In a recent study I lead for Info-Tech Research Group, entitled Drive Web Traffic with SEO, respondents consistently reported traffic increases after Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This experience from the Marketing Manager for a Professional Services group is typical of what we heard:
Making some major changes to our URL structure, using keyword-rich page titles, and cleaning up code errors has resulted in a nearly 200% traffic growth year-over-year.
We surveyed IT and marketing leaders in over 90 organizations that had recently redesigned their Web sites. We asked them how thorough they were in their SEO efforts and whether their redesigned site showed an increase in traffic compared to their earlier site. Of the responds that were not very through in their SEO efforts, only 26% reported a traffic increase after the redesign, compared to 72% of respondents who were very thorough. This suggests that the more thoroughly you integrate SEO deep into your overall web and marketing strategy, the more impact it has on site traffic. A complete plan for thorough and effective SEO can be found in the report.
Fig 1. Thorough SEO drives traffic.
These results show that the majority of respondents have confidence that SEO is an effective accelerator of Web traffic. Remember that thorough SEO should be planned from the start and be a key part of a broad web and marketing strategy.
Thorough SEO is shown to increase site traffic. Not only that, but the same Info-Tech study  found many other benefits which l have covered in posts on SEO and increased stickiness, improved brand image, and increased revenue and stakeholder engagement.
In addition to these direct benefits, SEO has certain indirect benefits. For example, most of what needs to be done for SEO also makes site content more appealing and increases the number of links back to the site. This combination of direct and indirect benefits makes the case for SEO even stronger, leading to an easy decision: just optimize it!