The 5 Stages of SEO Effectiveness

Business owners tend to think about search engine optimization (SEO) in terms of it either “working” or “not working.” That is, they believe you either dominate on Google or can’t be found anywhere in the first twenty pages of the search listings.

It’s understandable that someone looking at SEO from the outside might take this view, especially if you aren’t used to getting traffic from search engines. However, the reality is most marketers move through a progression of SEO effectiveness until they either stop trying or run into a competitor who was working harder than they are.

To give you a sense of what that progression looks like, let’s look at the five typical stages of a profitable SEO campaign…

1. People Looking for Your Website Can Find it

Most business websites are well-constructed and minimally-optimized enough that a customer looking for the company (by searching its name Google) will be able to find it. If a direct search for your company doesn’t return a result that point to your website, your either brand-new or it’s likely a sign that you have some pretty major structural problems with the way your pages have been coded.

2. You Rank for Local and Industry-Specific Searches

This is the next step on your SEO journey, and it’s closely related to the first. In this scenario, someone who is looking for a business just like yours, and in your area, finds your website on the first page of results. For example, a potential client searching “Bakersfield web design” will almost always find their way to us. That takes a little bit of search optimization, but it’s easily attainable if your business isn’t in an incredibly competitive niche.

3. Your Content Regularly Attracts Search Visits

Next, are the companies that generate real search traffic. This is usually a result of having several different optimized phrases like the example we gave above. Those generate lots of visits but also build upon one another so the website attracts searches for more distinct or specific search terms as well. To reach this level almost always requires regular content updates and on-page optimization.

4. You Rank Highly for Several Targeted Phrases

This step is similar to the last one except there are even more targeted search terms and more search-friendly additions to the website. As a result, the marketer has visibility across several (and possibly dozens) of different keywords and search terms. At this point, the SEO plan starts to take on a life of its own and generate momentum that is above and beyond what was originally anticipated.

5. Your SEO Campaigns are Generating Leads and Sales

At a certain level, the search engine optimization effort become so strong that it helps to establish the business as a thought leader in the industry. It isn’t just that the website and content are easy to find, it’s that they are almost impossible to miss if someone is searching within the broad category that the company operates within.

This is when the flow of new leads and revenue becomes unstoppable and competitors are dissuaded from even attempting to rank on Google for fear of going head-to-head. This is where you want to be, and what makes SEO worth the time and effort.

Are You Doing Enough With SEO?

Tired of watching your competitors get all the search traffic – and the leads or sales that come with it? If so, it’s time you sat down for a website audit in consultation with our creative team. In under, an hour will show you how simple it is to improve your visibility on Google while giving your bottom-line a big boost.


At The Marcom Group, we know what it takes to put together a cost-effective web presence. Contact us today so we can schedule a complimentary SEO review and show you how to turn your SEO campaign into real-world leads and sales.