A big thanks to our guest blogger Nicholas Brogden, a Growth Marketing Consultant with a wealth of experience in SEO and content marketing.
Nick’s passion in both work and life is growth development; he is continually looking for and finding ways to growth hack and build success for both companies he works for and himself.
If you run a business, you know how important an online presence is. Even if you’re not necessarily selling products or services from your website, it’s still a good idea to give customers and potential customers a way to find you – and to find out about you.
So, how do you ensure your company is visible online and ranks higher than the competition? Well, it comes down to three words: Search Engine Optimisation (more commonly known as SEO)
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is an important digital marketing tool. It allows your website to increase its visibility online. That translates to more traffic and more opportunities to turn prospects into clients.
It’s also an integral tool in terms of brand awareness, relationship building, and positioning yourself as an authority in your industry.
SEO uses various techniques to help you move up a search engine’s ranking so that you begin to appear on the first page when anyone searches using keywords related to your service or industry. With over 3.5 billion searches performed every day on Google, customers and prospective customers are clearly using search engines to find what they need.
Why is it Important?
A staggering 67% of all people who perform a Google search only check the first page of Google when seeking out information. Meanwhile, as high as 92% of clicks happen on the first page of Google search results, leaving a mere 7% of clicks for all remaining search results pages.
That means it’s very important to work to improve your company’s ranking on key search criteria. If you want to be seen, you need to try to get to the first page of the search results. This will not only improve your visibility, it will help with the likelihood of people clicking through to your website, driving traffic onto it, and helping you get one step closer to converting clicks to customers.
Organic search is also a very big portion of a company’s website performance. Chances are, your clients aren’t finding you through business cards or email signatures. They’re seeking you out by Googling words related to the products or services they need. There are a few easy SEO strategies you can put into place to help grow your business and increase your online presence.
Are There Benefits to SEO?
While SEO isn’t a magic bullet, it is an important part of a larger overall branding and marketing strategy, mostly because it dramatically improves your company’s visibility. Visibility is just one aspect of why SEO is important, however. There are many benefits to implementing SEO into the bigger marketing picture. For example:
It Gives You and Your Business Credibility
Whether you like it or not, searchers are making mental notes in terms of the rankings they see. Psychologically, they feel search results that are closer to the top are “better”. A higher ranking is like an extra vote of confidence from Google and people tend to click on the first few ranked results. At the end of the day, higher rankings translate to more credibility, whether it’s real or perceived.
It’s one of advertising’s best ROIs
SEO rewards those websites that are highly ranked – more than any other form of on- and off-line advertising. The reason? It allows your business to market itself to people who are looking for the products or services your business provides. In a sense, customers are already specifically searching for you. You just have to convince them that your business is the right one to choose, and a high ranking due to SEO does most of the work for you because, as mentioned above, your higher rank already lends you more credibility.
It Gives You Insights into Your Customers
SEO gives you an invaluable opportunity to learn more about your customers. By using Google Analytics to track your traffic, you’ll be able to unlock data and metrics to learn:
- How they search
- The language they use
- The technology they use for browsing
- The region they live in
- The dates and times they are most active
These insights can help you make more informed marketing decisions, like when to offer sales and to whom, both on and offline.
Local Searches Are Rising
Local searches are beginning to grow in importance as they exceed desktop searches and are only expected to rise in the coming years. In fact, by 2021, mobile devices are expected to influence local sales to the tune of $1.4 trillion. That means using SEO to boost your local visibility is going to become even more integral to your company’s overall success.
Search Engines Are Increasing Market Share
With 91% of people checking reviews online before they buy, it won’t be long until virtually everyone is searching for products or services online. That means it’s more important than ever for your business to be easily located online as well. If people have a hard time finding you, they’ll end up spending their money with the competition.
As you can see, SEO is an important aspect to branding and marketing, and, as mobile usage rises, will continue to grow in importance. Making sure you’re visible allows you to source new customers and gives you an edge over the competition. More importantly, by ensuring you’re visible locally, you’ll be improving the chances of landing customers that are close at hand. At the end of the day, SEO continues to be an important part of an overall holistic digital marketing strategy.
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