New Data on the Value of SEO

Presumably anone who reads this blog really does not need to be convinced of the value of SEO, but chances are that all of you have run into situations where you are trying to explain to someone else of the value of SEO. This is often a very challenging activity. New data from a survey by The Info Tech Group provides some great additional tools for when you need to make this argument. For example, a survey of 94 IT companies showed that companies that put high to very high levels of effort into SEO were far more likely to see traffic growth than sites that put in low to very low SEO effort:

SEO Drives Traffic Growth

One of the more interesting surveys that The Info-Tech Group did demonstrated that SEO led to increased site stickiness:

SEO Drives Stickiness

The fact that you are 6 times more likely to increase stickiness if you pursue SEO is pretty compelling. I have also believed for a long time that high rankings on key search terms brings a lot of value to your brand. In this survey of 95 IT companies, The Info-Tech Group found that 100% of companies that pursued a very high amount of SEO saw their brand gain value, while only 44% of companies that put very low effort into SEO saw their brand value increase:

SEO Brand Value

Last but not least for companies with investors, another Info-Tech Group showed that SEO has a major impact on impressing stakeholders. Creating a position impression among investors and shareholders is a must. SEO appears to do that quite well:

SEO Impresses Stakeholders

This data is a great complement to existing industry data. When I am try to impress people on the importance of SEO, I am also likely to show them a chart like this one:

Search Engines Drive Traffic

This is an actual traffic chart for a pretty good sized web site, where 92% of their traffic comes from organic SEO (they don’t do PPC on this site). Of course, results vary from site to site, but even for major brands a search engine presence is essential. I discussed this quite a bit more in recent columns on Search Engine Land:

  1. Selling the Benefits of SEO in a Large Enterprise
  2. Getting Top Management Buy-in for Enterprise SEO

Whatever you do when you are trying to sell the benefits of SEO, make sure you follow the KISS (keep it simple stupid) rule. Before you go in to make your pitch, find out their level of understanding on the topic, and then tune the pitch appropriately. I also believe that it is critical to create visuals that express the concept. Few people learn as well from looking at a sea of text as they do from seeing graphics and charts. Senior managers have a lot of other things on their plate, and are likely to give you limited time to help them understand why they should invest in SEO. Use it well!


  1. says

    What a very good article. Yes I agree in keeping SEO simple. Because not all people can easily understand it. Keeping it in a layman’s term will definitely make a huge difference.

  2. says

    Very good read indeed. As with all aspects within an SEO campaign, SEO is as hard and difficult as you make it for yourself. It is best to have objectives and a strategy in place and work towards it. This will bring focus to whatever you do and ensure you have half a chance in achieving whatever it may be you wish to achieve.

  3. says

    Thanks a lot for sharing SEO knowledge. It is very nice article post in this blog. I appreciate your explanation about SEO with us. Keep it up.

  4. says

    92% is a pretty high percentage of traffic to come from SEO. While This is great I personally would like to see a diversified traffic breakdown.

    Wheres the direct traffic from brand recognition, email traffic, and referring traffic?

    YES SEO is the most important part of any good internet marketing strategy, but it should not account for 92% of the traffic in my opinion.

    • says

      Hi Thomas. Actually, I agree with you. I offer the example just to show how significant a part of overall traffic this can be. However, a better mix would have stronger traffic from other sources too.

  5. says

    Great post and very useful information. This post along with the Website grader has been very helpful in identifying opportunities for SEO. Thanks!

  6. says

    A little late to the game here, but that “brand gaining value” data is awesome. How someone can see that data and not immediately invest in SEO heavily is mind boggling. Thanks for the info.

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