
What Makes the Myth Believable?
What gives this myth traction is that occasionally this really does work. Here’s where the problem comes in. Betting on this approach is kind of like taking your marketing budget and putting it on a turn of the roulette table. You just might get lucky. But just because casinos show pictures of people winning doesn’t make this a smart approach to growing your bank account. Predictably increasing sales requires a different approach.
What SEO Really Does
Search engine optimization is all about improving your website’s rank in the search engines. In other words, when someone is searching on Google for your product or service, you want to show up on the first page of search results. Done the right way, SEO will result in an increase in the number of people visiting your website. However, increasing the number of people coming to your website doesn’t automatically increase the number of leads or sales.
For example, in Shirley’s case, her website was showing up on the first page of the search engines and she was getting lots of people clicking through to come to her website and then nothing. No phone calls, no requests for more information. The real reason that she wasn’t getting phone calls had nothing to do with the number of people visiting her website. The real reason is that her website amounted to a pretty brochure that was downright awful when it came to marketing. It was full of content written in language that her target audience wouldn’t understand, missing any interesting offer for additional information, and without any compelling call to action. This kind of problem can’t be remedied by throwing more people at the website – that’s just a recipe for wasting time and money. A quick glance at the critical 8 web metrics would have told the story a year and seven thousand dollars ago.
Increasing the number of people coming to your website – the ultimate objective of SEO is only helpful in terms of leads or sales, when your website is able to do a good job of converting visitors into prospects.