Some of eMagine’s best blog posts come out of questions that clients ask of us. Recently a client wanted to know: what is the VALUE of SEO for your website, for your organization? What is the reward and improvement that can come from a complete SEO optimization? I answered these questions, but using an analogy to help me explain.

Let’s consider your website a destination, like Stonehenge, for example. Your team understands the purpose of Stonehenge, and the value it brings to everyone who comes to it. eMagine understands how to construct Stonehenge in order to satisfy everyone who comes to it. So you are the owners of Stonehenge, and eMagine’s design and development team are the architects of it’s construction.

Make sense so far? Now let’s talk about SEO, and how it fits into this analogy.

Our SEO team understands that it isn’t enough to simply build Stonehenge, but to make sure that people know how to get there. So, what we have done so far with your SEO set up is to build the roads to allow clear access to Stonehenge. We’ve removed the trees, paved the dirt, and allowed a clear route to your destination. That’s the technical aspect of SEO.

What we haven’t done is made any signs telling people that these roads lead to Stonehenge. THAT’S the keyword part of the puzzle that is currently missing from this equation. We’ve made your site visible by ensuring everything is technically sound and visible, but you are still the best kept secret, because we haven’t created and implemented a keyword strategy for people to find you on those roads.

So the keyword analysis is our way of anticipating what people might be typing into the search engines to try to find you. Could they simply type “Stonehenge” and find you without a keyword strategy? I mean, after all, I am sure you are doing other marketing to get the word out abut your brand and what you do, right? You have a target group of people you have identified, and probably through email, direct mail, advertising, calling, maybe even social media, will target certain people to shout about who you are and what you do, and why people should come to your website.

But what about the people who you aren’t reaching? What about the people who have never heard of your brand, and don’t know you even exist? Those are the people who are typing something into the search engines and finding your competitors.

Back to my analogy: have you ever heard of “Avebury”? (No cheating by looking it up on Google!) Avebury is actually the largest prehistoric circular stone monuments in Europe. And most people have never heard of it. But it’s sheer size makes it even more impressive than Stonehenge. But you probably would never find it, especially if all you knew was Stonehenge.

Unless you knew you wanted to find “prehistoric circular stone monuments”.

Now I’m going to tell you the truth: I had never heard of Avebury until I searched on that non-branded key phrase in Google. And THAT’S why the keyword aspect of your SEO is so important. We need to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure the people who are looking for your solution are finding you, not your competitors.

Add the wrinkle of a new brand, and new URL, a brand new website, and without keyword strategy, you are likely to be the best kept secret of the internet!

Your non-branded keywords analyzed for relevance and usability, and implemented strategically onto your website, will allow people to find you who don’t know your brand, based on the search queries they put into the search engines. What that means in terms of volume of traffic, leads, etc, remains to be seen.

And here’s the wrinkle: Your complete SEO set up is only the foundation. Over time, once initial optimization is complete, you will need to monitor the effectiveness of your keyword choices, your visitor activity and patterns, and the technical components of your site to measure your effort’s effectiveness. Because SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.

eMagine can help you not only with your foundational SEO strategy, but also with an ongoing engagement to measure and adjust according to this data that comes only with time and activity by visitors, and queries on the search engines.