Whether you have a business that services a mostly local market or a global audience, implementing a solid SEO strategy is highly advantageous. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps the visibility of your website, creates a user-friendly experience, and generates a steady flow of targeted traffic to your website among many other things. Below we are going to discuss seven benefits of using SEO.
1. Building Brand Awareness with SEO
In the past most SEOs cared about little more than ranking your website for a set of keywords. Just as Google has made continual updates to improve the search results, a good SEO strategy has evolved as well. Commonly when people think about building brand awareness, strategies such as billboards, networking and offline ads come to mind. While those things can help in building brand awareness, failing to incorporate digital strategies into the process would be a costly mistake. Think about it for a minute, if someone is searching for a service and they are continually exposed to your company, does that not build brand awareness? Of course it does. Even better, since they are searching for what you offer, you are paying to build brand awareness with a targeted audience. If you have a lawn mowing service, I may be very aware of it but if I live in an apartment, I won't have a need. SEO promotes you to those with a problem your business can solve.
2. Increased Average Conversion Rates
Even if you overlook the cost savings of SEO, you cannot overlook the incredible difference in conversion rates (source for stat above). When people search for a service and find you listed organically, there is an inherent trust that is not even replicated with PPC ads. Since you advertising is focused on those with a problem you can solve, you are bound to turn more of them into customers.
3. Better Than PPC Ads
High organic rankings will yield a higher average conversion rate than using pay-per-click. In addition, if you set your PPC budget to low, your ads will not even be shown to numerous interested searchers. On the flip side, failing to properly optimize your PPC campaign can result in a lack of clicks or as bad, untargeted traffic wasting your budget. While PPC ads are a great way to supplement a digital marketing strategy, failing to include SEO would be a costly mistake.
4. Catering to Mobile Users
Several studies have indicated that the majority of searches for local businesses come from mobile devices. As you may recall, a few months ago Google made it known that having a mobile friendly website was a must. While the update did not affect as many search results as initially expected, it made it very clear that you need to cater to a mobile audience. A solid SEO strategy will do a couple of things to make that happen. The first and most simplistic step is to make sure your website is mobile friendly. It is my recommendation that you opt for a responsive design over a separate mobile site. The second thing a solid strategy will do is look at the variation between desktop searches and mobile searches. This will help you identify the searches you should optimize for to reach nearby consumers. Doing so will allow you to capitalize on the fact that "70 percent of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour." (iAcquire)
5. Your Competition is Doing It
If it is a known fact that people search for businesses online and take action with them shortly thereafter in many cases, it is pretty clear that you need to be marketing to them online. If you fail to take advantage of online marketing, you are all but handing your potential clients over to your competition. Do you really want to 70 percent of your potential customers to find your competitor online and visit them instead of you? If so, it might be time for a career change.
6. Cost Savings Over Traditional Methods
When is the last time you ran a newspaper ad? For many of you the answer is "I am still running one". While the effectiveness is an argument we will save for another day, the cost of reaching potential customers is clearly higher for newspapers. In a previous Website Magazine article we compared TV, newspaper, and digital marketing costs. As you will see, digital marketing is hands down the least expensive method, not to mention the only method that reaches such a tightly targeted audience.
7. Digital is the Future
Every day more and more people are gaining access to and utilizing devices to browse the internet. While SEO has been around since the late 90s, we are now reaching a point where it is becoming a mainstream advertising method. Our society as a whole has grown to expect current and actionable information about almost any subject to be available on demand. While SEO certainly helps you sell products and gain exposure, it also allows you to share your knowledge with those seeking to better understand your product or service and the problems it can solve. If you are going to spend money on advertising, why not spend it on a method that continually connects you with your ideal customers?
When you start planning your budget for 2016, omitting SEO or other inbound marketing strategies from the plan would be a costly mistake.
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Marion, IL. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz