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The True Benefits of SEO (Fluff Not Included)

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot of pretty amazing things about search engine optimization or SEO.

Hell, we’re pretty enthusiastic about it here at RankPay. That’s probably no surprise. But to be fair, sometimes people can get a bit carried away.

You might hear that you simply can’t have a successful business in 2018 without a great website and a smart SEO strategy. Or how if you “follow these 5 steps” you’ll triple your web traffic in a month.

My personal favorites are the ridiculous “we promise we’ll rank you #1” guarantees.


You may have also noticed that along with such claims, comes a hefty price tag. If you’re like me, you’re not a big fan of being over-promised unbelievable results. I prefer to be pleasantly surprised rather than dramatically disappointed.

So what can you actually expect? Quite a lot. But let’s dig a little deeper.


Today we’ll cover the true benefits of SEO.

No bullshit. No “pie in the sky” promises. Just the truths that we’ve learned over the past 10 years of providing performance-based SEO.

1. SEO Can Bring Targeted Traffic

Regardless of your niche, traffic is the lifeblood of any business with an online presence. Click To Tweet

If there’s one thing SEO firms get right with their promises, it’s this. SEO is critical to improving the volume of targeted traffic to your site.

Keep in mind that billions of people use search engines every single day. It makes sense then that if can get your site ranking higher for smart keywords, you’re pretty much guaranteed to earn more clicks.

Of course, without keyword research, these efforts could be in vain as far as your bottom line is concerned. Just getting clicks doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be earning more qualified leads or prospective customers.

You’ll want to make sure you do research beforehand. This would include keyword research, competitor analysis, and a thorough on-page SEO assessment of your website.

2. Search Users Often Have Buyer Intent

Now, I’m not going to knock social or display ads. We leverage them to great effect for both clients and our own business.

But the likelihood of a user being involved in a purchase journey when you put a social ad in front of them is pretty slim.

However, if someone is looking for the price or details of a service you provide (or product you sell) on Google, you can bet this is the right time to get your brand in front of them. This is the moment to expose them to your brand!

Of course, as you might notice, this also requires that you chose smart keywords.

You build backlinks, optimize pages, and earn higher rankings until the cows come home. But if you’re targeting the wrong keywords, your SEO results won’t translate into sales.

So do your research carefully, and ask for help if and when you need it. If you’re doing SEO in-house, make sure you have somebody on hand that knows what they’re doing. If you’re outsourcing, ask your SEO company to take care of it for you!

3. Organic Traffic is the Gift that Keeps Giving

You may have intuited this already, but it’s worth calling out here because it’s that damn important.

PPC ad campaigns are going to cost you money each and everytime some clicks an ad. Shocker, right?

But with organic traffic, you only need to invest time, energy, and/or money in order to earn higher rankings. Afterwards, the traffic is literally free.

No cost per click required.

So you can see that after some time has elapsed and you’ve seen some improved search visibility, your CPA can drop off a cliff.

In fact, the data shows that the top three results in the SERPs earn over 50% of the clicks!

Source: Advanced Web Ranking

So aim for those top rankings and watch your CPA get lower and lower.

4. Brand and Industry Authority

In most niches, the top organic positions are significantly more prestigious than paid listings, despite the fact that the latter appear first. Click To Tweet

Once many users spot the “Ad” icon under a listing, they’ll get that all-too-common urge to scroll further down.

In general, users are more likely to trust businesses that earned top rankings instead of those that paid their way in. Such is the effect of the phenomenon known as “banner blindness”.

On the other hand, the top organic positions not only expose you to leads, but also cements your brand’s authority on a given topic.

This not only builds a reputation for your business, but can also help you attract influencers who can further expand your online reach.

5. The Snowball Effect on Your Content Efforts

The cool thing about SEO, is that success often begets more success.

As you earn higher rankings and authority in your industry, your domain itself comes to be seen as increasingly relevant to search crawlers and algorithms.

So if you get a couple of your pages ranking higher for a variety of targeted keywords and users are engaging with your content, it’s likely that your other content will get a healthy boost as well.

For instance, you may find a post about the top marketing strategies may contain a handful of internal links to more specific content. There could be one for email marketing, another for social media, and so forth.

This will all be somewhat dependent upon leveraging smart internal linking, optimizing for users and crawlers, and keeping your site regularly updated (this is a ranking factor!).

When it comes to internal linking, just use common sense!

Let’s say you have a piece of content that lays out the top marketing strategies for 2018. If you’ve covered any of those strategies in greater depth before, that would be a perfect opportunity to link to one of your own more in-depth resources.

Be sure to weave them in naturally and in relevant locations. Don’t stuff them into content for no reason!

As for the page optimizations, consider using the following:

  • Subheadings
    As a rule of thumb, try to keep the sections of your pages and articles succinct. It’s best if you can include a new subheading every 300 words. The benefit here is that you can keep readers engaged and direct their attention effectively. “Skimmable” content is good content.
  • Visual elements
    It’s not rocket science — images are more eye-catching than plain text. Just try to use enough images to keep the reader’s eyes on the page.
  • Bullet points
    Just like images and subheadings, bullet points make it easier to absorb pieces of information from written content. Use them if you want to cite data, provide quick tips, or summarize key takeaways.


The internet is overflowing with information, and it can be a little tough to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

As far as SEO goes, it can be particularly difficult since there’s a lot of technical jargon to contend with. So do your homework, read guides, and equip yourself with the best knowledge available.

At least now that you know the true benefits of SEO, you know that it’s most likely worth the time and energy.

Of course, it often makes sense to outsource SEO, and we can help you with that too!


Marketing jack-of-all-trades, ascendant wordsmith, and self-proclaimed World’s Best Dog Dad. I write about SEO, social media and content marketing.
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