As search engines continue to evolve and constantly change their ranking criteria, it can make you wonder whether you should be bothering with search engine optimization (SEO) at all. After all, Google looks at more than 200 factors to decide where each page will appear in the search results. The rules keep changing, so how do you keep up?
From the Panda update to the recent core algorithm update, Google has demonstrated its ability to decide which sites get website traffic and which sites do not. New ways to search also complicate a business’ effort to leverage search for growth; even if a firm has mastered paid advertising, it still may be missing out on traffic coming from organic desktop, mobile and voice searches.
Since 85% of all clicks on Google are on organic search results, and only 15% are on PPC results, SEO proves to be extremely important for companies. Elite has compiled the top reasons why your business needs SEO:
1. SEO Generates More Traffic Than PPC
A trend that hasn’t changed throughout the years is users favouring organic results over paid ads.
According to 2019 reports, over 71% of clicks derive from page one of Google; over 5% on pages two and three; and over 3% of clicks from pages four to 10. This leaves paid ads with only 15% of clicks. Based on the trends over the years, organic search results will remain the users’ top choice for some time to come, making it incredibly important for your business to have a high ranking on search engines.
Sure, rules and platforms have changed, but SEO for businesses remains as important as ever. Yes, more changes will occur in the future; so, it’s your job to learn how to keep up with those changes, staying up-to-date on current trends and publishing high-quality content that adds value to your industry.
2. Search Engine Visibility Builds Brand Credibility and Consumer Trust
Whether you’re a small business owner or a large corporation, when people see a brand near the top of a search engine results page, they recognize this as a positive indication. In other words, people trust Google to put the best websites first. Having your website show up on the first page of results ensures you’ll be trusted by your target audience.
3. Optimizations Can Improve User Experience
Search engines can tell if users respond well to your website. Websites that provide relevant, optimized, mobile-friendly content can expect to succeed. Knowing popular search phrases by performing keyword research can help you optimize your title tags, meta descriptions and content so that you can improve your search engine rankings. Other SEO strategies like link building and content marketing also improve user experience by building your online reputation.
Similarly, businesses that provide a simplified user experience (UX), navigation tools (such as internal links within content) and a speedy checkout process makes it easier for users to navigate their site and helps to improve their website ranking.
4. Local SEO Increases Traffic & Conversions
Approximately 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. Stores, restaurants and other local businesses that offer public access can optimize their website for users locally to leverage these searches. With a good local SEO strategy, your business can appear in search results for mobile and desktop searches for nearby products and services.
Business owners wanting to attract in-store traffic really benefit from local search rankings. If you’re one of the business listings in Google maps local pack for a search, you will statistically receive 48% of all clicks.
5. SEO is a Cost-Effective Marketing Method
Paid digital marketing campaigns like PPC and paid social media ads can drain budgets quickly. Many times, these ads will cost too much to produce your desired results. On the other hand, search engine optimization is free. Other than spending time learning about SEO, optimizing your website for clicks doesn’t cost a thing and can lead to a greater amount of clicks and conversions than Google ads.
Practically every search engine user chooses a link from the first page of their organic search results. So, businesses that only optimize for paid search campaigns can’t reap the many benefits of good organic rankings. In other words, every business should insist on appearing on page one for relevant search terms.
6. You Can Gain Insight Into Your Customers’ Online Habits
Companies can use tools such as Google Analytics to study their customers’ online activities and use these learnings to align their business with the needs, desires, and challenges of their customers. For example, you can use organic search tools to gain insight into the searches, clicks, and engagement of your target audience on competitor websites. These insights can help you update features of your products, services, and other content to meet the needs of your target market.
7. SEO Helps Searchers Discover You
Shoppers often begin their buying journey by searching online. They usually are asking for a solution, and SEO gives you an opportunity to be the one that provides the answers. Brands become more recognizable by optimizing their website for the keywords and phrases their target audience is searching. Engage in hearty keyword research to implement into your strategy and you’re off to a good start.
8. SEO Works For Every Search Engine (not just Google)
Right now, “search engine” and “Google” mean pretty much the same thing. However, alternative search engines exist such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo and account for approximately 8% of the search engine market share. Since they are competing with the search engine giant, these engines provide amazing search experiences to attract users. Since most search engines use a similar algorithm, search engine optimization efforts will have a similar effect on each of them.
9. You CAN Generate Measurable Results
Business owners and managers want to know their return on investment (ROI) for their marketing campaigns, which can sometimes make them back away from SEO. Although profitability of SEO can seem impossible to measure, there are actually many data points that businesses can use to measure their ROI. Using search tools like SEMrush can help you track the progress of common key performance indicators like user engagement, lead generation, and sales conversions – based solely on organic search.
In summary, even though search engine algorithms change along with the strategies for optimizing for them, SEO is a proven and affordable way to stay relevant to your audience and should be a marketing initiative that every business adopts.