If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you run an online auction business. There’s also a good chance you aren’t getting nearly as many bidders to your auctions as you should be. A great way to increase your visibility on the internet and draw in more bidders than you thought possible is through SEO. If you’ve spent any time on the internet over the past decade, chances are, you’ve heard this term thrown around.
So, What Exactly Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. To put it simply, SEO is the process of optimizing your website to be discovered organically on major search engines. There is a more densely informative Knowledgebase article about AuctionMethod's approach to SEO, but for now, we are going to cover the importance of SEO and how it can improve your business.
As you’re reading this you may be thinking to yourself, “Is SEO really THAT important to my business? We do most of our transactions face to face”, or, "Could SEO really benefit my company?" The answer is, Yes! It is that important. Most businesses (or any person, entity, or project for that matter) existing on the web greatly under utilize the power of SEO. According to Search Engine Journal "SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7 percent close rate. Additionally, a recent study showed that 90.88% of all web pages are invisible to Google, and generate no organic (unpaid) traffic from major search engines. That means you’re losing out on business every time someone searches for your service, and finds someone else instead. No matter the industry, when you ignore SEO, you are missing out on massive opportunity for growth.
Here Are Just a Few Reasons Why SEO Is So Important to Your Website
SEO Generates Quality Traffic, Builds Trust and Increases Sales and Leads
Quality traffic is created by people visiting your site who are already looking for your services. In the case of online auctions, quality traffic would include qualified bidders. Your primary goal is to attract as many qualified bidders as possible, right? Right. SEO increases your online visibility, meaning potential bidders will be able to find you more easily.
SEO Is Sustainable
While many companies waste thousands to get a sponsored first result, the effort is futile without a solid SEO plan to keep your listing at the top after your ad campaign is done. While it takes time for results to rise to the top, it also takes time for them to fall. Lots of time. While this can equate to increased long term visibility, there is one caveat. In order to generate solid and consistent traffic, you have to rank high on Google, and ranking high doesn't just happen overnight. It can take at least 3-6 months to even rank at all. On the contrary, Pay-Per-Click and sponsored ads will often create a quick spike in traffic, followed by a plateau when the campaign ends, while SEO slowly builds consistent traffic over time. The means that your auctions will be more visible to bidders for much longer than just the duration of your campaign.
SEO Offers Better Performance Than Pay-Per-Click Ads
Optimizing your SEO is a much more effective alternative to paying to be Google’s top hit. Think about last time you searched for something, did you click the first paid result? No, you probably scrolled down a few results before you found what you were looking for. The average cost-per-click across all industries is $2.32. That means you are potentially losing money for each click not turned into a lead. Pay-per-click ads don't generate quality traffic to your site as easily as they claim. Not only are they costly, they also require strategic placement, which means spending time and money to make sure the ads are seen by the right audience. By organically driving your rankings to the top, you aren't having to create an additional budget for pay-per-click campaigns.
SEO Can Help Increase Your Social Media Followers, Newsletter Subscribers and Bidders
This one is self explanatory, but nonetheless, important. The more visibility you have online, the more likely people are to follow your social media pages, subscribe to your newsletter and bid in your auctions. Internet users tend to behave a bit like sheep, they are much more likely to follow pages and participate in auctions that they see already having a significant following. An increase in followers and bidders makes your business appear much more legitimate on the web, and builds trust to new visitors by having a proven history with customers.
You’re Losing to Your Competitors by Not Using SEO
Most of your competitors are already using SEO to drive web traffic. Skipping out on this ensures you are losing to them! With over 250 million active webpages (with close to a billion inactive ones!) you have to make yourself stand out. Most of what the internet has to offer will be buried in listings, or not even shown in listings at all (aka the Deep Web). Don't let your auctions fall victim to this fate.
The good news is that AuctionMethod provides outstanding SEO services. Our initial SEO setup has potential to raise you to the top of the results. While SEO is a slow, ongoing process, it is also one with a great return on investment. When SEO is done thoughtfully, it will work for your business, even when you aren't. When setting up SEO, think about how you want to present yourself to people. The more direction you are able to give those setting up your SEO, the better the results will be, and the more bidders you will draw to your auctions.