Many brands and businesses understand the importance of SEO for their digital touch points, but do they really know the immense benefits SEO can provide?
SEO will certainly improve a website’s overall search-ability and visibility, but what other real value does it offer? Why is SEO so important?
How does SEO work?
SEO consists of multiple strategies, actions, and best practices that aim to improve your website’s position in search engines—which is why it’s called “search engine optimisation.”
SEO consists of two kinds: on-page and off-page
On-page SEO involves anything you can control on your own website to improve your rankings, including things like site speed, keyword presence, header text, etc. In comparison, off-page SEO consists of anything done on other websites that may influence your rankings, generally referring to links.
It takes time, knowledge of SEO, and successful implementation of the desired on and off-page SEO factors to optimise your website for high rankings in search engines. If the collective power of your site or an individual page’s SEO is more powerful than your competitors in regards to a specific search query, you’ll rank #1. Since SEO involves several ranking factors, think of the #1 website as winning a triathlon – the winner of the running component isn’t necessarily the winner of the entire race, which is similar to SEO. A business must work hard to continue generating strong links, pages, and traffic to come out on top.
Why is SEO important?
SEO is Google’s way of determining which sites should rank highly for each query entered into its search engine, based on how strong their SEO is.
SEO keeps the search results fair because it reduces the ability to manipulate these results, so the sites appearing for each search deserve to be there (it’s very hard to trick Google nowadays – only strong SEO will get you to the top). Hard work and an appealing website results in high search engine rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a better chance at showing up in the results.
Users trust search engines, and achieving a top spot in search engine rankings signals to searchers that your site is a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers.
These 12 reasons should offer some clarity, regardless of the industry or business size, as to why businesses need SEO to elevate their brand.
1. Organic search is usually the primary source of website traffic
Organic search is a massive part of most business’s website performance and getting users to complete a conversion or engagement.
As marketers know, Google owns a significantly larger portion of the search market than competitors like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, and the many others. However, that doesn’t mean that all search engines don’t contribute to a brand’s visibility, because they do, it’s just that Google owns about 75% of the overall search market. It’s the obvious leader and therefore its guidelines must be followed if you want success online.
However, the remaining 25% of the market owned by other engines is obviously valuable to brands too. Google being the most visited website in the world, also happens to be the most popular email provider in the world (with more than 1 billion users). Not to mention YouTube is the second biggest search engine. We know that a clear majority of the world that has access to the internet is visiting Google at least once a day to get information.
Being visible as a trusted resource by Google and other search engines is always going benefit any brand, which is exactly what quality SEO and a decent website can achieve.
2. SEO is a long-term strategy
SEO can have a significant impact within the first year of action, and many of those actions will have an impact that lasts for several years to come.
As the market evolves, it’s best to follow the trends and changes closely. But even a site that hasn’t had many SEO recommendations implemented will improve from basic SEO practices being employed on a credible website with a solid user experience.
The more time, effort, and budget that is committed to SEO, the better and longer a website stands to being a worthy contender in its market.
3. SEO helps small businesses make informed decisions
The same data that helps a business owner understand consumer behaviour can be used for other critical startup actions. The information can be applied to an overall business strategy to shape the decisions a business owner makes, leading to successful launch.
“Once you figure out the consumer, you can decide how to convert them. Then you can vertically integrate that by creating specific click funnels geared toward those specific users,” says McGovern.
SEO data can inform several other business decisions.
“If one keyword is doing really well, then you can create other keywords off of that which aren’t searched as much,” McGovern explains. “Or, there might be other long-tail keywords which you can also drive other traffic for greater conversions.”
4. SEO builds trust and credibility
Online users trust businesses that are ranked at the top of the page, naturally reflecting credibility.
Consider this: When you googled for a business, do you rely on the websites which rank on the top, or do you browse the websites which you consider the most reputable? The answer will always be websites that rank high.
Establishing a brand as an authority in Google takes patience, effort, and commitment, but also relies on offering a valuable, quality product or service that allows customers to trust a brand.
5. If you’re not on the first page, you’re probably not getting enough clicks
Everyone in the world of SEO knows that if you’re not on Page 1, you’re likely not killing the organic search game.
A recent study shows that the first three organic search ranking positions result in nearly 40% of all click-throughs! While up to 30% of all results on Page 1 and 2 don’t get clicked at all.
This means two things:
- If you’re not on Page 1, you need to change that
- Users typing a search query and not finding what they’re looking for is happening too frequently
Creating and implementing solid SEO on a businesses’ website and digital touch points is always going to be beneficial to that brand and its marketing efforts.
This marketing technique is considered “new age”, but it’s critical to a brand’s digital presence in this day and age, especially as available data and rivalling competition continue to grow.