In 2016, brands and agencies spent $65.26 billion on SEO. According to the same research, that number was expected to hit $79.27 billion in 2020.
Whether your company is new, well-established, or operating on a shoestring budget, you may be wondering if SEO is a worthwhile investment. After all, marketing experts may be talking about the importance of search engine rankings now, but who knows how long that’ll last?
As a business owner with monthly, quarterly, and annual goals, you can’t afford to waste time on internet fads — you need an advertising strategy that works.
The good news is that SEO isn’t just another flash-in-the-pan marketing method. Done right, your SEO strategy can help you drive website traffic and generate sales even while you’re asleep.
Want to learn more about what SEO can do for your company? Keep reading to get the lowdown on SEO.
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Understanding The Importance Of SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is how digital marketers describe the strategies they use to attract website visitors through search engines like Google, Bing, or Baidu.
However, that general definition doesn’t answer the million-dollar question that most business owners have about SEO:
What’s so special about SEO?
We’ve gathered three key reasons why SEO isn’t going anywhere as a traffic-generating tactic:
1. The Traffic Potential Is Massive
When was the last time you made a Google search? From low-carb lunch ideas to software solutions and work-related inquiries, many people use search engines without a second thought. Google alone, for instance, fields over 70,000 searches per second.
For many businesses, SEO isn’t just another to-do item on an internal checklist — it’s a legitimate means of generating leads.
2. People Are Spending More and More Time Online
If there’s one thing that we’ve all learned from Superbowl commercials, it’s that random advertising can be risky.
For starters, you have to hope that your target demographic is in the market for your product right at that moment. And even then, if the prospect has decided to refill the punch bowl or take a smoke break before the halftime show, there’s a chance that they might not see your ad.
One of the most important benefits of digital marketing is that it allows you to meet people halfway.
In 2021, Pew Research discovered that three in every ten adults spend a lot of time online. And even if you’re not targeting forever-online users, a total of eight in ten American adults admitted being online at least daily.
SEO gives businesses a legitimate opportunity to establish an attractive presence on the web.
3. Brand-Building Opportunities
It’s been said that 88 percent of consumers feel that authenticity is a key factor when it comes to finding brands that they like. But if you’ve spent any amount of time promoting your business online, you’ve likely come to this realization:
People want to know who your company is.
If the next Batman film was written and edited to look like a rom-com with limited action, the superhero’s fans would be demanding their money back at the theater. Why? Because at this point, Batman has built a brand around wearing dark colors and fighting bad guys.
When you’re running paid ads or relying on word-of-mouth marketing, you don’t always have the ability to tell your story.
If people are finding your SEO-optimized content, however, you have a lot more room to craft an authenticity-boosting narrative for your brand.
Understanding The Different Types Of SEO
We’re going to let you in on a little secret.
SEO has a few common subcategories. The most commonly accepted ones include:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
We’ll go over each of these in turn.
On-page SEO deals with the work you do to optimize your content so that people will find it after entering your keywords. This process will often include keyword selection, links, and content creation.
Have you ever wondered why sites like Wikipedia and WebMD are always really high up in the search rankings? It’s because those sites have built the domain authority needed to outrank other sites with ease.
With its combination of social media marketing and backlink-building, off-page SEO can help you build credibility with Google and other search engines.
Last but not least, technical SEO refers to the tasks you do to keep the site running. These may include metadata, site speed, and sitemaps.
At first glance, this may seem a bit counterintuitive. After all, if Google sees that you have the right keywords, does the performance of your site really matter?
It turns out that search engines care deeply about your site performance because of the impact it has on the customer’s experience. For this reason, high bounce rates and slow loading times can have a direct effect on Google’s willingness to refer you traffic.
Benefits Of SEO For Businesses
You may have read the last few sections and said, “Okay. I have a solid sense of what SEO is and how it works. But I’m struggling to understand what it can do for my business.”. If that’s you, then you’ll want to read this:
1. SEO Can Help You Build Credibility
Whether you’re a B2C e-commerce company or a B2B software provider, your customers need to trust you ahead of the purchase.
To make things even more complicated, however, it’s not always as simple as “I found this company. And I believe they’ll deliver.”. Sometimes clients need to be educated on the benefits of your product. Other times, they need to be sold on the merits of working with your company in particular.
In many ways, we live in a world where perception is reality.
You might be a subject matter expert. But it isn’t enough for your coworkers to agree with your knowledge level. Your target demographic has to see it too.
With the power of SEO, a single blog post can pre-sell your prospects while showcasing your expertise.
2. You Can Get More Traffic
As inflation goes up and people’s wallets become less open, competition for customers is getting fierce in most industries.
Every company will be going over its unique sales proposition and experimenting with soft rebrands. And if you don’t have an end-to-end strategy, your company will struggle to reach the next level.
Remember what we said before about Google handling around 70,000 searches a minute? This number translates to several billion searches per month.
With just a fraction of those searches, you’d never have to worry about growth, revenue, or being able to pay yourself.
SEO is all about using keywords to get more people clicking on posts and visiting your site. You’ll be surprised at the difference that a few well-timed blog posts can make.
3. You’ll Be Offering an Improved Customer Experience
Netflix. Amazon. Google.
What do all of these businesses have in common? They disrupted their respective industries by making customers an irresistible offer.
When SEO becomes a part of your customer acquisition strategy, you naturally start to take a more customer-focused view. Here’s why:
Let’s say that you’re a small business accountant. You know that your future customers will love your services but you’ve been struggling to get real clients.
During the keyword research phase of your customer service project, you’ll get to spend a significant amount of time digging into people’s pain points. You’ll see the questions that they’re asking. And you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of where your service offerings might not be going far enough.
Some companies will take that information, grab what they can, and throw up a few blog posts. But this is a limiting approach.
From writing blog posts to offering reassurance and internalizing feedback from reviews, the data you glean from your SEO research can be used to turn your business into a truly customer-centric organization.
4. The Leads Are Often Cheaper And Better
Paid ads are known for generating quick traffic. But there’s a fatal flaw that comes with running paid campaigns:
If you ever stop paying, your leads and conversion rates will fall off a cliff.
The price of publishing SEO-friendly content is zero. And search engine referrals are also free. In addition, because of your keyword research, you’ll know exactly what your prospects are looking for.
However, costs only tell half the story when it comes to sourcing leads. The other issue is about the quality of the leads you’re getting back.
Sometimes people are sincerely looking for products before things fall through. And other times, people are tire-kickers. When you’ve got someone googling a phrase like “hiring someone to do my company’s taxes”, however, the keyword tells you three things:
First, this person is a business owner, and thus presumably does have some money. Second, the searcher has a specific task that needs to be done. And third, that they’re specifically in the market to hire someone else to do it.
In other words, you already know that this person is going to be a higher-quality lead. And if you’ve played your cards right, you’ve acquired this lead at a much lower cost.
5. You Can Have Quantifiable Benchmarks
“We’re trying to raise awareness.”.
“We want to take airtime away from the competition.”.
Advertising is as strategic as it is practical. As a result, it’s not unusual for companies to launch campaigns without any real performance benchmarks in mind.
With SEO, you don’t have to guess at the impact your measures have had. You can do before-and-after studies. You can use marketing pixels and Google Analytics to better understand the impact that your SEO campaign is having on your business.
Are people reading multiple posts in one sitting? How often are visitors agreeing to book appointments or request strategy sessions?
The data collecting process may be time-consuming and tedious to set up at first. But once the whole thing is up and running, monitoring and evaluating your SEO campaign performance becomes as easy as turning on your work laptop.
6. SEO Drives Long-Term Results
There are some advertising methods that bring in traffic with all the subtlety and finesse of a fire hose. But after the moment passes and the internet has moved on to the next big thing, your orders are left dangling in the wind.
SEO is different from many other forms of digital advertising because your efforts will often pay dividends for years on end.
For many business owners, digital marketing is an intimidating process. Paid ads have an expensive learning curve. And depending on your schedule, producing video and written content can take a lot out of a person.
An SEO campaign can be challenging to implement. But once the content is published, you may not need to revisit the data as much as you think.
What Can SEO Services Do For Your Company?
Let’s say you’re convinced about the effectiveness of SEO. However, after looking at your 10 am to 10 pm work schedule, you’re not entirely sure what to do.
In our experience, there are three compelling reasons to outsource your SEO needs to a service like Grizzly New Marketing.
- To rank faster
- To free up time and resources
- To save money
Digital marketing can be tricky. And SEO strategizing can be even tougher to handle.
When you let a professional group handle your SEO needs, your campaign will be generating leads and getting search engine traffic in less time than you might think.
Don’t Underestimate The Importance Of SEO
Any time you’re doing SEO for websites, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. However, between the better leads and the financial savings alone, your company could be well on its way to another growth phase.
Whether you choose to hire a service or do it yourself, however, it’s important to understand the importance of SEO and what it can do for your business. Done right, this marketing strategy could bring new leads to your business for years to come.
Did you find this article helpful? We’ve got more fresh content where that came from! Check out our article on the different types of small business SEO today.