SEO is a common buzzword in the digital marketing world.
If you want to accelerate brand reach, strengthen your blog, and sell more online, any expert will tell you that you need “SEO.”
But what is SEO, and why is it so crucial for your business?
It’s time to clear the air on SEO’s value and figure out what makes this digital marketing solution so valuable to your organization.
What is SEO?
SEO, or “search engine optimization,” is the process of manipulating your website so that it’s more attractive to search engines like Google and Bing. Since 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, making sure that your site is properly ranked can significantly increase your chances of online success.
Although SEO focuses on helping your website to speak to the search engines, it’s just as much about people as it is about algorithms and technology.
To be successful with SEO, you need to understand what your customers are actually searching for online, what kind of words they’re using, and the kind of content they’re interested in.
Why is SEO Crucial?
So, what makes mastering search engine optimization so vital for your brand?
At first glance, SEO can seem like an exhausting and time-consuming process. You won’t capture the attention of search engines overnight, and you’ll need to be committed to optimizing every blog, site page, and landing page that you build.
However, while other strategies like paid advertising and social media can help generate traffic for your website, it’s search engines that are going to give you the most significant long-term results. SEO can produce up to 20 times more traffic than PPC on any device.
The more traffic you gain, the higher your chance of sales.
What’s more, SEO is one of the only channels that can continue to pay dividends for your business over time. If you provide users with a solid piece of optimized content, then your traffic will increase and even snowball over time. On the other hand, your exposure immediately dries up when you stop paying for PPC ads.
Let’s examine what SEO can do for your company in closer detail.
SEO Targets High-Quality Traffic
One of the biggest benefits of SEO is that it’s an inbound marketing strategy.
In other words, rather than reaching out and disrupting potential customers, you simply offer your audience the information that they’re looking for online. Remember, 81% of people perform some manner of online research before making a significant purchase.
While there are a lot of traditional marketing methods out there that are all about forcing customers to pay attention, inbound marketing tools like SEO are more about giving value for value. Rather than interrupting your leads in their day-to-day life, you make sure that you’re available when they need you, offering the answers that they’re looking for.
Not only do you get happier customers with inbound marketing, but you may receive higher quality leads too. According to the State of Inbound report from Hubspot, 59% of marketers believe that inbound advertising gives them the best leads for their sales teams.
After all, someone who comes across a valuable piece of content that you use to answer their questions is far more likely to be responsive to your marketing efforts, than someone you’ve yelled at with cold calls and display ads.
SEO is Cost-Effective
Google’s organic rankings in the search results aren’t dependent on how much you can bid for a keyword or phrase. Instead, you’ll be ranked according to where the algorithm determines that you’ll be best suited for a specific query.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that SEO is 100% free. You’ll still need a well-designed website and a writer who can research the market for you and produce the content that your audience wants to read. However, once you’ve made that initial investment, there’s no ongoing expense to keep people coming back to your content.
According to some studies, the average cost per click across all industries is $2.32. With SEO, you don’t pay anything at all to bring people onto your website. You earn every click by providing your potential customers with the information and entertainment that they’re looking for. What’s more, if you produce content that continues to offer value over time, then you’ll have no problem bringing more and more traffic back to your website, without any extra investment.
SEO Delivers More Opportunities
When you search for something on Google, you might have noticed that the paid “PPC” ads generally appear above the organically ranked content. However, 71.33% of searches on Google end up leading to a click on the first page – and it’s a click on the organic content – not the ads.
Although we don’t know for certain why customers prefer to click on organic content than paid advertising, it probably has something to do with how tired people are of being obviously marketed “at.” People don’t want to be overwhelmed with ads these days. When they see organically ranked websites, they know that the company behind them has worked to get to the top with excellent content.
The right SEO strategy shows your potential customers and leads that you’ve earned your place on the search results – rather than just buying your way to the top.
SEO Strengthens Your Reputation
Although SEO and PR might seem like they have no connection at first glance – companies can use them together to make sure that you’re getting exceptional results from your digital marketing campaigns. Earning links from reputable websites is crucial to any SEO strategy, for instance. If you can write guest blogs for other high-authority websites in your industry or convince people to link back to your website from their blog, your own reputation will grow.
Additionally, as you continue to improve your SEO strategy, you’ll find that you appear closer to the top of the search results for some of the most important words and phrases your customers search for. When your audience sees you at the top of the search results over and over again, their perception of you will evolve, they’ll know that you understand the market and that you know what kind of content they need.
All you need to do is produce well-researched content that’s been carefully optimized for the search engines, and you’ll see your brand reputation improving rapidly as a result.
SEO Moves you Ahead of the Competition
Finally, SEO is an excellent way to separate yourself from the competition in your marketplace. Optimizing for search engines is a crucial part of any marketing strategy, because it draws attention to your business, and tells your customers that you know more about their pain points than anyone else. According to the State of Inbound report, 61% of marketers believe that improving their online presence with SEO is crucial.
The chances are that your competitors are already taking steps to strengthen their results in the search engines. With an SEO campaign of your own, you can make sure that you’re keeping up with, and even moving ahead of the competition in your space.
Time to Get Optimized?
SEO is more than just a buzzword. It’s a crucial aspect of digital marketing that has remained in any online company’s toolkit for years. As long as your customers are using search engines to find you online, SEO will benefit your brand.
Are you ready to optimize?