It’s no secret that search engine optimization (SEO) has become an essential part of doing business in the digital age. While a fair amount of guesswork was necessary for businesses in previous decades to fine-tune the best way to reach their target audience, the sheer amount of data that can be leveraged with SEO has given today’s advertisers a far deeper understanding of their place in the market. This isn’t to say that utilizing SEO means businesses will never have to resort to “trial and error” from time to time, but it does empower them to create a more data-driven approach to marketing. Surprisingly enough, despite how significant the rewards of using good SEO can be, it’s also one of the most cost-effective things you can do to drive sales in the long term (as long as you’re willing to flex your patience while the work is being done).
Whether you’re in the startup phase, or looking to reinvigorate growth in an existing business, here are 4 reasons why good SEO should be on your radar (if it isn’t already):
- Organic Search is Still the King of Website Traffic
Simply put, when it comes to driving potential customers to your business, 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search. While it’s true that Google runs on advertising funds, their search engine is still designed to answer people’s questions as quickly and easily as possible. This indicates consumers’ tendency to search for specific products or services when they’re ready to make a purchase; not choosing to buy something simply because they were prompted by an ad. Optimizing your SEO to best answer the questions being asked, therefore, is likely to be favored by search engines such as Google (who, by the way, happens to own over 75% of the search market), helping potential customers find you amongst a vast sea of competitors.
2. It Doesn’t Just Drive More Traffic, It Drives the Right Traffic
Advertising drives your product to the right people; SEO drives the right people to your product. Aside from email marketing, search traffic from Google performs 400% better than any other method. Google Ads, for example, are a powerful way to reach potential customers that you likely wouldn’t get by other means, but, even then, if they aren’t carefully targeting your audience, it’s like casting a large net into the ocean: you may catch a few good fish, but you’re also going to catch a lot of kelp. Whether you’re using it for paid advertising, or organic searches, SEO analysis makes it possible to not only identify which factors are most relevant to your business and target market, but it also helps build a more accurate picture of the people who are likely to buy from you. Since 71% of commercial buyers begin their research with Google searches, knowing your customer means you can more accurately provide what they’re looking for, and attract more people like them.
3. Your Search Ranking Increases Your Credibility
Appearing on the first page of any search is like winning the internet lottery – only better, because, as it turns out, it has little to do with luck, and a whole lot to do with proper SEO practices. Over 95% of people never make it past the first page on Google. And why would they? Thanks to Google being synonymous with “having the answer” to any given question, if your business isn’t listed on that coveted first page, you’re probably not what people are looking for. Moreover, businesses that rank at the top of Google’s search results garner the perception of trustworthiness, reliability, and credibility. This is because Google’s algorithm is designed to display content that it sees as the most relevant (and legitimate) first, and the public knows it. But how do you get there? While it’s true that clever keywords can increase your visibility and cause your click-through rates to skyrocket, it isn’t the search position alone that feeds your business. It’s the use of intelligent SEO that backs up those strong keywords and gets you in the rankings in the first place (and keeps you there in the long run). In essence, it’s not about the clever keywords, it’s about the quality of the information they’re found in.
4. You Don’t Have to Break the Bank to Get Results
There isn’t much out there you can get for free, so we can understand your skepticism when we say that SEO doesn’t technically require any money at all. No, really. Unlike PPC (Pay Per Click advertising), SEO doesn’t necessarily have a strict, close-ended budget applied to the bookended time an ad runs for. What it does cost is the time, effort, and dedicated commitment to continuously improving the quality of the content your business provides.
The good news is, there are tons of free SEO tools out there to help make sure you’re spending that time and effort effectively. The even better news is, as you implement SEO to improve the quality of your site (and it’s hub of digital media), you’ll be recognized for it in the form of increased traffic, higher ranking, and ultimately, a boost in overall performance where it matters most: conversion.
Investing the time and redirecting in-house employees to cover this task can be scary for businesses, and, as a result, the long term benefits of proper SEO are often pushed aside in favor of short term solutions that burn bright and fast. If your business is just starting out, or needs to place its time and talent resources elsewhere, hiring a professional may be well worth it. Yes, this will cost you some, but, that cost will pay for itself as your well designed SEO actively works for you, and continuously enhances every other aspect of your business.
Not sure where to start? Our team offers website analyses to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your website, including how well your website has been optimized. Start your website audit here.