When I signed up with a SEO firm to work on my site, I hoped for Internet glory! I envisioned being able to kick back while the leads would just roll in. That didn’t really happen – but what did happen was even better.
Three months into the SEO work, I wasn’t seeing a lot happening. My rankings improved but the traffic was growing very slowly. I wasn’t about to give up, but the vision of basking in buckets of leads was fading; still, I pressed on. It turns out that as a small business consultant there isn’t a ton of search volume in my keywords, and there is a surprising amount of competition. So it took a while to see the results. Slowly, leads started to trickle in. One to two per month became three to four per month. Still a lot of the leads were of low quality – they were people who didn’t have money to spend or crackpots with wacky business ideas.
Then came the biggie.
In the sixth month, a lead came in through a Google search from someone I never would have met in a million years. She had an immediate need for a large project and was searching the Internet looking for a solution. I became that solution for her and that project brought in $90K over 4 months. That’s a huge deal for us (and pays for a lot of SEO fees)! Finally, a win.
A few more months went on without any more sizable leads coming in – but I noticed something else happening. Though leads were slow, lots of other good things were coming my way. A reporter called to interview me for a feature in Crain’s. Not too long after that, I got an email from someone looking to intern with us. She is still with us 2 years later and is a terrific employee. Other business owners started calling, not because they wanted to hire us, but they were interested in creating strategic partnerships, another thing that helps my business. We’ve had opportunities of all kinds.
Now, it’s not all roses and unicorns. Because of SEO, we do get a lot more junk job applicants, folks calling to sell us things and hair-brained schemes. But I’ll take the good with the bad. SEO makes my site and company more visible. When you are more visible, more things come your way – leads, sales calls, job applicants, PR opportunities, all kinds of things.
So while wanting more sales leads got me into the SEO game, there are many reasons that I hadn’t anticipated that keep me in it. I’ve more than recouped my investment in SEO and anxiously await the next opportunity it can bring me.
Brad Farris is the author of 3 books, the Executive Editor at EnMast.com, and Principal Advisor at Anchor Advisors, a firm that helps small business owners to grow their business. He’s also a frequent speaker at business events.