The digital landscape has changed a lot over the past years, but SEO still remains an effective and important digital marketing strategy. While there are many benefits to a good SEO strategy, we have outlined the top 10 to help you understand why your business needs SEO.
SEO will certainly improve a website’s overall searchability and visibility, but what other real value does it offer? Why is SEO so important?
SEO offers a number of advantages to small business owners and this is what I will discuss below.
1. Organic traffic is the best kind of traffic
As digital marketers know, Google owns a significantly larger portion of the search market than competitors like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, DuckDuckGo, and the many others.
There are over 2 billion people online. 93% of online activities start on a search engine. There are 40,000 searches every second, and 3.5 billion searches per day. There are millions of opportunities for your business to become found on search engines. One of the most important benefits of SEO is that your customers are using search engines daily.
Top positions on the search engine result pages receive a majority of the impressions and clicks, so ranking in these top positions can result in significant traffic increases for your website. SEO also focuses on creating informative and keyword relevant title tags and meta descriptions, which show up in the result pages. Having optimized tags and descriptions helps to increase click-through rate (CTR), which also promotes increases in qualified web traffic.
2. SEO Builds Trust & Credibility
Users are more likely to trust a brand when it appears in the first places when they search for a term rather than brands that don’t have a good web presence.
People trust Google. They use it every day to find what they are looking for. By ranking high on search engines, your business will build trust and credibility with your audience. In fact, 37% of search engine clicks are on the first organic listing.
Conversions aside, SEO will also build your brand equity. In other words, SEO will help people become aware of your brand. Awareness is important because your website visitors may not always be ready to purchase. However, by being aware of your offerings, they may purchase in the near future.
Your customers are using search engines to research. They use their findings to help them make informed decisions on available options. High SEO rankings allow you to educate potential customers. This indirectly builds trust, but most importantly helps them make an informed decision.
A webpage with high rankings will also gain more social media exposure. The relationship between SEO and social media is bi-directional.
Social media popularity is good for SEO purposes and SEO brings more social media visibility.
In simple words, searches are more likely to LIKE / Tweet / +1 a page when it is found in the first positions of the search engine results than a page that does not have good rankings.
4. SEO is a long-term strategy
SEO can (and hopefully does) have a noticeable impact within the first year of action being taken, and many of those actions will have an impact that lasts more than several years.
As the market evolves, yes, it’s best to follow the trends and changes closely. But even a site that hasn’t had a boatload of intense SEO recommendations implemented will improve from basic SEO best practices being employed on an honest website with a decent user experience.
And the more SEO time, effort, and budget that is committed to it, the better and longer a website stands to be a worthy contender in its market.
5. SEO has better ROI (Return on Investment) than ads
Many businesses will want to see their Return on Investment (ROI) and SEO is able to provide just that.
SEO is relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things, and the payoff will most likely be considered in terms of a brand’s benefit and bottom line.
This isn’t a marketing cost; this is a true business investment. Good SEO implementation will hold water for years to come. And, like most things in life, will only be better with the more attention (and investment) it gets.
SEO provides trackable and quantifiable results, regardless of whether you are an e-commerce or non-e-commerce site so there are no qualms when it comes to ROI. An SEO agency is able to track nearly every aspect of their strategy, like increases in rankings, traffic and conversions. Comprehensive analytics also provide the ability to drill down at a granular level and see demographic information and other engagement metrics for individuals who have interacted with your website.
SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies because it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services online. SEO’s inbound nature helps businesses save money as opposed to outbound strategies like cold-calling.
6. Brand awareness
As traffic increases on a site, users are more likely to become familiar with their brand. As users become more aware of the brand, they begin to trust it and associate it with certain keywords because of SEO.
But establishing that authority will do more for a brand than most, if not all, other digital optimizations. Problem is, it’s impossible to build trust and credibility overnight — just like real life. Authority is earned and built over time.
Establishing a brand as an authority takes patience, effort, and commitment, but also relies on offering a valuable, quality product or service that allows customers to trust a brand.
The more your pages and content rank in high positions in the search engines, the more chances you have for users to see your content and associate with your brand.
7. SEO Impacts the Buying Cycle
Customers do their research. That’s one of the biggest advantages of the internet from a buyer perspective.
Using SEO tactics to relay your messaging for good deals, groundbreaking products and/or services, and the importance and dependability of what you offer customers will be a game changer.
It will also undoubtedly impact the buying cycle in a positive way when done right.
Brands must be visible in the places people need them for a worthy connection to be made. Local SEO enhances that visibility and lets potential customers find the answers, and the businesses providing those answer.
8. Ability to compete with big companies
In the business world, there is always another company out there who is better than you. Even giant corporations can learn lessons from their competitors. As a small business fighting for market share in an industry, it is important to leverage anything it can to help promote growth. SEO provides small businesses with this opportunity to compete on a larger scale, even without the same financial resources as the larger ones.
One of the benefits small businesses have over large businesses is their ability to focus on a niche market and work in a highly localized fashion. SEO can help to optimize one or both of these strengths to help build the company reputation and relevance in your given city or region. As a cost-effective tool, SEO provides small businesses with the opportunity to leverage its strengths and compete with some of the major players in its field.
9. Better SEO not only means better rankings, it means a better user experience
There’s no question that user experience is now a significant ranking factor. The search engines want to see a mobile-friendly design, good user signals (high time on site, low bounce rates, etc.) and good integration of relevant photos and videos. These elements are all important for providing a great experience for your visitors as well; in other words, by optimizing your site for SEO, you’re automatically also improving your user experience. And a great user experience means higher conversion rates, more trust, and increased brand loyalty.
10. The vast majority of consumers research products online before going to a store
Research from GE Capital Retail Bank shows that 81% of shoppers research and compare products online before making a local purchase. Other research puts this number as high as 94% for B2B buyers. Achieving first page rankings for your business and products is critical if you want consumers who are actively searching out your products to be able to find you.