SEO, or search engine optimization, helps businesses increase traffic to their website through organic searches on Google and other search engines. However, many businesses are still unsure of whether SEO can help them. They often ask, “Why invest in SEO?” and “Why do you need SEO services?”
Well, the biggest benefit to your business it increases your website and your brand’s visibility, especially in a sea of other websites with similar services and products. Investing in SEO can make you more competitive and lets you grow your business by reaching more potential customers.
When someone submits a search term on Google, they’re presented with pages of results that match that query. These results are listed and ranked based on factors like relevance and authority. However, the further you are down the page, the less likely it is that people will see and click on that search result.
According to Search Engine Journal, the first listing has a click-through rate of 28.5% while the second and third results receive significantly fewer clicks at 15% and 11% respectively.
Sound SEO investments and methods can, therefore, help your business earn the clicks and attention of the people who matter to your business regardless of your company’s size.
Let’s get a deeper understanding of why SEO is important for your business.
Why Is SEO a Good Investment?
Businesses Are Going Digital
If you don’t have a website for your business, you’re already way behind your competition. In today’s digital world, potential customers are looking online for the products and services they need. If you’re not visible on search engine result pages (SERPs), you’re missing out on valuable leads and revenue.
According to a recent survey, 76% of consumers check a company’s online presence before physically visiting. This means that a company’s online presence can help with marketing, sales, and brand awareness.
It Helps You Target the Right People
Having an online presence isn’t enough. You need to target the right audience that will find your products or services useful and interesting. SEO uses keywords and analyzes search intent, so you should keep in mind what your target audience may be looking for.
If you make it to the first page of SERPs for search terms that are relevant to your business, it’s an indication that your SEO efforts are helping you reach your target audience. By understanding the keywords and queries that your target market uses, you’re able to get ahead of the competition and win the attention of your potential customers.
If, for example, you sell shoes for the beach through your eCommerce company, you need to identify keywords that people use to find these types of shoes and use them strategically in your content. If you notice people aren’t clicking on your listing on SERPs, you may need to improve your ranking or identify relevant search terms with the right search intent.
Healthy Return on Investments
SEO is a cost-effective tool to market and advertise your brand. Companies that use SEO and produce organic search results enjoy a 50% return on investment (ROI) that builds the brand’s long-term reputation. You should also consider that organic (or unpaid) searches generate up to 50% of web traffic.
Some methods can immediately help you achieve a respectable ROI for the short-term such as paid ads and paid searches. Even if you have to pay for them, they’re still more affordable than traditional advertising.
Your Competitors Invest in SEO
You may be wondering if your competitors are already investing in SEO. The answer is most likely yes — and for good reason. SEO is an important part of any digital marketing strategy and it should be a priority for your business as well.
SEO helps you rank higher on search engines, which means more traffic and more leads. Since it’s not just about ranking higher, most businesses are also focused on producing high-quality content that will keep visitors on their site for a longer time — another aspect that Google uses for ranking.
SEO is used to create the right messaging for potential customers at the right time, resulting in more conversions.
How Much Does it Cost to Invest in SEO?
On average, businesses should expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 or more per month on effective SEO marketing.
Many small companies with limited budgets ask, “Is SEO worth the investment?” While they may find more affordable options, SEO is one of those services where you get what you pay for. Review what your site needs before choosing an SEO provider.
This price range may seem steep, especially for smaller businesses but a smart and carefully planned SEO investment can produce impressive results even for small and local companies. Statistics show that SEO is one of the most effective ways to grow your business.
The return on your search engine investment will increase as more people search for your products and services online. As more people find you through search engines, the higher the chance that they’ll contact you and do business with you.
So, is SEO worth the money? Definitely. Just don’t forget to assess what you need and carefully scrutinize different companies before signing up for anything.
What Are the Top Benefits of SEO?
Many people ask, “Why is SEO still important?”
Whether you’re an established company looking to optimize your current website or an aspiring entrepreneur who’s just getting started, SEO can increase traffic to your site and draw new customers to your business through online search engines. Here are nine reasons why SEO is important no matter the size of your company.
1. Increases Website Traffic
More people will visit your site which will increase business leads. More leads mean creating new sales pipelines and business opportunities.
By increasing your visibility online, you’ll be able to reach more potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer. Traffic doesn’t translate to conversions or sales immediately, but it creates a long list of leads that could potentially translate to conversions and revenue.
In the long run, higher traffic results in more sales and revenue for your business. With a higher volume of leads coming in, you’ll also have more qualified prospects that you can convert into paying customers.
2. Improves Ranking on Search Engines
With a higher ranking on Google and other search engines, businesses can reach their target audiences more effectively. Using keyword search queries that put you on the first page of Google’s search rankings can help you connect with your target audience.
This increased visibility can lead to more sales and conversions since people often use only the first SERPs. In general, the results of the first three pages are the only ones that matter.
So, the higher your ranking, the higher your visibility and credibility. More people are inclined to click on your site if they see you on top rather than in the next few pages.
3. Higher Sales Conversions
SEO gives higher sales conversion rates, which results in a better return on investment compared to other marketing activities. The reason for this is simple: SEO targets users who are actively searching for your products and services online. And since these users are already interested in what you have to offer, they’re more likely to become paying customers.
4. Reduced Advertising Costs
SEO is a cost-effective tool that can help reduce advertising expenses. By improving your organic search rankings, you can increase your visibility and attract more visitors to your site. At the same time, you don’t have to spend the kind of money that traditional video or magazine advertising requires.
SEO gives you several ways to advertise to specific audiences, whether it’s on a local or international scale. Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and paid ads are options for many companies because they’re helpful and affordable. They entail paying a fixed and often minimal amount when users perform a certain desired action like clicking on a link, viewing the ad, and other similar behaviors.
Social media is another budget-friendly option. Though it isn’t technically part of SEO, social media still employs similar tactics to gain better online visibility. If your site has links on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook, you’re effectively expanding your market reach.
Lastly, when users know that the company they’re following on social media is also engaged in organic marketing efforts such as SEO, they’re more likely to buy the company’s products and services over those of their competitors.
5. Increases Brand Authority & Recognition
SEO helps build brand awareness and authority by increasing your visibility on search engines. When people see your brand name pop up in search results, they’ll start to become familiar with it. The more they see it, the more they’ll trust it.
You can combine SEO with other channels to build brand recognition and strengthen your image. For example, SEO and content marketing are popular ways to help promote a company’s products or services online. Most companies use high-quality content that provides additional knowledge or information related to their products or services. This helps their audiences and ultimately increases their credibility and brand recognition.
For example, if your niche is a product that focuses on eco-friendly or green manufacturing processes, your website could offer more than information about your brand. You can create content that addresses these topics. You can share videos, posts, and articles on the site itself, or your social media platforms.
Sharing in-depth knowledge in your field or industry positions your company as a brand authority and cements its credibility within relevant industries.
6. Improves User Experience
SEO also helps you improve your website’s user experience. Once you understand the search intent of your audience, you know what to offer them, how to appeal to them, and how you can address their needs.
When you have a good user experience, it leads to better customer satisfaction. Happy customers are more likely to become brand advocates and evangelists. They’re also more likely to buy from you again in the future.
A website that has quick loading speeds, clear navigation, and maps makes users happy. Quick and easy navigation helps audiences easily find products and information they need, making them more likely to purchase your products.
Increasing accessibility to your site also helps. Making it user-friendly on mobile platforms increases customer satisfaction and user experience, especially since most sales are converted through mobile apps.
7. Keeps Your Business Competitive
The advent of digital marketing has only made the business landscape more competitive. If you use SEO and invest in it as part of your marketing and advertising, then you’re better able to stay abreast of industry trends and developments.
8. Gives You a Wealth of Data
Another important reason to consider SEO is the wealth of data you can collect. This could be customer information such as contact information and emails, but also competitor data that can help you with strategy.
SEO also gives you the statistics you need to assess your business performance on every platform. This can ultimately help you evaluate if your business is moving towards predefined business milestones and how you need to improve to reach them.
9. Gets You More Clicks
Online visibility and higher search rankings, whether organic or paid, will always result in more clicks. So, your business will receive more impressions and leads that will likely lead to conversions.
SEO for Business | Where Do I Begin?
Look for Professional Help
The best way to get started is to invest in SEO services from a reputable company. Doing so will help ensure that your website is optimized for search engines and users. The right company will help you understand how SEO works and what strategies can work for you and your niche.
Often, the first step to using SEO for your business is to start with keyword research. You need to identify which keywords your target audiences are using to search for you and optimize your website content around them.
Once you have a solid understanding and list of targeted keywords, you can begin implementing other SEO strategies like link-building and on-page optimization. But it all starts with keyword research, so make sure to invest time and resources towards this vital first step.
The next step is on-page optimization. This means building your website so its loading speed and navigation are optimized. Your content must also have the right keyword density to rank for them, but should also provide interesting and relevant content that addresses user needs.
Link-building is the process of creating internal and external links within your website. These increase your authority and credibility, especially if your content is informative, provides accurate details, and links to credible and highly ranked sources.
Internal links that lead to pages on your site build your authority while external links to other related websites increase your credibility.
Organic vs Paid Searches
Organic searches are search results that aren’t paid for while paid searches are advertisements that show up as sponsored results. SEO can be used to improve organic and paid search results.
If your keywords are robust and you plan to build your brand for the long term, an organic search is more likely to produce better results for you.
However, paid searches can also help increase brand awareness because it puts you on top of SERPs. This can help in building awareness. You can combine both methods in your strategy to enjoy long-term and short-term benefits.
Mobile-Friendly Web Design
Mobile apps can streamline services and make life more convenient for customers. This is why businesses need to make sure their web designs are mobile-friendly.
Most people use their mobile phones at home or on the road. Having a mobile platform makes you more accessible to your target audiences wherever they may be. It can also improve your loading speeds on mobile devices, which improves user experience and customer satisfaction.
In the end, solid SEO practices can help you ensure that your online efforts generate leads and conversions regardless of your marketing strategies and the platforms you choose for business.
Things to Know Before Using SEO
Many companies have learned how to make SEO work for them. It has become a fundamental component of the digital marketing landscape. However, there are some things companies have to know before creating and implementing their SEO strategies.
Google’s Algorithm Changes Constantly
Google has been constantly updating its algorithm, so businesses need to keep up with these changes and adapt accordingly. The search engine giant does this to ensure that only companies that follow their guidelines or use white hat SEO methods rank in search engines.
Google’s regular updates such as Panda and Penguin often target companies that use black hat SEO tactics. SEO black hat practices encompass methods that are meant to “fool” search engines into making their sites rank higher without enhancing user content (ex. keyword stuffing).
Investing in SEO means continuously updating your strategy in ways that keep your online presence aligned with changing Google guidelines and algorithm updates.
Know Your Target Audience & Their Search Intent
The first step in any good marketing campaign is understanding who your target customers are. What are their demographics? What motivates them? Once you understand your audience, you can start creating content that speaks directly to them.
Understanding their search intent will also help improve your searchability. If your audience’s main search intent is transactional, your website and keywords should reflect that.
If you don’t have a sufficient understanding of your target audience, you might end up with a site that didn’t consider the appropriate search intent. In such cases, you may see some traffic but you won’t optimize your conversion rate.
Use Analytics to See Where You Need Improvement
SEO can help you improve other aspects of your online presence such as your social media engagement and conversion rate. However, it’s important to note that SEO is an ongoing process, not a one-time fix. You’ll need to continuously monitor and adjust your SEO strategy to see results.
A great way to monitor performance is by using Google Analytics. Review which areas need improving and which tactics are working for you. If you need SEO analysts to guide you first, ELK Marketing can help you understand and translate what all the data means for your business.
SEO | An Essential Ingredient for Online Success
There’s a reason why there are over 786 million search results when you type “SEO” in Google. Businesses recognize why SEO is important and it’s why a large majority of them can be seen investing in SEO.
Similar to physical brick-and-mortar stores, you can’t make a sale unless you first get people through the door. In the world of online marketing, you can’t profit unless you can convince people to visit your website or product listing.
SEO is a convenient, cost-effective, efficient, and transparent way to drive people to your website — your online place of business. By studying online search behaviors and making them work for you, you can master and win the online game, even if you’ve yet to become a business giant.
If you are looking to improve your search engine optimization strategy contact us at ELK Marketing today! We’re known for our SEO success stories and we’re proud to be listed as one of the “Best SEO Companies” on DesignRush.