First, a little context

We all know search engine traffic is huge. But most business don’t realize just how massive it is. The total number of daily search queries has increased at an exponential rate, reaching an almost unfathomable number…


Wondering how that even looks when written out? No problem. It equates to “Six billion, five-hundred eighty-six million, thirteen thousand, five hundred and seventy-four”. To add a little more perspective to the mix, there are only around 500 Million tweets per day, roughly 1/13 the number of searches.

Breakdown Per Search Engine:

Search Engine

Searches per day

Other (AOL, Ask etc)128,427,264

With that much traffic on the table, you’d be naïve to think your business could survive without it and not starve.

But let’s not get off track. We promised you a rundown of why SEO is so important in 2018, so let’s get down to brass tacks.

The Process?

Step 1: Adwords / PPC Sucks

There, we said it. Sorry not sorry.

Look, PPC and SEM has its place. And it can certainly be an effective “add” to your marketing mix. But it isn’t the “magic button” that it once was.

Consumers are increasingly weary of being “sold to” thru adverts, click thru rates on ads is at an all-time low, and cost per clicks is at an all-time high.

If that isn’t the perfect blend for marketing budget disaster we don’t know what is. Here’s some hard facts to back that up.

According to Wordstream (2018):

  • Average CTR across all industries on Google Display: 0.35%
  • Average CTR across all industries on Google Search: 1.91%
  • Average Conversion Rates on Google Display: 0.89%
  • Average Conversion Rates on Google Search: 2.70%
  • Average Cost Per Action on Google Display: $60.76
  • Average Cost Per Action on Google Search: $59.18

Step 2: Organic Outperforms on all Fronts

According to Moz (, ONLY 2.6% of ALL search queries results in a click on an “Adwords” advert. Data from SimilarWeb tells a familiar story, with ONLY 5.05% of all search queries going to a “paid” PPC ad.

This means ORGANIC (traffic from SEO) wins against Adwords (paid traffic) 94-97% of the time (Search Engine Watch, 2018). If you’re not focusing on organic optimization and ranking, you’re missing out on 95-97% of ALL traffic searching for your products and services. And guess who is more than happy to gobble up all of that business? Your competitors. While you were debating about optimization strategies for 2018, your biggest threats were doubling down, hoping that you would falter.

But don’t worry, there’s plenty of “meat” left on the old SEO bone. And getting started now is better than postponing. Agencies like ours can help you evaluate your competitors and craft expertly designed strategies, tactics and implementations to get you to the front of the pack, even if you did get a late start.

Step 3: The Gift that Keeps on Giving…even after you stop

Unlike PPC, which is a “one off” cost and benefit, SEO tends to yield dividends for months and even years to come.

A content piece you posted today could bring traffic for years, converting targeted visitors into long-term paying customers. Links that were posted ages ago may still be seen by users, brining direct traffic to your site.

The key to remember with SEO is that you need to be patient and have faith in a tried and proven system. It’s like the stock market, very few get “rich” overnight, but if you invest in a highly diversified, stable index like the S&P 500, over time you’re almost guaranteed an average rate of return that beats over 95% of all hedge funds and “expert investors”.

In short, SEO is an investment in your future. And one that more often than not, yields a very high return.

Step 4: Improved User Experience

User experience is a key ranking factor in 2018 on beyond, with Google making a big push towards quality, usability and value driven sites.

By optimizing your site for SEO, you often hit upon these elements as a beneficial side effect, resulting in a great user experience that translates to higher conversion rates, increased trust and brand loyalty.

For example, the following optimization factors will also greatly improve usability:

  • Mobile optimization and responsiveness
  • Integration of relevant videos, images and media
  • Content engagement tools like commenting boxes & rating systems
  • Proper silo-ing and categorization of concepts and topics

Step 5: Your Secret Weapon on the Consumer Journey

Remember the days when you could show a user a single ad, get them to click, and subsequently make a purchase decision?

Yeah, we barely do either. That’s how long ago it was that “single contact” conversions were a “thing”. And not even high quality PPC ads are able to replicate this lost unicorn of a tactic.

Consumers are bombarded with 10s of thousands of adverts per day. On TV, on the radio, on the web, you name it.

Current stats show that the consumer journey towards a purchase decision consists of having between 6-8 contacts with a company PRIOR to making a final purchase decision.

Let’s take a look at how that journey often unfolds and how CRITICAL of a factor SEO plays in making sure your efforts pay off big:

Example of a “typical” sales cycle in 2018…

Step 1: Shopper conducts a search on Google for your site / product / service

Step 2: After finding your site, the customer wants to see some social proof and feedback and heads over to LinkedIn or Facebook to see what others are saying about your organization.

Step 3: Later on that same shopper is hit with a retargeted advert for your product/service.

Step 4: The following week that same shopper is ready to buy and remembers seeing your ads from previous touch points, but can’t remember the URL/company name. So they search Google and type in a keyword or phrase looking for you in the search results

Step 5: Customer finds your business (hopefully, if you’re ranking) and makes a purchase

The above scenario is one of MANY. But the main point is that your organic positioning can influence buyer behavior and purchase decisions that may even originate from other sources such as PPC or Display Ads. IN the end, MOST shoppers finalize their decisions based on Google searches.

Step 6: SEO puts your MVP to work. Put me in coach!

Imagine your dream sales rep and you might have visions of the following:

  • Works 24/7/365 without losing steam
  • Never calls in sick or reports late to work
  • Does EXACTLY what you tell them to without hesitation
  • Never misrepresents your company/products
  • Pulls in sales, leads, appointments and opt-ins like it was a piece of cake

Now what if I told you that you already have this “MVP” on staff? By now the light bulb should have turned on, but in case you’re still wondering what in the heck we’re talking about….YOUR WEBSITE!!!

Your website is the ULTIMATE sales representative for your company. And when well positioned, optimized and flowing with traffic, it can make you MILLIONS.

Search engine rankings are the key to making sure your #1 sales rep has exactly what “it” needs to hit your performance benchmarks.

Step 7: More Bang for your Marketing Buck

It’s 2018 and it’s a fight to the death out there in the search engines. So put on some headgear and lace up those boxing gloves, because it’s about to get real….

Real competitive that is. You competition is fierce, shoppers are more discerning, and marketing expenses are skyrocketing.

So where does SEO come into play into this battle royal? Is there a place for it in your repertoire? To that we answer a steadfast and hearty YES.

Sure, we might be a bit biased towards SEO, but the numbers don’t lie (MarketingLand).

  • 80%+ of shoppers still turn to Google as the 1st step in researching a new purchase
  • 90% of shoppers say their purchase decisions are influenced by online reviews
  • 3-5% of traffic goes to ads and the rest to organic search
  • Consumers are becoming “ad blind” and are unwilling to be “sold” to
  • 70-80%+ of web users AVOID paid ads altogether clicking ONLY on organic listings
  • Over 55% of purchase transactions can be traced back to sites found thru search engines

Step 8: Shoppers DEMAND your Presence in the SERPS

The 1990’s are well behind us. Gone are the days when you could get by without a website. Not only that, in 2018 and beyond you NEED a site and branding that is coherent, consistent, value driven and VISIBLE where and when customers want it (i.e. when searching online).

Research tells us that around 80% off ALL purchases, not just online ones, are influenced by ONLINE SEARCH. And because big G (Google) has a hold on most of that market share, that’s likely where your customers are looking for you.

And if they can’t easily find you, I’m sure one of your competitors sitting on page one of Google is more than happy to assist them and take their money.

Let’s try a little exercise. Load up Google and type in your main keyword. If you don’t show up in the top THREE positions on Google then you are missing out on up to 61% of ALL TRAFFIC for that keyword.

Worse yet, if you’re not on PAGE #1, you’re losing out on over 90% of all traffic for that keyword. That’s right, less than 10% of people ever look past the first page of Google when conducting a search.

This not only translates to lost revenue and sales, but also reduced brand awareness and visibility. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, all those “potential” customers are now going to your competitor, who by the way, is now in a much better place financially to CRUSH YOU.

Step 9: To Trust or NOT to Trust…that is the question

In a society that is hyper-vigilant to deception, scams, and downright fraud, establishing a foundation of trust and credibility is KEY to winning over new customers.

Where you rank on Google matters. And it’s not just about the “traffic.” Customers have an inherent trust in Google (for better or for worse). They trust Google to make sure only the best and most reputable sites show up on page one of their search engine.

Ranking in the top #1-3 positions on Google tells a consumer that you are TRUSTWORTHY, because Google says you are by placing you above your competitors.

But it’s not just about your site. Other SEO strategies can work wonders as well. Take for example a press release. Not only do you get direct traffic and backlinks, this piece of SEO content can help build trust organically. Same holds true for reviews of your company and products on other sites.

For example, if your business URL is you might opt to also set up and write a business profile piece on your site positioning you as a leader in the industry, highlighting any awards or commendations, and any positive consumer reviews you’ve received over the years.

With SEO, you have the opportunity to shape the story and perception around your brand. Use that to your advantage.

Step 10: Hidden Treasures

With PPC and Adwords, the cost of marketing can easily get out of hand. All of the “big players” (guys with much more $$$ than you or I) already have a foothold in their respective industries and are willing to drive up the cost of clicks (even to the extent of taking a loss) to make sure the little guys don’t ever get a chance to compete.

However, with organic traffic, the landscape is ripe with hidden treasures you can easily take advantage of. And while the “major” keywords are also hyper-competitive in this space, a LARGE percentage of traffic worldwide comes from what we call “long-tail” traffic.

Long trail traffic comes from very specific keywords and phrases that aren’t as “popular” as your primary keywords, but they convert very, very well.

Search traffic is like an iceberg, with all the primary (most often thought of) and obvious keywords on the surface. Meanwhile, the LONGTAIL combinations that actual customers use to search for your products lie beneath the surface.

Quality articles of 1000-2000 words in length tend to hit keyword combinations that come about naturally in the process of thought and those that are often absent from your PPC campaigns.

Google also intelligently uses related “concepts” and sub-topics within your article to extrapolate other key search phrases that may not even be present on your pages but relevant to other “hidden” searches by users.

In this way, quality content curated for SEO can uncover keywords and combinations that are searched for in droves by users of your products/services….and as you know, long tail keywords are laser focused, intent driven and convert at much higher rates than their more generic counterparts.

As such, ranking for a number of long tail keywords generating a cumulative total of 1000 searches a month is often much more valuable than ranking for a generic keyword totaling 5000 searches a month.

And the more content you produce, the more “hidden treasures” (i.e. long tail keywords) you’ll find and rank for.

The Business Case for SEO in 2018

We hope that you have taken the above information to heart. While we might be a bit biased when it comes to SEO, that is only because we have seen it produce amazing results for clients time and time again.

A good SEO firm (like ours *cough*) can help you with all aspects of your optimization strategy, from content that engages and wows your audience, to on-page and off-page optimization factors. They can bolster rankings, drive targeted traffic, and improve conversion rates, all leading to improved profitability and growth for your company and website.

SEO is an ever evolving craft, part science and part art. We would love to chat with you about how we can help take your business from where it’s at now, to where you want it to be.

Charles Williams Client Testimonial

I've been in business 9 years now, all with Noah at Epidemic Marketing. Noah has been my secret weapon. Competition is extremely tough in all business arenas and getting your phone to ring can be difficult. Noah keeps my phone ringing and I keep closing the deals. I highly recommend Epidemic Marketing and am thankful to have them as my secret weapon!

Sincerely, Chuck
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