Shareholder interest in a Web property is always about the bottom line: will it generate revenue and increase profits. What about stakeholders? A recent study I led for Info-Tech Research Group, entitled Drive Web Traffic with SEO , shows that a thorough Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy integrated into a Web site redesign not only delivered revenue increases, but also impressed stakeholders like corporate executives, managers, and administrators.
We surveyed IT and marketing leaders in 95 organizations that had recently redesigned their Web sites. We asked them how thorough they were in their SEO efforts and whether their redesigned site was associated with an increase in revenue (either ecommerce or overall sales). Of the respondents that were not very through in their SEO efforts, only 12% reported a revenue increase after the redesign, compared to 33% of respondents who were very thorough. This suggests that thoroughly integrating SEO deep into your overall web and marketing strategy increases revenue. A complete plan for thorough and effective SEO can be found in the report.
Fig 1. Thorough SEO produces revenue results.
One business leader interviewed commented on SEO and company top-line:
SEO provides multiple points of value, not the least of which is the ROI from increasing sales through search engine yields.
-Marketing Coordinator, Electronic Distribution
SEO’s positive impact on revenue is likely to meet the approval of company shareholders.
Results in the same study also focused on stakeholder engagement: were they impressed by what thorough SEO can do? The graph below shows results:
Fig 2. Thorough SEO impresses stakeholders.
The results suggest a linear relationship between SEO thoroughness and positively impressing stakeholders: the more thorough the SEO, the more impressed stakeholders became with a Web site redesign project.
Here is an observation on the popularity of SEO among executive stakeholders:
I have found SEO to be a major benefit to garnering executive support.”
-Marketing Manager, Professional Services
Info-Tech’s research suggests that SEO is a strategy that engages stakeholders and benefits the bottom-line. Not only that, but the same Info-Tech study found many other benefits which l have covered in posts on SEO and increased traffic, improved brand image, and increased site stickiness.
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!