This is a question that many new business owners and brands have for me when it comes to digital marketing. Search engine optimization or SEO has been around for more than a decade and a half. Although many clients accept the SEO at face value, you must understand why SEO matters for brands and businesses in the modern digital landscape.
Today, we’ll talk about the importance of SEO and if it’s still a viable marketing strategy for businesses.
SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the process of bringing in organic traffic to your website.
First, let’s define organic traffic. The term “organic traffic” refers to the visitors that go to your website via unpaid (organic) search results. Unlike paid traffic, organic traffic isn’t generated by paid search ads. Organic traffic is generated by visitors that come through your website by using a search engine such as Google or Bing—these are visitors that didn’t come from a referral link or any other website.
The branch of online marketing that focuses on improving your ability to generate organic traffic is called SEO.
When strategically implemented, SEO can help you generate organic leads for products or services offered by your business. For example, a digital marketer may write an informative how-to blog article and optimize it for SEO. People searching for information on how to complete that task can then find it when they conduct a search. If the blog article ranks well, it’ll generate traffic that may lead to paying customers or subscribers.
How SEO Works
When a person conducts a search on a search engine, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, they’ll receive a list of websites that best match their query. That list of websites is called the search results. At the top of the search engine results page or SERP, you’ll find the paid search ads that come from advertising platforms like Google Ads. However, the majority of the websites on the SERP are not paid and they are referred to as organic listings.
The organic results are the free listings that have been analyzed by the search engine to be the most relevant websites to the user’s query. Being listed at the top of the first page results is the main goal of SEO. According to the stats, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search engines. This is hardly surprising especially when most people just quickly scan the results, click a link or two, and go on their way.
Simply put, organic search results receive a greater amount of traffic, even when compared to the paid search results. SEO is used to optimize your website so it appears on the first page of the search results for your target keywords. There are many methods and strategies that you can use to optimize a website for SEO. Some are easy to implement yourself, others you may want to consult with an SEO agency.
Why SEO Matters: The Stats
To understand the importance of SEO and how it can impact your business, here are some key SEO statistics that you should know:
- 93% of all online experiences start with a person using a search engine.
- 51% of website traffic comes from organic search. In comparison, 10% from paid search, 5% for social, and 34% from all other sources.
- More than 40% of revenue is captured by organic search traffic.
- 81% of users perform some type of online search before making a significant buying decision.
- The Top 3 Google search results get 75% of total clicks.
- Over 5.5 billion search queries are performed on Google daily.
- The #1 ranked website has an average click-through rate of 31.7%.
- The #1 spot of the organic search result is ten times more likely to receive a click from users when compared to the #10 ranked website.
- 70-80% of users ignore paid search results and only clicks on organic search results.
- Search is the number one driver of traffic to content websites. It beats social media by more than 300%.
- In addition, search results drive 10x more traffic to shopping websites than social media.
- SEO has 20x more traffic opportunities than pay-per-click on both mobile and desktop.
- 61% of online marketers say that focusing on improving their SEO and organic presence is the top marketing priority.
- Marketers who combined organic SEO and PPC for their online marketing strategy see an average of 25% more clicks and 27% more profits in comparison to those who only focused on SEO.
- 84% of businesses and marketers say that they outsource all or part of their search campaign to SEO specialists.
- According to Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, high-quality content and link building are two of the most important metrics that Google uses to rank websites.
As you can see, the stats don’t lie—SEO is essential to the success of your business. If you’re not using SEO to increase your online presence, you can trust that your competitors are and your business will be left in the dust.
5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs SEO
It seems like every day, some new “it” strategy or technology comes out claiming to be the next big thing for online business marketing. As a result, it’s easy to feel disillusioned by the endless methods and tools out there, and it leaves you wondering if traditional methods are old news.
If you have such doubts with SEO, you’ll be happy to know that it’s still an essential marketing strategy. Here are the top reasons why you should invest in SEO.
#1. Long-Term Results
SEO is not by any means a product but a long-term process—one that brings you long-term benefits as well. It’s not an overnight solution, but it will make a noticeable, long-term impact on your business. Many of my clients ask me how long will it take to rank for their target keywords. In reality, it can take up to 6 months or more to see any noticeable effects of your SEO efforts. This is especially true for competitive keywords.
Some businesses or companies try SEO for the first time, only to be discouraged after a month or two of “no results.” To be successful with SEO, you need to commit to your SEO strategy and see it through to completion. If you implement SEO properly and keep at it, your website will end up at the top of the SERP and the results will benefit your business for years to come.
#2. Organic Search is the Primary Source of Traffic
There’s no way around it, organic traffic is essential for businesses. When you rank highly for target keywords, you’ll increase organic traffic and feed conversions and engagement. To increase organic traffic, you’ll want to optimize for the biggest search engine out there: Google.
As you probably know, Google is the number one search engine in the world; it dominates 92.71% of all search queries. That’s 9 out of 10 users who use Google for searching online over its competitors like Bing, Yahoo!, Baidu, and many others.
That’s not saying that the rest of the search engines don’t contribute to a business’ visibility–if you play your cards right, they do. It’s just that Google is the clear-cut leader and the majority of your resources should focus on optimizing for Google.
#3. SEO Increases Your Business’ Trustworthiness and Credibility
If you manage to get to the first page of SERPs, users will make a mental note of your website while using search engines. They may not consciously realize it but they’ll do it. In the minds of the end-users, your appearance on the first page of Google is a vote of confidence. In their minds, they’ll say: “Google says this business is an authority and relevant to my query, so that must be the case.”
Much like the nature of SEO, building authority and trust doesn’t happen overnight—they’re built and earned over time. With patience, effort, commitment, and a solid SEO strategy, you’ll eventually establish your brand as an authority, provided that you offer high-quality content. When you’re ranking high in the search results, it’s easier to establish trust and authority because your rank pretty much speaks for itself.
#4. Good SEO = Better User Experience
The primary goal of an SEO expert is to establish a strong foundation for the best user experience. A well-designed website with a clean and intuitive user interface can lend trust and credibility to your brand. Good user experience also means responsive high-quality content, proper use of tags, easy navigation, etc. Every marketer wants to get better SEO rankings and maximum visibility but very few know the importance of optimal user experience to get there.
Major search engines are always looking to provide the best experience to their users. These platforms have learned how to interpret if the website’s user experience is good or not. Positive user experience means that your visitors/customers are happy, which can result in a lower bounce rate and better conversions. If your customers are not happy due to poor user experience, you’ll likely turn them away forever.
For instance, optimizing the page load time is essential for better customer experience and conversions rates. According to the survey, up to 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance say they won’t visit or buy from the same site again. Also, 47% of users expect the webpage to load within 2 seconds or less while 64% of mobile users expect the pages to load within 4 seconds.
Quality SEO promotes a positive user experience that you can leverage to work in your brand’s favor.
#5. Local SEO Drives More Business
According to Statista, in the last quarter of 2019, the share of mobile internet traffic globally is 51.98%. Due to the massive popularity of mobile traffic, local search has become an integral component to the success of small to medium-sized businesses.
If you want to drive more local customers to your place of business, investing in Local SEO is a must. This strategy aims to optimize your website and digital properties for a specific vicinity. When you’re looking for a local restaurant or plumber, you’re going to get on your mobile device and do a little online search.
Your customers are no different.
A strong local SEO strategy is the key to driving more people to your brick-and-mortar store. Here are a few local SEO stats to give you an idea just how important it is to optimize for local searches:
- 88% of customers who do a local search on their smartphones have called or visited a store within 24 hours.
- 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.
- 97% of customers learn about a local business or company through the internet than anywhere else.
- 61% of mobile users are more likely to get in touch with a local business if their website is optimized for mobile.
- 78% of location-based searches on mobile lead to an offline purchase.
- 92% of searchers will click on a business on the first page of the SERPs.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to using SEO to grow your business. However, SEO continues to be one of the most difficult solutions to understand. If you’re unable to wrap your head around SEO, you might consider reaching out to an SEO professional.
4 Important Benefits of Hiring SEO Experts
#1. Saves You Time and Lets You Focus on What’s Important
Many businesses choose to take on the SEO gauntlet and do it by themselves. For the most part, SEO is free, how difficult can it be? Although SEO is a free online marketing strategy, it’s also a very demanding field in the digital marketing sector. You have to address factors like content creation, link building, on-page optimization, off-site optimization—there are a lot of elements involved.
Therefore, many business owners end up outsourcing their SEO campaign to the professionals because they just don’t have the time to carry it out themselves. SEO requires your full attention and will take up a lot of time. The time that could be best spent on more important things like running your business.
#2. Leverage Their Knowledge and Experience
While you may know the basics of SEO or have read some articles or blogs about it, you probably don’t have much experience in actually optimizing a website.
SEO can be unforgiving and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may end up doing more damage to your site than good. For instance, link building is one of the key elements of SEO but if you use the wrong kind of links, you may receive penalties from Google that will be difficult to recover from.
The best SEO companies have the necessary knowledge and experience to help grow your business, not damage it. They also have worked with many different clients, enabling them to create the right strategies for your industry whether you have a small business or from the healthcare industry.
#3. Improve Your Website and Its Ranking Potential
You might be proud of your business website but is it properly optimized for SEO? Does it have high-quality content that’s relevant to your customers? Does it target the most relevant keywords your customers are using? Does it have a fast load time?
These are just some of the improvements that an SEO agency can provide with regards to your website. The agency will take a look at these areas and ensure that they’re helping and not hampering the results you seek. With an SEO strategy done right, your chances for reaching potential customers or leads are improved. Plus, applications of other marketing strategies can be minimized, saving you a lot of money on marketing.
#4. Lend You Assistance Outside of SEO
Full-service digital marketing agencies, like Atlantic Digital Marketing, can be relied on for all of your online marketing needs. That simply can’t be said with an agency that provides strictly SEO services. As you grow your business, your marketing needs will grow as well. Eventually, you may need to use more digital marketing methods outside of SEO.
If you need more than just a sound SEO campaign, companies like Atlantic Digital Marketing will be more than happy to accommodate your needs.
Do you need PPC to grow your business? Sure!
Do you need a web designer to improve your website? Check!
Do you need to improve your social media marketing presence as well? Of course!
With a full-service digital marketing agency, you don’t have to deal with multiple companies for your different marketing needs.
Need More Convincing Why SEO Matters?
If you still don’t use SEO to promote your brand and grow your business, you’re missing out on reaching your customers. When they have a question or need information, you want to be found when they conduct their search. If not, they’ll find your competitors instead.
Although SEO has been around for a long time, it’s far from an outdated marketing method. Just remember that SEO is constantly changing and ever-evolving. SEO trends will always come and go. What matters is your ability to adapt. If you can’t keep up with the ever-changing rules of SEO, you’ll be at a disadvantage.
This is why working with agencies like Atlantic Digital Marketing Company is always worth the investment. On top of having a solid SEO strategy that works, your website will get updated and optimized based on the latest trends and policies.
Want your website to rank higher in Google’s search results? Need help to fine-tune your SEO strategies? Get in touch with the Atlantic Digital Marketing team today!