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Quantifying the Importance of SEO

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How important is SEO for your website? Consider this: a recent Nielsen poll found that 62% of Internet searchers click on a page-one result. That's nearly two out of every three of your business's potential website users. And before you assume that the remaining 38% are clicking on the second page (or subsequent pages) it's important to note that 15% refine their search in some way instead of clicking. That leaves less than one in four that will pursue listings past the first page and actually click on one.

And what about putting company dollars toward pay per click (PPC) instead of natural results through search engine optimization (SEO)? The figures may surprise you. Again, according to Nielsen, "40% of SEO campaigns aware of their ROI [return on investment] achieve returns in excess of 500%, while only 22% of PPC campaigns achieved this value." These findings may not be intuitive at first glance, but they potentially relate to consumer knowledge that Google is using its algorithms to provide one result versus a result achieved simply through the use of marketing dollars.

The Internet has always been a cat and mouse game where the user seeks the purest results and seeks to avoid advertising. SEO is not always easy because it takes constant work and refinement; however, it is precisely that work and refinement that keeps a website relevant and accepted by both search engines and users alike.