SEO is one of those topics that simultaneously overwhelms and frightens newer business owners. SEO can be complicated at times, but knowing the basics is a must for any smart business owner who wants to take the digital marketing world by storm.
The first basic to know: what even is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a fancy way of describing the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of your website traffic through non-paid, or “organic”, search engine results. In layman’s terms, it means getting more people to see your website when they search for related terms in Google or a different search engine.
To master SEO, you need to know not only what your ideal client is looking for when they search online, but the specifics as well: What kind of answers are they seeking? What words are they using? What kind of content do they like consuming? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to tailor your copy and content to the people who are online searching for exactly what you have to offer.
Now that you know a little more about what SEO is, you may be wondering why it’s even important, especially if you primarily use social media as your marketing home base. There are five main reasons why SEO is important.
Organic search results = more clicks
Paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can all generate traffic to your website, but organic search results (aka what pops up when you search for something in a search engine) are, simply put, better. They cover more digital real estate, appear more credible, and are clicked on way more than paid advertisements.
It can majorly drive your visibility
One of the most important functions of SEO is its ability to increase your visibility. SEO can make it a lot easier for prospects to find you when you have something they’re searching for. Visibility is directly related to your ranking — the higher you rank on a search engine result page (SERP), the more likely your ideal client is to see your website and click on it. The more effective your SEO efforts, the higher your ranking and the better your visibility.
It makes your business look more credible
Strong SEO efforts (like a front page search engine listing) can immediately boost the credibility of your business, even if you’re just starting out. A high ranking means your website is trustworthy, high quality, relevant, and has something to offer — all things that reflect positively on your business as well. Think about it: when you search for a service or product, you generally trust the results on the first page the most, right?
SEO drives higher quality traffic — the people who want to pay you
The whole point behind your website is to actually make sales, which is why in an ideal world the people clicking on your website are actually interested in buying something from you. Believe it or not, potential customers are out there searching for your services/products online — but if you aren’t one of the first websites they come across, they won’t know that you have exactly what they need. A strong SEO strategy gives these potential clients who already want to buy from you an entry point and puts you right in front of them.
It’s a method of 24/7 lead generation
One of the best things about eventually mastering SEO is that it makes you constantly visible to potential leads. When your website ranks high, you’ll receive traffic night and day. This means you can spend less time (and money) on more active marketing efforts and instead let your SEO campaign become a lead and sales-generating machine. It also isn’t as costly as some other digital marketing strategies.
As a business & digital marketing consultant, SEO is one of the first marketing strategies I suggest my clients look into, which is why I highly encourage you to get started on improving your SEO knowledge if it isn’t currently your strong suit— you’ll be happy you did once the leads start pouring in! You can also work with an SEO expert to help you optimise your results.
Whichever option you choose, the above five benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how SEO can help your business grow and thrive.