Many Private Businesses Not Reaping the Benefits of Search Engine Optimization

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An impromptu study conducted on existing clients and prospects of 10e20 LLC reveals that more than 70 percent of private businesses don't include search engine optimization in their online marketing plans.

With millions of consumers using search engines each day to find everything from chiropractors to kitchen sinks, you would think SEO would be at the top of the list on every online business's marketing plan. But, surprisingly, it's not.

Often SEO doesn't even make the list of many online businesses. In the study conducted over two months, project managers at 10e20 administered a 10-question survey to more than 100 of its existing Web site design/redesign clients who don't subscribe to its SEO services and more than 550 prospects. 10e20 wanted to know why clients sometimes shied away from even discussing SEO as an option when it is one of the best -- if not the best -- ways to market a Web site. The survey offered very few surprises with responses centering on misconceptions of cost and ignorance of what exactly SEO entails.

When asked, "Why does search engine optimization not play a role in your online marketing plans?" more than 70 percent of the respondents cited cost. But 65 percent of those respondents admitted to using sponsored ads. What respondents seem to forget, or are unaware of, is that monthly rates for SEO are often cheaper than those of pay per click.

When asked, "How much does your PPC campaign cost you monthly?" more than 75 percent who admitted to using PPC chose the over $1,000 option. Because more than 66 percent of searchers are more likely to choose the "natural" search engine results (those acquired through SEO as opposed to PPC), many Web sites do not receive the targeted traffic they expect.

And when asked whether they thought their return on investment on PPC was satisfactory, more than 62 percent said no. Again, because online businesses sometimes pay very high click-through rates only to receive minimal sales, they often think that they are not receiving enough bang for their buck.

Though the impromptu study does not claim to represent all private businesses, it does offer a means to gauge views on search engine optimization held by the "average" small to midsize enterprise. Furthermore, 10e20 executives know that now, more than ever, better education about natural search engine optimization and its benefits needs to be disseminated to online businesses that are still skeptical about SEO.

Because, while for many online businesses SEO might seem like another risky, untried frontier, if they were to do a real apples to oranges comparison between SEO and other online marketing strategies such as sponsored and banner ads, it is likely that they would see the cost effectiveness and quality traffic that SEO better affords.


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