While many concern themselves with Search Engine Optimization ("SEO") only when visitor sessions and traffic begins to decrease - there is an abundance of hidden benefits to any well optimized web site.

Let us (for the sake of example) imagine that we are running a web site that has some significant real estate available for various banner and link partners, in which we could sell off that advertising space.

Starting with an un-optimized web site, it is likely that we would run into the following issues when trying to push this advertising opportunity to others:

  • Lack of general traffic
  • Lack of targeted niche
  • No clearly defined user demographics
  • Unjustified rates

Why would an advertiser want to pay for that real estate, if no one is going to see it? Any intelligent marketing professional would not market his (or her) business on a billboard hidden away off of a dirt road - would they? Of course not. And, while that example may seem a bit extreme, there is a lot of truth to the comparison.

Without visitors, you are left without knowing how the general public uses your site. You cannot make money from advertising, because your user base is too small - and no one wants to spend so much for little or nothing in return.

Beyond the troubles selling advertising space, you will likely find that your email lists are slow in growth. And perhaps the ever-so-important business alliances and partnerships just are not finding you when they should.

So now, perhaps it is time to optimize your web site.

Sure, with an optimized web site you will obtain more targeted visitors. You will see more traffic coming in, and from highly regarded sources like Google, MSN, and beyond. But what happens when the excitement of this traffic dies off? Well, it's time to put the hard and simple numbers to work.

The effectiveness of banner advertising is at an all time low. But, with the newly supplied targeted visitors coming into your site early and often - you can begin to approach some of the larger names in your site's industry and push your advertising space quite easily.

With more visitors, your chances of growing your email databases, and user subscriptions also increase. Beyond those primary points of growth, the chances of a potential business partner coming across your web site increases exponentially. The point that so many fail to observe, is that search engine optimization services extend beyond the search engines themselves. It truly is becoming a necessary tool that site owners and content managers need to be mindful of constantly.

Too often, the individuals within these positions overlook these seemingly small opportunities - and lose out month after month to smaller, more logically thinking businesses.
September 17, 2002

Eric Lander is currently working as an executive manager at The First Listings Marketing Group, an SEO firm located in Taunton Massachusetts. With over 8 years of professional optimization experience, Eric continues to focus his work on client based optimization and educating them on search related marketing. For more information on Eric, please see his professional blog at www.ericlander.com.

Search Engine Guide > Eric Lander > Search Engine Optimization: Increasing the Holistic Value of Your Web Site