The Value of SEO
Let’s consider the value of high organic rankings.
What is a first-page listing on Google worth?
Statistics vary, but as a rule of thumb we can assume that about 90 percent of all organic clicks-throughs go to links appearing on the first page. The top few positions on page one generates one-third to two-thirds of all click-throughs.
It is easy to see that if a company is successful in reaching page one for hundreds or thousands of target keywords, it will have an enormous advantage in lead/revenue generation over competitors with page-two or lower positioning.
And, despite all the attention given to social media, content marketing and some other online marketing options, SEO continues to be the best way to reach the largest number of target prospects:
- Google searches exceed 3.5 billion per day.
- Study after study indicates that prospects across all verticals use Google search as a primary resource for vetting suppliers and researching products and services.
- Study after study indicates that search engine users have more confidence in organic listings than paid advertisements.
In addition to its pure lead/revenue generation potential, SEO produces additional value that will be extremely important to a strategic buyer of a private equity firm’s portfolio company:
- High organic visibility conveys credibility and a strong brand. If a company is invisible or nearly invisible on Google, it raises a big red flag for prospects.
- SEO forces a company to produce high-value content both on and off the website (because SEO execution depends on creating it). This content establishes a company’s expertise and usually does a better job of converting than content produced by less committed competitors.
- Negative online customer reviews and negative online press are a fact of life for many companies. A strong SEO campaign tends to push company-produced content to the top of the organic listings, limiting the visibility of negative content. This protects and strengthens the brand.