Search Engine Optimization is likely a term you’ve heard before, but it might not be something you’re always paying attention to. If your business is doing just fine without it, why worry? While this may be true, consider how much better your business could be doing if it’s already well-off without the use of SEO. If this introduction paragraph doesn’t have you convinced that SEO is a business game changer, then the rest of this article was written for you!
What is SEO?
Whether you’ve heard the term before, or it’s a completely foreign concept, you’re not alone. For those that are unfamiliar with this acronym, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. According to Semrush, Search Engine Optimization is “a set of processes aimed at improving your website’s visibility in search engines (such as Google). All with the goal of getting more organic traffic.” In general, when you’re working to increase your SEO, you’re doing the necessary keyword research, creating and optimizing content, doing technical optimization, and building links.
SEO is so important because, when you hack it down to the basics, it helps your organization get found on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. It’s one of the best ways to increase organic traffic to your website; the better your SEO, the higher you rank, and “the higher your rank, the more people will visit your page.”
Why SEO is important for your business
If you and the internet aren’t on very good terms, you’re likely thinking that you can get by without SEO. That’s probably true, but with SEO, your business could be exponentially better, and here’s why: billions of people use the internet every single day. Whether it’s to use social media, do some online shopping, search for information, or just find something to do, the Internet has become a 21st-century Swiss army knife. In fact, the topmost result on a search engine results page (SERP) is “10x more likely to receive a click than a page ranking in position NO. 10,” and results ranking in the top three spots “get more than 50% of all the clicks,” according to the same Semrush article.
Aside from just getting the clicks, there are a variety of other reasons you need SEO to run a successful business in 2023.
1. Website traffic is best driven by organic searches
Organic means you don’t have to pay for it because it happened naturally, as opposed to means of traffic such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Not only is organic traffic free, but it’s found to be the best way to increase the number of users visiting your website, according to Search Engine Journal. Forbes notes a variety of ways to accomplish this, including:
- Publishing customer reviews and testimonials
- Publishing blogs and articles and sharing them via social media and emails
- Making sure you’re taking advantage of social media and connecting it with your website (and vice versa)
- Writing headlines that users can’t resist clicking on
- Performing the necessary keyword research to make sure you’re using the keywords people are using in their queries
By taking these steps, you’re able to increase your SEO, making your business pop up on more SERPs organically.
2. Increase your organization’s trust and credibility
To drive business, you need to establish your organization as trustworthy and credible. This can be done by showing followers and customers your values, offering a high-quality product, and proving to be a reliable resource. You can also build trust and credibility through SEO.
Appearing higher on SERPs gives your brand authority in the industry. Why do you think Apple, Nike, or Patagonia are as successful as they are? You can’t search for a smartphone, running shoes, or fleece jacket without seeing their websites pop up first. That authority within their space didn’t happen overnight night, though. You can grow your authority over time through “crawlability and internal links, site performance and speed, markups and on page SEO, number of referring domains, [and] authority of referring domains.” Find out more about building your authority here.
3. SEO helps you understand your target audience
You can use search query data, SERP analysis, analytics data, and AI insights to get a better understanding of what users are searching for and specific online behavior. By taking advantage of this data, you can better understand what your consumer base wants and what they need. Once you have this information, you’re able to curate your website, social media, and new products to align better with what you know about the “macro market shifts” happening within your industry.
4. SEO helps increase your PPC efforts
If you’re investing in PPC ads, SEO can help give your efforts a boost. According to Forbes, “PPC helps your site appear at the top of paid search results, while SEO does the same thing organically.” When both your PPC ad and SEO-friendly landing page appear at the top of a SERP, you’re able to increase the credibility of your brand. Additionally, you can use SEO to boost your PPC ad campaigns by doing things like attaching a PPC ad to a high-ranking page on your website.
5. SEO helps give you an advantage in local searches
Local searches have become a much more common way to search for things in your area (we’ve all typed “restaurants near me” when we don’t know where to eat), “and nearly 80% of local searches on mobile lead to conversions,” (Forbes). Key ways you can focus your local SEO strategy include:
- Creating a Google My Business account
- Asking clients and customers to post Google reviews
- Ensuring that the “correct name, address and phone number” are listed
- Take the extra step to optimize for “voice search” with content that can answer common searches, questions, and problems
- Pay attention to local keywords
- Use local business directories to post listings
The bottom line
The Internet isn’t going anywhere, at least without a full-on Zombie apocalypse (which we’re not counting on), and it’s the best way to get found by new and repeat customers. Taking advantage of SEO will help you increase your brand’s reach and searchability, improve organic (aka free) traffic to your website, and help you prove your authority within your industry.
For more SEO reading, check out Practical & Easy Ways to Improve Your SEO.