So you’ve invested hundreds, possibly thousands of pounds pushing your SEO campaign hard, and after weeks or months of hard work you’re finally at the top of Google. You’re number one! Número uno! Top of the pile! What a fantastic result – congratulations! Just one little question though before you pop your champagne corks…

…what was the point?

SEO ROIAfter all, SEO isn’t a race to first place, it’s a marketing strategy. You wouldn’t spend ten thousand pounds marketing a product you hardly ever sell and make almost no profit on whilst leaving your highly profitable items on the shelf. Marketing is nothing unless it’s targeted marketing, and targeted marketing is nothing without a defined purpose which can be measured and which is fully justifiable. Frankly being at the top of the search results for a keyword or keyphrase you plucked out of the air a while back is not the point at all. Yes, you’re at the top of the search engines, but frankly that doesn’t mean a thing.

I could make up some nonsensical longtail keyphrase like “left handed clockwork battery” and within a couple of days’ marketing have it listed at the top of Google’s search results for that specific phrase. But so what – what does that prove? More to the point, what does it achieve?

The problem with many businesses is that they see SEO and high ranking positions in SERPs as being ends in themselves, when they are merely the means to an end. The real problem is that often these businesses don’t actually know the difference, or what the real end should be.

Ultimately SEO is a form of marketing which needs to be targeted towards achieving specific measurable goals which are justifiable in terms of increased revenue, traffic or other meaningful business achievement.

For example, it could be that your SEO is targeting a specific longtail keyphrase which is capturing a greater proportion of those people looking for a local business offering the service you provide and a telephone number to call. Making sure that your SEO is promoting the best page within your site is important, since it may not necessarily be the home page in every case. Making sure that there is some way in which the return on your SEO investment can be measured is vital.

Don’t approach SEO as though it is the key to unlocking some hidden treasure. See it as the key needed to unlock something you already know intimately, and know exactly what you’re going to do with once it’s unlocked.

Anything to add? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.