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SEO ROI – The Return On Investment For A Small Business SEO Effort

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

In order to understand the value of SEO, we first need to have an understanding of what SEO is. Without going into the technical details of the SEO process, I offer the following definition:

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the process of getting a website to show up in the top results of a search engine such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo for a meaningful search phrase that will increase traffic to the website. If a website ranks well for a meaningful search phrase, it is considered to be optimized for that search term.

I stress “meaningful search phrase”, because if you optimize for a phrase that nobody will be using in their searches, there is nobody to find you and the SEO process will not deliver any real results. In other words, nothing in equals nothing out. A meaningful phrase is one that has a high potential for being used by the population of searchers when searching the web for a product or service.

Armed with a search phrase, known as a keyword in the business of SEO, which is meaningful, we can now explore the potential of a site optimized for this keyword.

SEO Works For Your Small Business

Your company website is an advertisement for your business. As such, it needs to be seen just like any other form of advertisement in order to be effective. Not only do we want quantity of viewership but also we want quality viewers, ones who are likely to respond to the advertisement once it has been seen.

Unlike many forms of advertising both on and off the web, a website that is optimized will be viewed often and by a highly targeted audience. Because a search user is actively looking for your product or service, they are already in the mindset to buy as long as they can find what they are looking for. The odds of making the sale to this type of ad viewer is already far increased over a viewer of more passive advertising media such as print ads, radio, and television. In passive advertising, the viewer is not looking for the product in the moment and success is only achieved in a small percentage of cases.

The user of a search tool is primed and ready to buy, but this potential buyer has to find your website in order to learn about your business offerings and then ultimately contact you to make a purchase.

Being found through internet searches will directly contribute to your bottom line. E-commerce sites and other online business hybrids with online as well as brick and mortar units understand this very well and invest heavily in SEO and other online marketing. It is vital for their business that they do so. To understand why, let’s look at some of the numbers.

From published academic studies measuring a search user’s behavior and even how their eye moves across the search results page and other industry data, we know that websites that show up on the first page of a search engine will get slightly less than 90% of the clicks. The listings on page 2 account for nearly 10% of the remaining total clicks, leaving less than 1% for pages 3 and beyond. In other words, most of the action is on page 1. Over 60% of the action is in the top 3 listings. 42% goes to the #1 spot alone.

While companies that earn all or a significant portion of their revenue from the web understand the benefits of SEO, most small businesses fail to utilize this tool to promote their business. You don’t have to be a big national company or be an e-commerce company to benefit from an SEO effort. For a modest cost, small businesses can conduct their own SEO campaigns which will reap a positive Return On their Investment. To understand how small business can benefit, let’s go through a real world example:

Doing The Math

Example: A small business selling pipe fittings optimized for the keyword “Steel Pipe Fittings”.

Google tells us that on average there are 22,200 searches per month for the keyword “Steel Pipe Fittings”. Using the 42% figure for the #1 spot, the top site would expect around 9,324 visits to their web site each month.

(22,220 x 0.42) = 9,324. for this search term

Out of these 9,324 visitors, some number of these visitors will make a purchase. The rate at which a visit to a web site converts to a purchase is called the conversion rate. Conversion rates vary by industry, but on the low end of most industry conversion rates a 1.5% rate is safe assumption.

9,324 visitors converting at 1.5% will yield 140 new purchases from customers who just found your company and your product mostly likely for the first time. Why first time customers? If the customer was already aware of your business and has done business with you, they most likely would not be searching for you again on the web using “Steel Pipe Fittings” term. They will already know you.

A small business SEO campaign in the year 2011 will cost about $300/month to conduct. Some firms may charge less and some firms will charge more. But for $300/month, your company can receive competent SEO services that will positively affect your rankings in search engines and your bottom line.

Profit levels vary quite a bit from product to product and company to company so I can’t come up with a one size fits all ROI number in this article. However we can calculate at what profit does the SEO result above break even. For this example, $300 per month / 140 new customers = $2.14 per customer break even. In other words, if your average profit per new customer is $2.14 or above, you have a positive ROI on this SEO effort. Most businesses are likely to have a higher profit than this example, thus the ROI will be extremely higher.

Most likely the ROI on this example will be higher than calculated. Consider that once this customer has found you, purchased from you and is satisfied with this result, they may come back to you. Your SEO effort will result in future sales from this new customer. Add in the possibility that this customer may also give you word of mouth referrals as well and the ROI pushes higher.

The ROI will be even higher if you rank high on multiple keywords. Most small business SEO programs at the $300 level offer optimization for multiple keywords. Let’s further assume in this example the website also reached #1 rank for “Brass Pipe Fittings” and “Iron Pipe Fittings”:

“Brass Pipe Fittings” with 4,400 monthly searches would yield 28 more customers each month. Similarly “Iron Pipe Fittings” with 9,900 searches will add, using the same formula as above, 62 more customers. In total we get 230 new customers with these three keywords. Break even is now at $1.30. Add more keywords in top ranks and the ROI goes even higher.

To be fair, you will have to invest in the optimization of your website for several months before you attain high rankings for your keywords. Thus in the short run you may have zero ROI at the start, but as the campaign runs over time, the results will improve and will move the ROI up. In short you have to “invest” for the future results.

In the above analysis I used conservative numbers. For example I could have used the key word “Pipe Fittings” with 246,000 searches per month which yields over 1,500 new customers per the formula above. It may be possible to rank at #1 for “Pipe Fittings”, but this would be a more difficult task taking a longer time period to achieve. The 42% rate of clicks for the #1 position may be low. Some other studies say it is as high as 59% which would yield even higher ROI. The point is that even if you use conservative assumptions, it is easy to demonstrate a positive ROI on your SEO efforts.

The Bottom Line

SEO works for small businesses by bringing more visitors to your web site. Your results will vary based on the nature of your business and your industry, but in almost all cases there is a positive return on investment when the right keywords are chosen and your website contains content that is attractive to your potential buyers. To get a more detailed analysis of your situation, you can contact a SEO professional.

When Should I Re-pipe?

Re-piping is a hard decision that a lot of people think they can avoid. That probably isn’t the smartest decision to make when dealing with your home or business’s pipes. Below is some advice that will be able to help you know if it’s right for you to seek a plumber’s advice about possibilities of re-piping.

Pipes are usually supposed to last 25-50 years, depending on how you’ve maintained them. The first thing you should do is learn a little about general piping maintenance. This doesn’t mean that you need to know how to fix things, just how to take care of them.

Start by purchasing some general pipe cleaners. This could come in the form of liquid cleaners or some other specialized cleaning tools. Don’t think you need to clean them once a month. General inspections every few months will do.

Taking care of your pipes is the first step to making them last longer. What happens if you are already past that point? Here are some signs to look for that might indicate that you need an expert’s opinion; low pressure, if your water coming out a different color, if it has a bitter taste, if you have plumbing leaks.

The above were just a few signs that you just might need to re-pipe. But you still might be asking the question ‘why do I need to re-pipe? Can’t I just clean it or have someone else come in and do it for me?’ Well, sometimes we might choose to do that to save a little money but in the long run you might be doing just the opposite.

It’s important to re-pipe because not only will it make your water taste better and smell better, but you will also have the water pressure you desire. In the long run you can be spending more money just to have a plumber come more often just too finally tell you that you now have no other choice but to re-pipe. Re-piping can also add value to your home when you decide to sell.

If you choose not to re-pipe you may experience a burst in your pipes and then a flooding of your home. You would end up paying more money to re-furnish then if you would have just made the difficult decision to re-pipe your home.

If you are having concerns about your home or business piping, call a plumber you know and trust or have the qualifications that you are seeking. They will be able to help you see if you really need to re-pipe or if there are other options at the present that might be more beneficial to you.

PVC Pipes – Types of PVC Pipes and Their Usage

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), is a thermoplastic polymer or a vinyl polymer constructed of repeating vinyl groups. PVC is widely used in construction industry because it is cheap, durable, and easy to assemble. PVC was discovered at least twice in the 19th century, at first by Henri Victor Regnault in the year 1835 and by Eugen Baumann in the year 1872. Later on in the early 20th century, the Russian chemist Ivan Ostromislensky and Fritz Klatte of the German chemical company Griesheim-Elektron both were attempted to use PVC (polyvinyl chloride) in commercial products.

PVC is widely used in many areas and that are:

Clothing: PVC is widely used in clothing and PVC clothing is common in Goth, Punk and alternative fashions. Though it is cheaper than rubber, leather, and latex, PVC is more widely available. As it is waterproof, therefore the PVC is commonly used in coats, skiing equipment, shoes, jackets, aprons, and bags.

Pipes: The PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is used for producing pipes for various municipal and industrial applications. Its light weight, high strength, and low reactivity features make it well-suited to this purpose.

Signs: Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is formed in flat sheets in a variety of thicknesses and colors. PVC is often expanded to create voids in the interior of the material, providing additional thickness and minimal extra cost.

Made from a plastic and vinyl combination material, the PVC Pipes are durable, hard to damage, long lasting and do not rust, rot, or wear over time. For these vibrant features, such pipes are most commonly used in water systems, underground wiring, sewer lines and many more areas. These type of pipes are used for irrigation systems proved to be effective, and that has since been considered an affordable and reliable means for water piping. The smooth surface of the PVC Pipe is also resistant to bacterial contamination and hence, many water companies rely on these pipes for their systems to keep them free of contamination.

A number of PVC Pipes are widely used for a wide variety of applications. These are also a suitable material for greenhouses, small home playgrounds, furniture, pool toy frames, foam weapons, custom truck toppers, or even giant building sets for kids. These pipes are popular material for window and door frames because of their impact modifiers and stabilizers. PVC Pipes are categorized into many types that include:

o PVC Water Pipe- Bigger PVC pipes are used in carrying fresh water from water treatment plants to homes and businesses. Smaller PVC pipes are used in distributing the water to sinks, showers, and other fixtures.

o PVC Plumbing Pipe- These type of pipes are used for a specific purpose in plumbing. It is a type of plastic plumbing pipe primarily used to transport high pressured water.

o PVC Sewer Pipes- Sewer carrier pipes are housed inside containment pipes that do not create leak before the outer containment wall is breached.