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Cort Tafoya is a San Francisco SEO expert. He also provides Google Analytics training and mentorship for AdWords.

Often times people are unsure whether they should invest in search engine optimization marketing. Fortunately, there’s a great way to figure out if SEO will be successful for you.

But first, the stats. SEO is the most successful online acquisition strategy to date. Here are some key SEO numbers:

  • 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine
  • Google owns 65-70% of the online search market
  • 70% of the links searchers click on are organic
  • 70-80% of users ignore paid search ads altogether
  • 75% of users never scroll past page 1

(That last stat is important – you can’t “sort of” do SEO, you’re either all in and going for page 1 or you’re out.)

How To Know if SEO Is Right For You

With enough experience doing SEO, I’ve found commonalities among the companies that can reach or have reached success, and the ones that don’t.

Are You Doing Content Marketing?

Is content marketing something you already employ? Not only does content marketing include blogging and great writing about your product, services or industry, it can also mean ebooks, downloadable PDFs, video interviews, infographics and to some extent social media.

SEO can’t be done without at least some content marketing. If you’re already blogging but not employing SEO, that’s like buying a Ferrari and not putting any gas in it.

SEO will only make the content that you create more visible. SEO will make your articles and even videos or ebooks surface to the top of page 1 on Google for search phrases that relate to the topics in these pieces of content.

If you’re putting in the hard work of building content, make the most of it with SEO.

Do You Network, Have Referral Traffic, or Links to Your Website Already on Other Sites?

You might be asking yourself how any of these help with SEO. Well, since its beginning Google has always viewed links to a website as a vote of confidence, trust and popularity. Sites without a lot of links to them struggle to rank for the phrases important to their company.

You can see how many people link to you right now by using a tool called opensiteexplorer.org.

Copy and paste in your domain name and it will provide what’s called a “domain authority score.” Your DA score is a combination of metrics that Google likes. So the higher your score the better.

Most medium to small businesses who do not do any SEO are in the 15/100-30/100 range. That’s an OK place to start and probably means you have at least some links to you out there on the web.

However, I’ve seen companies well into the 40’s and 50’s and they’re not even doing SEO. These companies have a huge advantage over their competitors.

Getting links, also known as link building, is one of the hardest parts of SEO. Check your score and see if you’re already ahead of the game.

What is the Focus of Your Website or Business?

At one of my classes a few months ago, an individual attended who was building a website for a friend that is a comedian. I told them right off the bat, there’s not going to be much SEO for them to do.

What I meant was this: Let’s say the comedian’s name was Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry probably only needs to rank for the following phrases:

  • Jerry Seinfeld stand-up comedy
  • Jerry Seinfeld funny videos
  • Jerry Seinfeld pictures
  • Hire comedian Jerry Seinfeld
  • Jerry Seinfeld YouTube account / Twitter Account / Facebook fan page

If Jerry’s domain name is already www.comedianjerryseinfeld.com, they’re going to be #1 for all of these phrases almost without even trying.

My point is, you have the most potential when there is a variety of services or products you offer. If there is a variety of long-tail search phrases (4+ words) or complex issues you need to talk to your customers about, that’s great too.

Also, if you’re in an industry where people definitely need to read before they buy or hire, then you’ve got potential.

If you want to find out how much potential traffic you could acquire with SEO, plug different search phrases into Google, scroll down to the bottom of the page and view the suggested or related results. Here’s an example below for the phrase “SEO training”:

screenshot-2016-11-14-at-12-10-35-pm

Do this for some of your services and plug the various related searches you see into Google’s Keyword Planner.

The keyword planner will report the number of monthly searches for each phrase. You can repeat this process over and over, adding different phrases and categories of phrases to a spread sheet so you can get a big picture of the amount of traffic SEO can bring to your website.

So there you have it, 3 ways to diagnose your SEO potential. Hopefully there are at least 2 you feel good about. If that’s the case, learn more about how to search optimize your website and content. It could definitely help grow your business. Thanks for reading!

If you’re interested in learning more about SEO marketing and how it can help your business, reach out and schedule a complimentary digital strategy session with us! Just click here to get started.