Why is SEO Important?
Imagine that your business had a 24/7 salesperson. This salesperson spoke to everyone who was actively seeking information about your company. He also provided valuable content about your industry to curious onlookers, some of whom became customers down the line. The longer he worked for you, the better he got at his job. In a matter of months, he delivered an ever-increasing number of leads and customers.
Okay, you must be thinking, who is this miracle employee and how do I get them on my team—yesterday, if possible? But it’s easier than you think.
This salesperson’s name is “Search Engine Optimization.” But you can call them SEO for short.
You’ve most likely heard of SEO before, but you may still be on the fence about investing your time and money in it. But an SEO Strategy really is that important in today’s world—we’ll explain why.
What is SEO?
When you search a phrase on Google or other search engines, you immediately get pages and pages of results. Naturally, they have to be presented in some kind of logical order. That order is based on their relevance to your search terms.
Thus, SEO is the process of optimizing your website to show up higher and higher on search engine result pages (SERPs) for these relevant keywords. Getting your website in Google’s good graces requires a combination of SEO tactics as well as understanding how long SEO takes, including:
- Making your website mobile-friendly
- Designing your website with the user experience in mind
- Optimizing your website’s structure
- Targeting keywords that your potential customers are searching for
- Placing these keywords strategically throughout your website
- Publishing useful, quality content on a consistent basis
- Getting links to your website on other sites that Google deems “reputable”
As Google’s algorithm evolves, SEO strategies must adjust to remain effective. As a result, SEO is often best left to seasoned-professionals who are up-to-date on the latest SEO best practices and aware of avoiding any and all common SEO mistakes.
When you look at everything that goes into SEO marketing, you may wonder, how important is SEO for my company? It doesn’t take much consideration to answer this question: very.
The answer to your hypothetical follow-up question—why?—is a little more nuanced.
Why is SEO Important?
Whether you run a small business or a national corporation, effective SEO can take your company to the next level (or, more accurately, the next page of the search results).
#1 SEO Helps You Get Found Online
These days, most people spend a ton of time online (like you, right now). Whether you’re currently swiping on your smartphone or scrolling on your laptop, it simply proves that the internet is the go-to resource for information.
Online experiences are only becoming more integral to our day-to-day lives—not to mention the fact that 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine.1
If you want to get your website in front of potential customers (who might be online at this very moment), you need to show up on SERPs.
#2 SEO Boosts Your Website Traffic
Showing up on search engines is one thing—ranking on the first page of Google is another. SEO helps you bridge this gap.
Ideally, you want your website to rank somewhere within the first five slots on the first page of Google for your target keywords. Most people don’t scroll further than they have to, which explains why these top results get 75% of clicks for any given search.2
Over time, SEO can help you score these valuable, high-ranking positions. As you climb up the SERP ladder, an influx of website traffic will follow. With more traffic coming your way, you’ll be able to attract more leads and customers. All of that translates into more money for your business—and even better search result rankings.
#3 SEO Boasts an Impressive Return on Investment (ROI)
Speaking of money, SEO stands out for its powerful ROI. ROI is the most important metric to consider when you’re trying to decide if you should invest in something. If an investment can increase your revenue and boost your bottom line, it would be a mistake to pass it up.
SEO falls into this category.
Compared to other marketing strategies, SEO offers a sustainable, long-term ROI. Let’s compare SEO with its digital marketing cousin, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising:
- PPC offers immediate, short-term returns. After launching a PPC campaign, you may notice an immediate boost in website traffic. However, all of that traffic will come to a screeching halt as soon as you stop funding the campaign. If you want more returns, you’ll need to funnel more money into your investment.
- SEO provides long-term, sustainable returns. While it takes a few months to set up a solid SEO campaign, it eventually yields a gradual uptick in website traffic, leads, and conversions. Best of all, these improvements will compound over time—and you don’t need to spend any extra money to see these accelerated results. Your SEO investment will pay you dividends for years to come.
#4 SEO Helps You Attract Interested Customers
Nowadays, shopping starts at home. In fact, 88% of American consumers do online research before making a purchase in-person.3 During this online research period, consumers can size up companies and compare them with competitors in just a few clicks.
If your company doesn’t capture consumers’ attention and win them over, it’s unlikely that they’ll make the trip to your physical storefront or purchase something through your eCommerce platform.
And if you never actually make it on their radar, you just don’t stand a chance.
So what does this mean for your company? If you want to earn someone’s patronage, the first step is usually to appear in their search results.
#5 SEO Builds Brand Awareness
Nike, Apple, and Starbucks are all brands we recognize immediately. That’s because they’ve developed outstanding brand awareness over the years.
Many companies strive to develop this level of brand awareness through television commercials, billboard advertisements, strategic partnerships, and event marketing. However, in the age of the internet, SEO may be your best brand-building tool.
SEO can boost your brand awareness by:
- Leading people to your brand from other websites – Link-building is an important part of SEO. Getting other trustworthy, relevant websites to link to yours increases your traffic sources. It also serves as an endorsement for your credibility, both in the eyes of the consumer and Google’s ranking algorithm.
- Offering potential customers value that they’ll appreciate – Purchasing a flashy billboard is one way to get noticed as a brand. However, there’s a more meaningful way to stand out to your target audience: by helping them.
Creating content that’s useful to your target audience can attract the right people to your website and win them over with your industry expertise. After they find themselves on your blog, they may be more compelled to look into your products and services, especially if your content satisfied their search query.
- Giving you a chance to interact with potential customers – Once a new visitor lands on your website from a search result, you can entice them to join your email list or sign up for a free consultation. If they sign up, you’ll get many more opportunities to interact with them and build your relationship. With each positive interaction, you’re strengthening your brand awareness.
- Offering you an online space to customize your branding – Unlike your Yelp reviews page or Amazon Store, your website is yours and yours alone. You can tailor it to reflect your company’s distinct identity, from the web design to the content to the user experience.
#6 SEO Can Help You Build Trust With Your Target Audience
Have you ever come across a website straight out of the ‘90s, complete with unattractive web design, poor functionality, and an unbearably slow loading time? Not only do these types of websites perform poorly on search engines, but they also scare away visitors. Considering that 75% of consumers judge your credibility based on your web design alone, you don’t want to fall into this category.4
After investing in SEO, you can put your best foot forward with a beautiful, user-friendly website that showcases the type of content your audience is searching for. Such a website will instantly cultivate consumer trust. In turn, your target audience will perceive you as a credible company.
Showing up on Google’s first page will also bolster your credibility. After all, Google’s job is to show the best search results. If you’ve made the cut, you must be a company consumers can trust.
#7 Your Competition is Probably Already Using SEO
If you’re not implementing SEO strategies, someone else is—and they’re scooping up your potential new customers. Since so many people turn to the internet to find companies, you don’t want to give up this valuable space without a fight.
On the off-chance that your competition isn’t using SEO tools yet, beating them to it can give you a major advantage. All of their potential traffic will funnel your way, as they remain in online obscurity. Either way, you need to invest in SEO to keep up in the current marketplace.
The sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.
SEO: Your Next Employee of the Month
An effective SEO strategy can help you achieve many of your business goals, whether you want to attract more customers, build your brand awareness, or crush the competition.
Best of all, SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. It only becomes more effective as time goes on.
Sounds like the kind of employee you need on your team, don’t you think?
- Forbes. How To Optimize Your SEO Results Through Content Creation. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2017/08/30/how-to-optimize-your-seo-results-through-content-creation/
- Search Engine Watch. No. 1 Position in Google Gets 33% of Search Traffic [Study]. https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2013/06/20/no-1-position-in-google-gets-33-of-search-traffic-study/
- Fashion United. 88 percent of US consumers research products online to buy in-store. https://fashionunited.com/news/business/88-percent-of-us-consumers-research-products-online-to-buy-in-store/2018010919074
- Business.com. Just Say No: 7 Website Design Mistakes That Can Hurt Conversion. https://www.business.com/articles/7-website-design-mistakes-that-can-hurt-conversion/