Not so long ago, SEO was just a cool buzzword used by people in-the-know. If you could figure out a neat little SEO trick, you’d be able to push yourself ahead of the competition and grow your business at an exponential pace.
But now, everybody and their dog seems to be doing SEO. Is it even worth it? With so much competition, can you still get an edge?
What is SEO?
Before we can answer this question, we need to understand what SEO is. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Every day people use Google to find information. Most of the time, they click on one of the first three results that come up.
How does Google know which sites should be ranked first? They have an algorithm that attempts to understand what the websites are about, and how popular they are. SEO is essentially optimizing your website so that Google can understand it, with the goal of promoting your business to show up when consumers search for the products or services that you offer.
What Factors Determine Your Rankings?
While there are hundreds of different factors that can affect your rankings, the two most important ones are content and links.
Your content needs to be phrased correctly so that you rank for the correct search terms. For example, let’s say that you own an Italian restaurant. You have the best spaghetti in the whole city, but only your existing clients know about it. If your page is called “Leo’s Italian Food: The Best Pasta in The City,” you might think that it’s clear you have spaghetti. However, Google is not that smart. Unless you actually use the word “spaghetti” on your website, Google has no idea that you serve it. A good SEO agency will take the time to find out what users are searching for on Google, and make sure that your website is phrased appropriately.
Content tells Google what your website is about. But we still need to show them that your site is popular. Remember, Google wants to put the best website first. How do they know which one is the best? By the number of pages, that link to your site! Let’s say that your spaghetti restraint is really taking off. Food bloggers are posting a review of your delicious meals, and including a link back to your restaurant’s website. Local tourism agencies are posting a link. Maybe even the local newspaper puts a story about your business online. Google thinks “hey, this restaurant is getting a lot of attention. We better make sure people can find them when they search for a good spaghetti restaurant online”.
An SEO agency will make sure that your website is listed online everywhere they can. They’ll reach out to blogs and see if they are interested in writing a feature about your business. They’ll get you listed in local restaurant directories. There are hundreds of different ways to build links, and these strategies will change for each different client.
Do I Really Need to do SEO?
Many businesses might be doing fairly well without any SEO work. They might think “Hey, this is working for me. SEO must be an unnecessary marketing expense.” The simple fact is that functioning businesses are the perfect candidate for SEO. You already know that your pricing works, and you know that customers like your product. SEO is only effective if you already have a functioning business.
“You can get more traffic, more phone calls from potential clients, more sales... whatever you’re trying to do, digital marketing can help you do more of it. But digital marketing isn’t what’s making you money. You need to have a profitable foundation with a quality product or service to build off of - once that is in place, more eyeballs on your brand through digital marketing efforts means an uptick in revenue and brand recognition for you.” according to MezzoLogic.
SEO plays such a major role in a businesses online success, and not just in terms of producing high rankings in the search results. Many companies are using search engine optimization to help with their branding as well. Here are six reasons why your business needs SEO:
1. Delivers High ROI
There is no other form of online marketing that can deliver a return quite like SEO. So many people don’t have success with search engine optimization because they sign up with an inexperienced company or one that is simply outsourcing the work overseas and has absolutely no idea what a successful SEO campaign consists of. We just discussed the dangers of outsourced SEO, and so many businesses get burned by these low quality companies that simply don’t have the knowledge to deliver results. When done correctly SEO can deliver nonstop organic traffic that would cost a tremendous amount of money if it was being paid for through a paid search campaign.
2. SEO Works
SEO is not dead and it continues to work. When done correctly it can deliver endless and consistent traffic to your website. Sure, there are Google updates and algorithm changes that are constantly being rolled out to combat the spam, but if you are working with an experienced and knowledgeable SEO provider you will not have to worry about these issues. So many companies fall for services that promise the world for a few hundred dollars and this just isn’t realistic. You have to be willing to invest in a service that does it right.
3. SEO Will Not Disappear
SEO will never go away. It continues to evolve over time and the companies that understand it are constantly adapting with it and not skipping a beat. Over the past few years the mass link building spam has been penalized and now the focus revolves around creating content and earning links for high quality and relevant websites. The concept of SEO will never change, but the techniques to maintain rankings will always change. SEO will be around as long as the Internet is, so it is a good idea to get involved now instead of sitting on the sidelines.
4. The Competition Does It
Many businesses are under the assumption that SEO only needs to be done until top rankings are achieved, but that is not accurate at all. When your website reaches the top spots it will require even more work to maintain and continue to improve the rankings. Your competition is going after those top positions, so you need to either compete to beat them to it, or sit back and let them take the majority share of traffic for your industry. Are you going to sit back and just hand them business? Simply ignoring SEO is just giving your competition business without a fight.
5. Your Customers Are Mobile
Mobile traffic continues to increase at a rapid rate and it is now outpacing traffic from desktop computers. If you want to see some crazy and eye opening stats about mobile traffic then check out this infographic. SEO allows your business to be found by consumers that are actively seeking for the service and products your business sells. Local search engine optimization can help your business be found by individuals that can turn into store visits, phone calls, or even instant online purchases. Mobile search is the future, so you need to make sure your business is ready for it.
6. Everyone Looks For Businesses Online
With a SEO strategy in place you can increase the odds of your potential customer base locating your website and engaging with your company. Think about how convenient the Internet is for a consumer. They can search for a business, review products, review the business, and even make purchases. This can be done from the comfort of their home on a desktop, or while on the go from a tablet or mobile device. If you want to be found online then you need SEO.
But the problem is that SEO is no longer a marketing technique used by a few savvy companies. SEO is now the industry standard for any business with an online presence. Ignoring SEO means that you’re falling behind. If you don’t focus on promoting your business online, it won’t be long before one of your competitors pushes you out of the way. There is no denying you need a SEO strategy in place to attract organic traffic to your website. It provides a tremendous ROI when done correctly, and is a great long term strategy. Contact us if you want to learn more about how SEO can benefit your business.