SEO is nothing new; it has been around for a while, but unless you really understand what it is and why you need it, you might be thinking “Do I really need SEO for my small business?” The answer is “Absolutely!” In fact, if you only do one thing to advertise your business, SEO should be it. If you think that SEO is just a trend or that you are doing fine without it, you are missing out big time. There are many reasons that small businesses and big businesses alike need the power of SEO, and this article will outline the big five. First let’s explore what SEO is.
What is SEO?
Many people believe they understand the concept, but might not fully comprehend what SEO really entails. Search engine optimization is how a website can increase its visibility for organic searches. An organic search is really just a fancy way of saying “when people input what they want into the search engine query.” Unlike paid ads, which help you gain visibility for searches that you have to pay for, organic search optimization is “free” because you don’t have to pay for your positioning; you just have to do the right things to get you there.
It Isn’t Just About Keywords and Keyphrases
It used to be that the only tool SEO experts used were keywords and key phrases, but just like the internet has evolved, so too have search engines and the way that they rank sites. Things like content that is relative to subjects, the authority of the domain, and user experience are all measured to come up with a formula about how high a website is on a specific search inquiry. If you don’t know which factors play a role in ranking your site highly, then you are missing out on being found when you should be.
Top Five Benefits of SEO
Increase Qualified Traffic and Brand Visibility
A dirty little secret that paid advertisers don’t want you to know is that statistics tell us that as many as 80% of all internet users tune out paid advertising and ignore it entirely. Searchers will almost always go past the paid to find the one on the organic list that they identify with. That means that your site needs to be high up on the ranking list. Another thing that we know is that 98% of all users will not go to page two. And nearly 32% of clicks go to the first result on the list. So if you want to be found at all, you have to rank on the first page, which is easier said than done. If you aren’t using SEO appropriately, there is no way that you are going to ever have the visibility you need to drive traffic.
Local SEO Helps You Stay Ahead of Competitors
One thing that the internet did was to level the playing field, making it possible for small businesses to compete with bigger ones. What does that mean for you? If you use local SEO appropriately, then you can build your local presence online to help drive traffic directly to you and give you the ability to override major players with national brand recognition. Additionally, over the past two years, Google has refined its practices with Rich Snippet boxes, Business Knowledge Panels, and Local Pack results, which give you even more opportunities to gain local visibility. Google continues to provide new ways to deliver what people want with fewer clicks needed. That means that your website has to be optimized with the keywords people are using to search while offering a positive user experience and content relevance. If you do those things, you will win the coveted featured snippet that will drive traffic to your website and ultimately bring foot traffic to your business.
Building Brand Credibility and Trust
Domain authority is something that Google values highly when ranking websites. The way that you show Google that you are both a trusted and credible business is by adhering to the E-A-T principle, which is Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. One of the major factors in ranking according to EAT is the quality of your content. It has to be relevant, intuitive, industry-specific, and unique. Your online presence has to be consistent and maintained according to a standard of quality. That requires your branding, blog posts, social media engagement, and landing page content all hold the same quality standard and voice. It is not a short process or an easy one, but in the long run, it is the best way to rank highly and stay there.
Effective Long-Term Digital Marketing Campaign
One reason business owners might not see the value in SEO is that it isn’t a short-term payoff and they often get frustrated that the results aren’t instant. That’s why many turn to paid ads for instant rewards or wins. There is no denying that paid advertising is valuable, but SEO is a long-term marketing strategy that delivers long-term results, meaning once you get where you want to be, you stay there with a little maintenance. When you stop your paid ads, the instant payoffs stop along with it and you return to low visibility. When you incorporate SEO as an overall business practice, then you make strides at every turn, reaching the top and reaping the benefits for the long term on Google.
Produces Valuable Insights
SEO is a tool that not only helps you on the internet; it permeates all of your marketing strategies. When you use Google Analytics appropriately to track your consumer behavior, it can lead to an effective digital marketing campaign and strategy. Things like paying attention to bounce rates to understand whether your content is relevant and useful will help you to know who your audience is and what they want. Google has many key metrics that identify which practices are working and which are not. When you know what your audience wants and doesn’t want, you can stop wasting time on ineffective marketing.
If you think that you are doing just fine without SEO, we can say with 100% certainty you might be, but why would you want to only be doing “fine”?
In an age where everyone turns to their computer to find a product or service, you want to make sure that you are front and center to the audience that you’re seeking – and that means visibility. The only way to gain visibility is by playing by the rules of SEO, and even if you don’t know what they are, the good news is that we do.
At Fu Dog Media, we are continually finding the loopholes that help us get ahead, being creative about ways to increase your visibility, striving to get you to page one, and keeping you there. We guarantee that if you get us involved, you won’t be doing fine; you will dominate! Contact us to get started today!