Digital marketing is becoming increasingly popular with every passing minute. Due to the substantial increase in e-commerce businesses and online sites, forums, and web pages, marketers are now focusing more and more on online marketing.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is perhaps one of the most significant digital marketing gimmicks of all time. SEO is a marketing strategy that improves your website’s ranking on search engines like Google. Not only that but using SEO also enhances the visibility and searchability of your website. If appropriately utilized, SEO can significantly help in business growth and operations.
People often consider SEO to be outdated and ineffective. However, that’s not even true. The benefits your business can acquire through SEO are incredible. Notably, for SEO to show its full effect, you need to familiarize yourself with specific dos and don’ts.
For instance, doing competitor research is essential to optimize your website’s ranking on search engines entirely. Competitor research helps you gain a strategic view of the local market and the influence your competitors have over it.
Similarly, keyword research is equally vital. To make it more understandable, keyword research is the process of finding specific words and phrases that are popular among searchers. The best way to know the type of search data that your potential consumers generally access is by using a keyword tool. A keyword checker can give you a complete analysis of any keywords. After which, you can strategically include them in your content.
Now that we know how SEO works, let’s discuss why using SEO is essential for business and its potential benefits today.
1. High conversion rates
SEO aims to improve user experience by providing your audience with relevant, high-quality content, easy navigation through sites, and a more mobile-friendly website configuration. More and more customers become aware of your brand’s product and services, resulting in many readers and visitors to your website.
Higher traffic also increases your site’s ranking, which results in higher clicks and conversion rates. It further increases your loyal customers and subscriber base. It is worth mentioning that high conversion rates are the most crucial factor in improving your website’s visibility and ranking through SEO.
2. Targets a quality audience
One of SEO’s most significant benefits is that it only targets an interested audience and not just anyone and everyone.
Using SEO for your business takes more of an inbound marketing approach. Unlike the traditional outbound way of advertisements, inbound marketing only caters to people who are genuinely looking for products/services similar to those offered by your brand.
On the other hand, outbound marketing is direct and targeted to everyone irrespective of whether they are interested or not. It includes traditional methods like spamming customers with emails, cold calls, and others which customers, at times, can find irritating and frustrating.
Conversely, inbound marketing is not the same and is much more convenient. It further aims to target the audience only that is looking for information regarding your industry.
3. Trust and credibility
One of the most significant advantages of using SEO is establishing trust amongst users and building your brand’s credibility.
Through an improved user experience, SEO manages to accrue authority and enhance your business’s ranking. Some other elements that help establish dominance include machine-learning signals, positive user behaviour, and backlink profiles.
The only turn-off of establishing authority is that it takes time. You can’t build trust and credibility overnight. It is always best to remain patient and committed. However, if you are providing your users with quality products and services, you will eventually earn the authority your site deserves or even more.
4. Local SEO increases engagement
Local SEO aims to improve and optimize your business’s website for a specific local area or vicinity. For instance, if you own a business (shop, restaurant, etc.), local SEO will help rank your business on search engines following your local audience’s search queries.
To lead an effective local SEO strategy, you need first to optimize your brand’s backlinks, citations, and local listings. You also need to fully optimize your Google my business account, graph panels, and social media handles. Reviews on google also help to a great extent.
5. Long-term results
As mentioned above, using SEO strategies requires you to be patient to show its full effect. The ideal time is 6-12 months. It might seem like too much effort at first, but once the results start popping in, you’ll realize its true benefit.
SEO outcomes are incredible, and they rarely ever go down. Perhaps, the best part is that SEO generates even better long-term results for business owners. Hence, you need to stay consistent with your optimization techniques and not give up. The duration is worth the wait!
6. Higher return on investment
The primary objective of any business is to boost sales. When companies use different marketing tactics, they intend to see an eventual increase in revenue. The expectation of using SEO is the same. It increases organic traffic on your site, which significantly contributes to business revenue.
Research shows that using SEO contributes nearly 40 per cent to sales and revenue. Higher revenue automatically means improved margins and a higher ROI rate. Hence, we can conclude that using SEO affects ROI and the profits of your business.
7. Using SEO influences all other marketing activities
All of your other marketing tactics and activities directly contribute to your SEO ranking. These include social media marketing, blogging, eBooks, content marketing, and many others.
Businesses who still practice traditional marketing (advertisements on radio or newspapers etc.) do not realize how much they are missing. The way SEO is constantly influencing digital marketing is remarkable.
8. SEO helps understand how the web works
The search engine environment is constantly changing with the rising competition and extensive usage. Being at the top of your game can feel like a task. Furthermore, staying ahead of your competitors and other businesses is essential.
However, having good knowledge about optimization and efficient SEO usage can help save you from constantly trying to understand the web’s changing environment. By ranking at the top, your site remains part of the loop, and hence, you get a chance to fully understand the world wide web.
9. Positive impact on the buying cycle
Suppose one of your primary aim of using SEO is to effectively and efficiently market your products and services and deliver news about any deals or discounts. In that case, there are high chances that you might gain a significant advantage over your competitors.
You need to invest enough time and energy in local SEO and improve your site’s visibility in the place where people require it. If you do everything mentioned, you will see a definite impact on the buying cycle.
10. Using SEO helps create brand awareness
SEO helps potential customers quickly find out about your products and services. When your website ranks at number one on google, yahoo, bingo, and all other search engines, your customers are more likely to place their trust in you. It increases the click rate and greatly helps in building brand awareness.
Undoubtedly, brand awareness is one of the main reasons why small businesses should invest more of their time in improving their SEO. It is a valuable avenue for increasing a newly started business’s popularity.
The higher you are ranking on search engines, the more people will know about you.
An increase in your brand awareness can also lead to more people following you on social media. More unique user visits to your site increase their chance of clicking on your social media icon/link and following you.
12. SEO makes your website mobile-friendly
Research shows that users make almost 60 per cent of searches on mobile phones. It shows how significantly mobile searches contribute to a website’s ranking. Even google searches emphasized the importance of mobile searches concerning a website’s ranking.
Hence, this new mobile device parameter is quite beneficial when improving your website’s ranking on multiple search engines. It will also result in a better user experience.
13. Using SEO increases your website’s speed
There is nothing worse than having to wait for a website to load for too long. Too much buffering and slow speed is downright annoying and often lead to customers closing or switching to a different site.
The rate of your website not only diverts away potential customers but also affects your ranking. A website with fast speed can enhance customer satisfaction and improve user experience.
14. SEO is relatively cheap
A significant benefit of adding SEO to your marketing strategy is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. SEO doesn’t require you to create, publish, and pay for ads. Once you have created a page with high-quality content, the search engine keeps attracting potential customers for years.
It is a one-time cost. Not even a charge, as it is more of an investment. Of course, like with everything else, you will need to keep upgrading your page, even add and deduct content. You can make the changes whenever you feel the need, with no additional costs attached.
Benefits of SEO for small business
Here are the benefits of using SEO for small businesses today:
- High conversion rates.
- Targets a quality audience.
- Trust and credibility.
- Local SEO increases engagement.
- Long-term results.
- Higher return on investment.
- Using SEO influences all other marketing activities.
- SEO helps understand how the web works.
- Positive impact on the buying cycle.
- Using SEO helps create brand awareness.
- Using SEO helps you gain followers on social media.
- SEO makes your website mobile-friendly.
- Using SEO increases your website’s speed.
- SEO is relatively cheap.
SEO is a marketing tactic that you shouldn’t avoid at any cost. Newspapers and billboard advertisements won’t do you much good any longer.
You are no longer living in the 70s. It would be best to have an effective optimization strategy to keep up with your competitors and increase your business’s revenue and profitability.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.