Search engine optimization is often used as a buzzword in the realm of digital marketing. Sadly, this status of “buzzword” is often why businesses dismiss it as something trivial. In truth, SEO is probably the single most important thing on the Internet that businesses must focus upon.
But what makes SEO so important for businesses? Let’s take a look:
The primary reason why businesses need to have SEO is website traffic. Just pure, heavy traffic can do wonders for your business – strength in numbers, remember? Good SEO ensures that your business ranks high in the search engine ranking pages (SERPs) with their relevant keywords. The general user trend is to “never go on Page 2”, so being visible on the first page automatically guarantees that a lot of users would visit your business website. Ignoring everything else, just this traffic can exponentially improve your reach. In many ways, good SEO can bring you more visibility than any other form of marketing. For a small business, being visible is crucial in expanding its user base; SEO can be a boon for them.
Building credibility in the eyes of the customers is as hard as building a brand. More often than not, potential customers tend to ignore a company if they think it is not credible enough, no matter how good their product/service is. Credibility doesn’t build overnight; there is a lot of work involved in creating that authority. Although there are more ways to create authority, Google search results are often an important metric. In the eyes of an internet surfer, a business on the first-page results must be quite credible if it is so high in the Google search results. On the contrary, web pages on the later SERPs must be shady, or why wouldn’t Google show them first? Search engine optimization ensures that your business ranks high in the search results, thus ensuring credibility in the eyes of potential customers.
3. Local Market Engagement:
Most search engines today make a distinction between global and local users. This distinction can be very useful for businesses. “Local” users are simply users who are in the vicinity of your business. Local SEO is a type of SEO aimed at targeting these local users. This is usually done by keywords that the local users would tend to use, backlinks to other local websites etc. Google particularly allows businesses to exploit this distinction between local and global users; with the use of local SEO, businesses (especially small and medium ones) can get greater local engagement and build a customer base.
4. Return on investment (ROI):
Marketing and advertisement generally consume the most capital in businesses other than the actual cost of production. But more often than not, the ROI is not impressive enough. Businesses spend huge money on paid advertisements only to realize that they are not reaching far enough. On the other hand, SEO has a much higher ROI. This is largely because SEO costs a lot less compared to advertising and marketing. However, it is also because SEO is a lot more targeted. Only people interested in your niche or sector would bother searching about it, and your position in the top results would ensure that they visit you. This also eliminates all the wrong demographics which are often unintentionally targeted by advertising campaigns and increase the costs.
5. Better User Experience:
Businesses constantly strive to provide a better user experience in anything they do. After all, better UX means more satisfied users and loyal customers. But quite often these solutions do not solve anything at all. SEO, however, improves UX in a single, direct way. Most users today tend to use Google as a personal assistant instead of a search engine. They tend to not only search for businesses but also the services, features, and reviews of those businesses. With good SEO you can allow Google to provide all these answers to users on their search results page. With the correct use of SEO, search engines can index certain parts of a webpage and use it as metadata in response to search queries. Not only does it further increase your traffic but also provides a better UX to users by providing them with the exact information they want.
6. SEO is always Up-to-date:
The market has never been more dynamic before. Every day something new happens, and even a single event has the potential to change the way market works. As the competition gets stiffer, the methods to reach customers become obsolete faster than ever. Be it advertising, social media marketing or public relations – companies are often late to realize that their existing tactics are no longer relevant. But with SEO, this is never the issue. Google search algorithms are probably one of the most fickle things in the universe, continuously changing over a matter of days. Fortunately, this is matched by the rate of SEO updates. Any changes made to the search engine algorithm are almost immediately reflected in the SEO strategies. Thus, SEO ensures that there is at least one front where businesses can always keep up with times.
7. Low Cost, Long Effects:
Like we said before, one of the reasons why SEO has such a high ROI is its low cost. In fact, if business owners are proficient with SEO, it practically costs nothing to use SEO on their website. Despite the low cost, SEO gives some long-term benefits. In its core, SEO is a long-term strategy. While it is entirely possible to see some positive impacts in the first few months of using it, the real power of SEO lies with time. No matter how much search engine algorithm or SEO strategies change, the impact of using even basic SEO would resonate and continue to benefit your business for years. In fact, when done continuously over the years, the impact would likely grow exponentially.
Search engine optimization is certainly much more than a buzzword. When used correctly, it can do wonders for a business. All you need to do is recognize its potential for your business.
by Nancy Khosla