SEO is a necessary component of a good digital marketing strategy, but many companies fail to understand and implement SEO. A study from July of 2018 revealed that only 44% of businesses invest in SEO, perhaps because many businesses are looking to social media advertising rather than Google. While social media marketing is important, SEO should not be put on the back burner.
A study by Moz revealed that over 70% of searches click on a website on the first page of SERPs (search engine result pages). This means that almost all of the traffic on search engines goes to websites on the first page of results. SEO can help your website receive some of that traffic, leading to increased brand awareness, leads, and profits when those leads convert to customers.
What is SEO?
SEO is search engine optimization. This means that SEO optimizes your website so that your business appears high on the search engine rankings for your desired keywords. If you run a bakery in New York City, you’d want your bakery to appear first if someone searches “NYC bakery”. SEO can help you achieve that.
Misconceptions About SEO
Some companies avoid SEO, especially if they’ve tried it before and didn’t see results. There are many misconceptions about SEO among those who don’t fully understand it. Common misconceptions include:
- SEO is outdated and not worth your time/budget
- SEO is shady
- SEO doesn’t work
Many of the reasons for these misconceptions has to do with the history of SEO. When SEO first developed, many people used shady SEO tactics, now known as black hat SEO.
Back before SEO was policed by things like Google penalties, businesses were free to use any trick they could think of to get their website ranked high on search engines. Keywords were stuffed into pages, content was either bad or non-existent, and many of the first results on search engine results pages were irrelevant, spam, or both.
SEO has improved since then, and while white hat SEO makes it harder to get your website to the first page of Google, dirty tricks are no longer effective. Now, search engines like Google show the most relevant, quality content first. To successfully achieve SEO, you need a qualified SEO company and a stellar website.
Why SEO May Not Have Worked Before
If you’ve tried SEO before, you may be wary to invest again. Before you swear off SEO entirely, however, consider two factors: time and quality. Time is important for SEO – it doesn’t happen overnight. Good, white hat SEO practices can take at least six months to one year to get your website on the first page for your main keywords.
It can be hard to stay patient while you’re paying for services and not seeing results, but any company that claims to put you on the first page of Google in a week is either lying or cheating the system, which will ultimately hurt your website.
You also may have invested in SEO with a company who was not transparent in their practices. If your previous SEO provider used shady tactics or was unclear about what they were doing with your website and why, you may not have reached your SEO goals. Good SEO takes time, but you will eventually see results. Find a good SEO company that is transparent about their practices and has a proven track record.
Why You Need SEO
SEO is important for a variety of reasons relating to your business’ online presence and digital marketing strategy. We’ve provided a few reasons that SEO is crucial for your digital marketing plan in 2019.
SEO Brings Relevant Traffic and Leads
SEO drives traffic to your website. Good SEO will help your website rank on the first page or pages of Google search results for the relevant keywords pertaining to your business. That means that if your business is a construction company in South Jersey, SEO can put you in the first few search results for “construction company in South Jersey” bringing you web traffic interested in your business.
Bringing relevant traffic to your website can improve brand recognition, bring in customer leads, and turn visitors to your site into paying customers. SEO helps you get targeted traffic based on keywords related to your products or services.
Local SEO Increases Visits and Sales
Google has reported that 50% of consumers who performed a local search visited the store that same day. If your business has a brick and mortar location, SEO can lead customers physically to your door.
Optimizing your web presence also means it will be easier for potential customers to find your address, phone number, business hours, and other information that can drive them to your website or store.
Good SEO Can Improve PPC
If you’ve ever used pay per click marketing, you know that quality score affects your campaign. A higher PPC quality score can reduce the cost per click and help your ads perform better, making your advertising more cost effective. Optimizing your website with SEO can improve the quality score of your PPC campaigns, helping these two digital marketing strategies work hand in hand.
SEO works hand in hand with other marketing strategies as well. Pairing SEO and search engine advertising improves the efficacy of your ads and can improve traffic by 50% according to a study from Google. SEO can also improve retargeting efforts and increase brand awareness.
Most Consumers Research Online Before Buying
Various studies have shown that consumers tend to research products and services online before they make a purchase. One study from BazaarVoice showed that roughly 82% of consumers research products online before buying them in person. It also revealed that 45% read online reviews before deciding on a purchase in stores, and 56% read online reviews before purchasing online.
SEO makes it easier for customers to find your business online during the research stage of the buying process. Your business must be easily discoverable on search engines to win these customers. Good SEO will bring in relevant, interested customers to your site and make it more likely that they’ll convert into customers.
SEO Builds Trust and Credibility
How often do you look to page two or three on a Google result page? Probably not very often. If a customer is looking for a business and they don’t appear in the first results for the related keywords, that may send up red flags. They could think that your business is not the best in your field, or that you’re inexperienced or irrelevant.
Ranking your business high in search engine results creates a sense of credibility for customers. Consumers are more likely to trust businesses with great websites that rank high on search engines like Google.
If your business’ digital marketing plan does not include SEO, you should consider changing your strategy today. For more information about SEO you can visit our blog, or contact us today to discuss if SEO is right for your business.