I love my job. I find the entire online industry fascinating. I am sure a lot of my clients love their jobs as well. However, no matter how much we love coming into work every morning we still need to do one thing: make money! I know that sounds like I am one of the sharks on Shark Tank, but we can’t escape the fact that the main objective to online marketing is to generate more cash flow. Any SEO/online marketing firm should know that. If yours doesn’t, may I respectfully suggest you find one that does.

Here at Gravitate Online, we could have a website ranked in the top 3 results for 150 keyword phrases but if that doesn’t translate into money then our work is effectively worthless. We could be getting 100,000 unique visitors to a site a day, but if that doesn’t increase sales what value does it add? My point is that online marketing is meant to generate an ROI (return on investment); if it isn’t then you are wasting your money.

There are many SEO firms that will say that their only job is to get rankings or to get more traffic to a particular site. They will defend themselves and say that if they have accomplished that goal then they are off the hook and it is up to the client to make sure that traffic turns into sales. That mentality should be rejected. Our goal as an online marketing consultant is to make sure our client is making more money through online means, not just getting more traffic or being ranked for a particular phrase. We call this conversion-based SEO.

Gravitate Online has been in business for just under 5 years. We have less than a 10% annual churn rate. The reason our retention is so high is because we focus on the entire sales process. We want potential customers to come to the site and become a conversion. That could mean something very different for a number of different companies. For an e-commerce website a conversion is an order that has been placed. To a service based company it could mean a phone call or an email. To an affiliate marketer it could be a form that is filled out and submitted. Whatever the conversion is, the focus of the website should be on that.

We have found that a visitor will stay and look at any one page no longer that 7 seconds on average. That means you have a very short amount of time to get their attention. Because of this, there should be a main call to action on every page and it should be obvious. It is also important to point out that the main call to action should lead the visitor to a conversion. If your site is not designed with this in mind, you are losing money.

Keep this in mind: if your online marketing company focused on getting more traffic to your site as well as increasing conversion, their work could add as much as 4 times the value than a single-minded SEO firm. For example, if a website has a 1% conversion rate and their traffic doubles, then their online sales just doubled. Yet, imagine if that same SEO firm focused not only on traffic but also on conversion. Let say the website’s traffic doubled and their conversion rate went from 1% to 2%. Sales would have increased 4 times!

Don’t choose an SEO firm or an online marketing company that doesn’t have the end in mind.