Hello, friends! Today, we uncover the strategic significance of timing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) appropriately. We will take a look at the different phases of business development and see how and why each stage can benefit from SEO. We will also take an expert look at the pivotal role SEO plays in accelerating business growth, where in the growth cycle an SEO strategy is most impactful, and how to measure its return on investment (ROI) effectively. Let’s get started.

Understanding the Growth Cycle

Every company grows in a unique way as they find a path through three distinct, yet common stages of development. These stages present both opportunities and challenges, so an SEO program will have different impacts in each phase.

1. The Startup: In a company’s incubation and infancy, resources are often limited, and creating brand awareness and credibility are the major goals for initial business development. Additionally, you want to lay the groundwork for future operations. After all, there is no sense in starting something if you do not believe it will be successful. At this stage, an SEO strategy lays a solid foundation for future growth by increasing visibility, attracting initial customers, and establishing credibility in the market.

It is also critical to realize that an SEO strategy takes months to fully mature. Starting early can help guide content creation, website development, and complimentary marketing strategies, saving time and money in rewrites and ineffective digital content.

2. Growth: As a company gains a foothold and establishes a customer base, the attention shifts to scaling operations and driving revenue. SEO strategies help seek out this customer base, driving them from cold to warm. This in turn captures market share, creates qualified leads, and generates inbound traffic, further establishing credibility and industry acceptance, earning a coveted seat at the table.

3. Expansion: With a solid customer base and established industry presence, it’s time to expand. It can feel like starting from scratch all over again, as breaking into new ecosystems is a daunting endeavor. Yet fortune favors the bold. Here, an SEO strategy supports expansion initiatives by targeting new traffic streams, adjusting keyword ranking efforts and enhancing brand recognition to a new network of would be customers. It is important to manage driving the right customers to the right customer experience, understanding appealing to their unique search behaviors.

So, how do you know if the SEO strategy is effective at each phase of business development? Easy. You measure the ROI of an SEO strategy by considering these essential metrics:

Organic Traffic: Track the increase in organic traffic (traffic that is not paid for by advertising or generated through affiliates). At earlier stages, you should see more significant changes. At any stage, SEO strategy should result in a steady uptick in organic traffic or maintain existing levels if already trending in top Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings (see below). The volume of visits is a direct key performance indicator that things are working as they should and your investment is paying for itself and generating additional revenue.

2. Keyword Rankings: Look for an increase in rankings for targeted keywords on SERPs. This shows visibility to the intended customers, driving higher click-through rates and conversions. It’s a great measurement of performance and calibration of an SEO campaign.

3. Lead Generation and Conversion Rates: You will want to track how many of your leads come from organic search as the SEO campaign matures. Then track the conversion rates of those leads as they make their way through your sales funnel. If you are not generating enough additional quality leads from increased digital exposure, SEO may not be an appropriate investment for your particular company.

4. Revenue: The revenue increase from those conversions pay for the SEO campaign, with additional generation of profit. SEO should not be considered overhead, instead it is a money making mechanism. Other factors such as increased sales, higher average order values, industry credibility, and improved customer lifetime value (CLV) superchargers your ROI.

An effective SEO strategy is not an act of convenience—it’s a necessity for many small to medium size companies who depend on a digital presence for customer engagement. SEO initiatives are tailored to the company’s growth cycle, and there are quantifiable metrics that clearly show the bottom line benefits. Without considering your SEO needs, you are leaving money on the table.

I hope you are able to implement some of the information above to your benefit. If you ever need assistance, or we can help in any way, reach out to us for expert guidance and tailored strategies. When you are ready, let’s embark on this journey together and accelerate your business.