Whether you are new to the digital marketing world or way advanced, the term search engine optimisation (SEO) will always have a place in your marketing strategy.
However, over the years, SEO has been largely misinterpreted and misunderstood. This has therefore made it hard for most business owners to see its value and take advantage of it and often leaves them asking the question, can SEO help my business? Regardless, SEO is a valuable tool for any business no matter the size and in fact, used correctly, a small business can get better results than huge multi-national businesses.
Use of SEO in your marketing strategy is quite important in getting clients and leads for your business. Furthermore, research and studies have proved that SEO has better Return on Investment (ROI) than most traditional or modern forms of marketing. Even with that, SEO doesn’t work like magic. It takes a lot of work but gives your business credibility, branding, insight into client behaviour, visibility and the much-needed ROI.
What is SEO?
If you are looking for ways of getting more leads for your business or better ranking on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine, it’s time you start working on optimising your website or blog for better visibility. How can you do this? By use of SEO. So, what exactly is SEO and can SEO help my Business?
As mentioned earlier, SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It’s the process of getting free organic traffic through search engine results to your website.
Getting to optimise your business or blog will need you to follow a set of rules that help improve their rankings on the different search engines. SEO helps in boosting your websites quality making it more user-friendly, faster and easy to navigate. Websites that are user-friendly are easily readable by search engines.
Almost all search engines from Google to Bing have predominant search results where web pages and all other forms of content from local listings to videos are ranked depending on what the search engine deems relevant to users. Unlike paid search ads, there is no payment involved in SEO.
Can SEO Help My Business?
No one person wants to go into business and have to face closure for a business they believed in and started with so much passion. However, businesses that aren’t online are missing out a lot.
The internet has made the world a global village meaning people can buy and sell stuff online and have them shipped across continents. There is so much potential online. Still, your business needs an online presence and has to build the right kind of brand visibility to get more and more people buying.
With SEO, you are definitely one step ahead of your competitors in ensuring your business is known. Moreover, search engines like Google have a liking for businesses and offer many tools that can help business owners unleash their full potential online. Their SEO algorithms are designed to provide a favourable online space for entrepreneurs.
As such, if your business isn’t taking advantage of these tools you are definitely missing out. So, how can SEO help your business?
Brand visibility and branding
If you have a business and no one knows about it, you might as well consider your business ‘dead’. It’s, therefore, necessary to ensure that whatever business you are in, people can search online and find it.
When clients search for the services or products your offer, you most definitely want to be high up on the search engine ranking. Although it’s important to appear high up on rankings, it should not be for people to click through to your blog or website. In fact, there is more merit in users finding your business on the first page with the keywords they use. This is because they will perceive you as the authority in the field they are interested in.
Based on data provided by Google, a user making a search on the internet will not just rely on one search, click on any of the tops ranked sites and get done with it. Instead, they will make a search, click through a couple of websites, edit their search words, make another search, click on a couple of websites, proceed to make refine their search words, search afresh and repeat the process until they are sure they’ve found what they are after. What exactly does this process mean for any business owner? If you continuously appear in all searches made by users, you tend to become an authority in your industry in the minds of your potential clients.
With such mindshare, they are more likely to click through to your website and build trust with your business. SEO will have not only helped you with branding but visibility for your business as well. This takes us to the next point on why SEO is crucial for your business.
People making a search on the internet and finding your business will most definitely find your business credible and may become potential leads or make a product purchase. In fact, 81 percent of shoppers or consumers make online searches before they buy anything.
The above statistics is proof enough that no one is going to buy from you if they can’t find your business and do a little digging.
Furthermore, when making searches, consumers are keen on the primary search engine results ranking they get for terms they use on the search engine. In any consumers mind, the higher you appear on the search result page, the more trust and confidence they build in your business. In their minds, the fact that Google or Bing or Yahoo ranks you high up on the first page means that your business is legit and relevant. High page rankings make your business credible to your consumers and potential clients.
The number one reason why SEO has better ROI than any other form of advertising – traditional or new age – is because it’s free and applies across all the different search engines.
When your content ranks amongst the top three search results on any engine, you won’t need to spend a lot on marketing. Free organic traffic to your website will help get you leads and new or repeat customers hence boosting your sales revenue.
Whenever a user searches the internet, they will end up with an organic search result or paid ad. Data shows that those who click on ads will always go back and click through the organic search. And from our observation, people trust organic search results more than they do ads. SEO gives you the freedom of marketing your business to users when they need it and not when you want to. You won’t have to force yourself on the story they are reading online by making pop-ups or place yourself as the perfect solution to a problem they don’t have in the first place.
With SEO, you are simply telling them that you are the right answer to their needs and won’t need to put lots of efforts in convincing them.
Free organic traffic
Unlike the paid ad, SEO is free and only requires maintenance for you to stay on top of your game. And we know, traffic alone isn’t going to get you money. However, would you rather set up shop in the backstreet of Whitby, North Yorkshire or have it right at the centre of Piccadilly Circus? Of course, not everyone walking in Piccadilly Circus will buy something, but some of them will become clients.
Just like Piccadilly Circus, you will have to do all that you possibly can to get those customers to buy. Still, it’s better to trade in a crowded backstreet alley than on a deserted island. And we all know store leases aren’t cheap in London. It’s therefore way better to put all your efforts in your SEO which is more affordable.
Moreover, if it’s the right kind of traffic, you will not only be able to get a couple of purchases, but with better monitoring tools, you will be able to generate leads that your business development managers can go after. After all, these people have already shown a liking and interest to your services and products.
It’s one thing to have a mind that thinks it knows what customers want and another to have good insight into what customers really want.
As mentioned on the above point, SEO is able to generate free organic traffic to your website. With the use of Google Analytics, you are able to track the traffic. Remember our earlier point on Google developing tools to help business owners maximise the potential of their business? Yes? Google Analytics is one such tool.
What is it they are looking for? What is their browsing pattern? What technology do they use? Where do they live? What language do they use? What time of day do they visit your website? All these are questions that you can get answers to by use of Google Analytics. In short, you will get all relevant insight into who your customers are. This is valuable information as you will be better placed to make more informed decisions concerning your business and the planned strategies.
Customer insight will help you better understand your users and work towards giving them what they need instead of what you think they want.
As stated earlier, SEO is free of charge and provides the best ROI. However, there is a lot of work that goes into optimising your business’ website.
Unlike most traditional or paid ads campaign that cost an arm and a leg, SEO will mostly need service every now and then for it to work at its best. SEO might only cost you if you don’t have in-house talent to help build your SEO. In such an instance, you will be forced to hire an agency.
Regardless, SEO is long-term and the earlier you get it working for your business, the better your brand will be positioned and seen as an authority in your industry. Basically, SEO is the backbone of your presence online.
Tips on Improving SEO Ranking
Now that you know why SEO plays a crucial role in your business, let’s shift our focus a bit on what you can do to improve your SEO if you’ve already started working on it.
- Research on the keywords that apply to your industry (this is the first step in building your SEO)
- Publish content that is relevant and of high quality
- Update the content on your website regularly
- Work on the speed of your page load – slow page loads, tend to rank a lower than quick page loads
- Optimize your page for both mobile and desktop
- Work on your title, description and keyword metadata
- Use outbound links that have authority
- Have a website or blog that’s easy to navigate and readable by search engines
Investing in SEO has never been more crucial as it is today than years before regardless of the fact that many have found themselves lacking in traffic and organic keyword data. If you want your business to succeed, you need to ensure that your marketing plan or strategy doesn’t lack an SEO strategy.
SEO continues to be the single most essential component of any business’ online presence and branding efforts. Moreover, it’s important to always be up to date with SEO strategies as search engine algorithms get refined quite often, and SEO tactics become altered as a retaliation to the latest changes. If you are getting advice on SEO that doesn’t feel right, be sure to consult.
SEO is a process that’s never-ending. If for any reason you are not convinced on the capability that SEO has on your business, at least know that everyone else is doing it – including your competitors.