WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT?
If you own a business or manage a website of any kind, you likely want traffic to it. SEO is important because it’s specifically aimed at helping do just this; improve the online presence, traffic & ultimately goals for a website.
IS SEO NEEDED FOR EVERY TYPE OF BUSINESS?
In most cases, yes!
If your business offers products or services where users type in search queries to find information, then SEO should be a high priority.
There are a few situations where SEO may not be necessary:
If your website isn’t meant to be found. For example, if you have a website dedicated towards internal training for your business only.
If you are looking for immediate leads/sales. SEO is a process that does not deliver overnight success. It requires strategic planning, execution and ongoing management to drive SEO success.
WHAT CAN SEO DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS (KEY BENEFITS)? INCREASED TRAFFIC
The higher a website ranks for keywords, the more traffic you will receive. In fact, the #1 position in Google on average has a 27.5% Click Through Rate according to the Advanced Web Ranking CTR study. This means that if you rank #1 for a search term, every 100 times that term is searched you will statistically receive 27-28 visitors. With each position thereafter, the number drops pretty significantly.
The more keywords your website ranks for and the higher they rank, the more often your brand is visible to potential customers. According to statistics, it takes 5-7 brand impressions before someone will remember your brand. SEO is a direct driver of improved visibility and impressions in the search engine results.
Websites that appear higher in the search results are viewed as more trustworthy and credible. In fact 98% of all searchers choose a business that is listed on Page 1 of the results. That’s because people feel like the sites at the top are the best. Nowadays, everyone “Googles” what they want and if your website is at the top during that search you have positioned yourself as the credible/trustworthy choice.
Unless you are the FedEx of your industry, it’s less likely that your customers are typing in your brand when searching for your products/services. However, if your customers start searching and find that your brand is consistently at or near the top for their searches, then it goes a long way in building that brand equity.
HIGHER QUALITY TRAFFIC
Potential customers are searching for your products/services online. Incorporating SEO enables each page on your website to be an entry point for those customers. The beauty of a well developed SEO strategy is that you are able to hit potential customers at every stage of the buying funnel ensuring you are their choice when ready to make that decision.
IT’S AN INVESTMENT INTO YOUR FUTURE
When you research and learn about SEO you will undoubtedly hear that “SEO is a process” and “results don’t happen overnight” which is true. When you invest in SEO you are doing so knowing that the payoff of the efforts usually won’t happen for 6-9 months. However, once the efforts start being realized you benefit from free traffic for the foreseeable future.
GENERATES A HIGHER ROI THAN OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS
According to statistics from Search Engine Journal, SEO generated leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND WHO THEY ARE
SEO is powerful because there are many metrics that can tell you more about your website visitors. Not only can you get demographic, interests, locale, and device information from analytics but you can gain a great deal of information about where a user is at in their decision making process by researching what keywords are leading to traffic via Google Search Console.
COST EFFECTIVE MARKETING
SEO is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing because you are engaging someone once they have actually made the action of going to Google and typing in something related to a product or service you are offering. When you receive traffic from your efforts on these types of search terms the users are already interested in what you have to offer, your job is just to convince them you are the right partner. Once you start ranking well for terms, you receive the benefit of consistent traffic that the particular search term provides each and every month so your flow of potential customers continues. Very few marketing channels can say the same thing.
YOUR COMPETITORS ARE DOING IT
If your industry has products/services that are searched for online, then you have competitors that are already doing SEO. If you want to grow your business and be where users are searching, then you too must invest in SEO services. That’s the only way to compete long term unless for some reason people stop using the internet to search, which isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE AND USABILITY
When people visit your website you naturally want them to have a positive experience because it has a direct correlation with the perception of your business. For any successful SEO campaign, user experience and general usability is a key focal point. Google has made it very clear they reward sites with higher search engine rankings when you provide users a better overall experience.
SALESPEOPLE SLEEP AND GET TIME OFF, YOUR WEBSITE DOESN’T
The great thing about SEO is that when you are ranking you’re constantly visible to potential customers, able to receive traffic day and night, which can turns into leads/sales. If you weren’t doing SEO and had salespeople calling or emailing potential customers you would have lulls because they have to sleep, take breaks, take vacations, etc. A well run SEO campaign can become be your lead/sale generating force at all times.
PART OF THE OVERALL MARKETING MIX
Any successful business has many different marketing channels active at a given time. SEO is a perfect compliment to other marketing channels and should always be part of that. For example, if one of your marketing channels was Paid Search, you would ideally have it paired with SEO so that when a potential customers searches for your offerings, they see two listings. In turn, this will take up more real estate on the SERP, increasing the likelihood that they come to you instead of a competitor.
DRIVES OFFLINE SALES
According to research performed by Accenture, 88% of consumers are searching online before purchasing in stores. If you aren’t found during their search process then you are not even being considered for that particular purchase.
SEO is highly measurable. Using Google Analytics, you can see traffic amounts and how that correlates to goals specifically with organic search. In addition, you are able to leverage Google Search Console to see the exact keywords are driving traffic. This is extremely valuable data that allows your internet marketing team to be even more successful.
LOWERS YOUR CUSTOMER ACQUISITION COST
SEO traffic is free. Being able to consistently receive targeted traffic to your website will undeniably increase your leads/sales. Doing so at virtually no expense, this will dramatically reduce your acquisition costs, thus improving the profitability of your business.
HOW PEOPLE DO RESEARCH NOW (WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE AT)
According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 searches per second, which equates to roughly 3.5 billion searches per day. Within those searches are your customers! They are using Google to do research and purchase what you have to offer.
REACH USERS IN ALL STAGES IN BUYING FUNNEL
Creating content and optimizing that content for various stages in the buying funnel increases the likelihood that you will be chosen when it comes time to decide. You can use SEO to show up for common questions that a user might ask when in the awareness stage. You can also create case studies or other forms of helpful SEO content when during the decision stage. Finally you can create quote pages, coupons, and other sales focused items that help with the purchasing stage.
THOUGHT LEADER IN YOUR INDUSTRY
Not only does that fact that ranking higher in the SERPs instantly make users feel like you are one of the best options, but writing educational content on a continual basis will also position your brand as a thought leader.
WHERE GREATER SHARE OF CLICKS ARE
85% of all clicks happen on organic listings. Paid Search only makes up 15% of the total clickshare for a keyword. You should be where the clicks are!
ENSURES YOU HAVE A POSITIVE ONLINE REPUTATION
Your online reputation has a direct impact into how successful your business will be. We’ve already established that’s where your customers are. A business that is actively working on SEO has the ability to some degree, control their brand reputation online.
ENSURES YOUR BUSINESSES NAME, ADDRESS, AND PHONE ARE ACCURATE ACROSS THE WEB
One of the more important ranking factors in your local area is the consistency of your business name, address and phone number (NAP Data) across data aggregators and local directories. The more conflicting name, address and phone information that is out on the web about your business, the more difficult it is for Google to know what data to trust. By doing local SEO, this is issue is solved and no matter where your potential customers are, you are ensuring they are finding the right information to be able to contact you. In fact according to this study, 71% of people say they look up and confirm the location of a business before visiting it for the first time.
SEARCH ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE, IN FACT IT HAS INCREASED
According to data provided by Business 2 Community, companies are predicted to spend around $79 Billion on SEO by the year 2020. In addition, the number of pure “Google” searches has continued to increase.
SEO CAN HELP MAINTAIN AN ONGOING RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
As noted above, if your business offers products or services where users type in search queries to find information, then they also need help finding answers to questions about those products and services . Creating content to help answer your target audience’s questions helps provide that ongoing relationship with your potential customers.
The queries driving traffic to your business provide insight that may influence the types of products and services you offer. For example, if you are an SAAS business and see that users are coming to your site from the term “free widgets”, and you are obviously a paid service, it might influence the creation of a free tiered plan to gain market share.
EQUALIZES YOU WITH LARGE COMPETITORS
It is difficult for businesses to compete against behemoths like Amazon, but SEO can help even the playing field. A larger organization has more bureaucracies where a smaller business can be more agile. Being more agile allows a smaller business to focus on longer tail keywords, user experience, and be more strategic, whereas a larger organization typically has to be more boxed in.
PEOPLE IGNORE PAID ADS
Only 15% of total traffic for a keyword goes to the paid ads. People are so familiar with Google and they now understand what is an ad and what isn’t. SEO ensures your brand shows up where the click volume is.
If done right, SEO can bring a great deal of sustainability for a business. When ranking for terms that bring qualified traffic to a website, you are in turn generating leads/sales. Maintaining that position while building new opportunities for your website ensures you have a consistent flow of traffic and allows your business to grow.
The beautiful thing about SEO, as opposed to other more traditional forms of marketing, is that you are able to generate highly targeted traffic. Having the ability to show up high on the results page for a specific service you offer is gold. A user has actually gone online, typed in something related to your business and then clicked on your listing. At this point they are much more targeted than if you were to do TV ads or a direct mail campaign, because they are actively searching for a solution. That’s powerful!
LOCAL, REGIONAL, NATIONAL, GLOBAL…IT DOESN’T MATTER
Imagine having to purchase radio or tv ads in all the different markets in which you offer products/services in. The cost would be outrageous. With SEO you have the capability to effectively reach whatever audience you want. No other advertising mediums offer the same combination of affordable, effective options than SEO does.
There are many other reasons why SEO is important and should be considered for most businesses. If you do it yourself or you decide to hire a professional seo services company, you’ll be sure to experience many of the above mentioned benefits.