Search Engine Optimisation is something that is sometimes misunderstood and often undervalued, but is more important than ever.
So why is SEO essential for your business?
1. Organic Traffic Is Often The Number 1 Source Of Website Traffic
Organic search plays a big part in the performance of most websites, as well as having a critical role in sales funnels. As Google represents over 92% of all online searches, and so ensuring that you are visible and trusted by Google is always going to have a positive impact, presenting your business as a high-quality website.
2. Good SEO Leads To a Better User Experience
User experience contributes heavily to organic rankings and is something that Google is increasingly prioritising. Customers generally know what they want, or want information they need, and when they don't find it...they usually go looking for it elsewhere.
Studies show that 82% of smartphone users consult online resources before making an in-store purchase, and 45% read reviews before making the final decision to buy.
3. Trust & Credibility
A major goal of any SEO strategy is to establish your brand as trustworthy, credible and a voice of authority. When it comes to Google, and therefore it's users, that's achieved by ranking in as high a position as possible. One way to do so is with good quality content that hits the mark with Google's E.A.T requirements, providing information valuable to the user at multiple points of their journey. Ticking this box with Google generally goes hand in hand with genuine advice or information that is useful and builds real trust in your brand.
4. Directly Impacts Buyers Journey
Customers do their research (even when buying in store), and according to this study, when they do it online, 68% of people say they use Google, and 48% say they use a store's website. This applies to both online AND offline purchases.
It's worth noting that this factor becomes more important the more expensive the purchase gets. If you're selling high-value items or services, you can be sure that your customers are researching, comparing reviews and looking at your competitors. So it's important that you measure up.
5. Cost Effective Form Of Digital Marketing
It's cheap! Compared to other forms of marketing and digital marketing, SEO is relatively cheap and for our clients, represents the best ROI.
SEO shouldn't be considered as a marketing cost but as a true business investment. A good SEO strategy will have a lasting effect for years, and directly reflects the time and money invested. SEO almost has been viewed as your digital shop front.
6. Long Term
SEO rarely has an instant impact and can take anywhere from a month to a year to see significant progress, but the work done will have an impact that lasts for years.
Algorithms and shifts in the market might make aspects of your SEO strategy less effective (or more!) but even implementing simple best practice changes combined with good content and a quality user experience count for a lot and give you a long lasting foundation to build from.
7. Page 1 Is All That Matters
Last, but not least, if you're not on page 1 you're not going to get the click.
It's a well-accepted fact that if you're not page 1 of Google's search results, you're probably not getting much organic traffic...and that you're rank on page 1 is also important. According to Smart Insights, Rank 1 accounts for nearly 30% of clicks, this drops to 10% for the third position and plummets to 2% by the bottom of the first page.
SEO should be seen as a necessary business cost and part of the foundations of your business, especially if you rely on your website to generate leads, enquiries or sales.
It doesn't always require a huge level of investment but will always take time, which is where more investment can speed things up and with 'new age' marketing techniques like this becoming part most businesses standard operating procedure...the competition is only ever going to increase.