Over the years since the first search engine was invented, SEO (search engine optimization) has been praised, misinterpreted, overly simplified and even occasionally stigmatized. So much so, that even the savviest business owners do not fully grasp the importance of SEO for business.
While a lot of people still think of SEO as some less important thing, those, who properly work SEO into their online marketing strategy, enjoy benefits of SEO for business such as an increase in traffic and conversions, visibility, credibility, brand awareness and a better understanding of the customer behavior.
SEO will certainly improve a website’s overall searchability and visibility, but what other real value does it offer? Why is SEO so important?
This article should offer some clarity, regardless of the industry or business size, as to why businesses need SEO to take their brand to the next level.
1) PRIMARY SOURCE OF WEB TRAFFIC
Organic search is a huge part of most businesses’ website performance, as well as a critical component of the buyer funnel and ultimately 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, DuckDuckGo, and the many, many others.
That’s not to say that all search engines don’t contribute to a brand’s visibility — they do — it’s just that Google owns about 75 percent of the overall search market. It’s the clear-cut leader and thus its guidelines are important to follow.
But the remaining 25 percent of the market owned by other engines is obviously valuable to brands, too.
Google, being the most visited website in the world (as well as specifically in the United States), 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 highly visible as a trusted resource by Google and other search engines is always going to work in a brand’s favor. Quality SEO and a high-quality website take brands there.
2) TRUST AND CREDIBILITY
The goal of any experienced SEO is to establish a strong foundation for a beautiful website with a clean, effective user experience that is easily discoverable in search with thanks to the trust and credibility of the brand and its digital properties.
Many elements go into establishing authority regarding search engines like Google. In addition to the factors mentioned above, authority is accrued over time as a result of elements like:
Quality backlink profiles.
Positive user behavior.
Optimized on-page elements and content.
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.
3)INCREASE IN ENGAGEMENT AND CONVERSION THROUGH LOCAL SEO
With the rise and growing domination of mobile traffic, local search has become a fundamental part of small- and medium-sized businesses’ success.
Local SEO aims at optimizing your digital properties for a specific vicinity, so people can find you quickly and easily, putting them one step closer to a transaction.
Local optimizations focus on specific towns, cities, regions, and even states, to establish a viable medium for a brand’s messaging on a local level.
SEO pros do this by optimizing the brand’s website and its content, including local citations and backlinks, as well as local listings relevant to the location and business sector a brand belongs to.
To promote engagement on the local level, SEO pros should optimize a brand’s Knowledge Graph panel, its Google My Business listing, and its social media profiles as a start.
There should also be a strong emphasis on user reviews on Google, as well as other reviews sites like Yelp, Home Advisor, and Angie’s List (among others), depending on the industry.
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 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)NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO LIGHT
High-quality SEO will always find a means of discovering and leveraging new opportunities for brands to, not just be discovered, but to shine.
Offering quality SEO to brands means submersing an SEO team in everything that is that brand. It’s the only way to truly market a brand with the passion and understanding that the brand’s stakeholders have for it: becoming a stakeholder.
The better a brand is understood, the more opportunities will arise to help it thrive. The same can be said about SEO.
6)Winning the Click
It’s no secret in the world of SEO 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 percent of all click-throughs, while up to 30 percent of all results on Page 1 and 2 don’t get clicked at all.
What’s this mean? Two things:
If you’re not on Page 1, you need to be.
There are still too many instances when a user types a search query and can’t find exactly what it’s looking for.
7)BETTER USER EXPERIENCE
Everyone wants better organic rankings and maximum visibility. Few realize that optimal user experience is a big part of getting there.
Google has learned how to interpret a favorable or unfavorable user experience, and positive user experience has become a pivotal element to a website’s success.
Customers know what they want. If they can’t find it, there’s going to be a problem. And performance will suffer.
A clear example of building a strong user experience is how Google has become more and more of an answer engine offering the sought-after data directly on the SERPs (search engine results pages) for users.
The intention of that is offering users the information they are looking for in fewer clicks, quickly and easily.
Quality SEO incorporates a positive user experience, leveraging it to work in a brand’s favor.