Why Is SEO Important?

If you own or operate a business, it’s very likely you already know you need SEO. You may or may not be aware of all the benefits effective SEO can provide, but let’s agree it’s important — very important. An intentional SEO strategy will improve your ability to be found on search engines, but what else does it do? Why is SEO so important? Hopefully, this will clarify a few of the reasons. Let’s start with the most frequently asked questions.

SEO Frequently Asked Questions

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Based on a number of factors, your site will rank in a certain place when search results are displayed. Good SEO will result in your site ranking higher on Google and other search engines, which would almost always result in more traffic to your site. 

Yes! SEO is an investment. Traffic generated from SEO will outperform paid search over time if implemented correctly. 

With so many diverse ranking signals, it is difficult to determine exactly how long it will take any website to rank at a certain level. Experience tells us that you will see improvement on long-tail keywords and phrases in the first ninety days and rank against more competitive keywords within 6-8 months. SEO is a long-term strategy but is an important investment in your business and has a better ROI than paid search campaigns.

Keyword research is the endeavor to find the best keywords (and phrases) to help an audience find what they are looking for on Google and other search engines. For each individual keyword and/or search phrase, volume, relevance, competitiveness, and score on engagement are all taken into account.

Keyword research isn’t just about verifying how many searches a particular keyword has — it’s also about exploring the many varied ways that people use language to research an idea or topic. In fact, it is also at the core of any content marketing strategy.

Link building is the process of getting links from other websites to your website. Search engines use links to crawl the web and they crawl the links between the individual pages on your website and ultimately crawl the links between all websites. There are many techniques for building links, and while they vary in degree of difficulty, people who implement SEO agree that it is one of the most difficult things to do. If you can somehow master building high-quality links to your site, it can truly put you ahead of the competition.

Yes. E-commerce sites provide a unique set of challenges but SEO is a major factor in the success of online engagement. 

The cost of SEO campaigns can vary greatly depending on a number of factors like goals of the website, degree of difficulty, audience, and amount of time spent on optimization.

In short, every part of your website affects your SEO in the eyes of Google — that is, any page that is submitted to Google to index. In short, keywords and keyphrases still drive on-page SEO. Page structure, proper keyword placement, various metadata, keyword density, content length & completeness, load speed, and links are all top ranking factors. There are over 200 important factors in how Google decides if a page on your site is worthy of ranking in their organic SERPs.

Organic Search Is the Most Valuable Source Of Traffic To Your Website

Organic search (think of someone on their mobile device looking for a business that sells widgets) is a big part of website efficiency and performance, and an important part of the buyer engagement and conversion process. As many people know, Google controls a much larger portion of the search market than its nearest competitors. That’s not to say that other search engines don’t contribute to your visibility on the web. But Google accounts for nearly 75% of all search traffic. Even more, if you consider just US properties.

It’s with no doubt that any business needs to be optimized for Google. Sure, the other big players in search matter too, but for the sake of argument, Google matters most. With nearly everyone on the planet visiting Google at least once a day, it’s quite easy to understand why your business should make a concerted effort to be seen there.

Being highly visible as a trusted resource by Google and other search engines is always going to work in your favor. Good SEO, well-planned design, and a great user experience can elevate your business significantly.

Great Checklist For SEO On New Website

Here is a great little primer from Moz when considering SEO on a new website.

Good SEO = Better User Experience

It’s a no brainer that all businesses want better search rankings and max visibility. What many don’t realize is that great user experience is a big part of the equation. Google now interprets good UX and discerns it from bad UX, and this can be pivotal in the success of a website. Your customers — prospects included — know what they want. If they can’t find it, there will be a problem. Performance of your site, and possibly your business, will suffer. A full 75% of consumers make quick judgments about your business based on the design of your website. More than half will not give you a second chance if you make a bad first impression.

A clear example of building a strong user experience is how Google has become more and more the universal answer engine, and it gets those answers from well-structured pages on the internet. Those sites that are not UX and SEO optimized will get excluded more and more from Google search results. This works its way into the need for good design and UX by allowing users to find what they’re looking for with fewer clicks, fast and easy.

Local SEO = Traffic + Engagement + Conversions

With the onslaught of mobile traffic, local search is now a fundamental part of small business success. Local SEO focuses on search results for your business in a specific vicinity, so people can find you easily, getting them one step closer to your door. Most local SEO focuses on a specific city, region or state to create a viable conduit for your businesses’ messaging at a local level.

We do this by optimizing your website and its content, including local references and backlinks, as well as local listings relevant to your location and brand or category. Other tricks that optimize your Google My Business Listing and social profiles also help greatly in this effort to render top local search results. We also place a strong emphasis on reviews on Google and other review sites like Yelp, BBB and others that may be relevant to your business category.

Building Credibility and Trust With Visitors

This is a sooner-is-better effort. Just like real life, digital trust, authority, and credibility are earned over time. Building your brand online takes a strong commitment, but it comes with the way you deliver your product or service to your customers — quality and value are equally important. The goal of establishing online or digital trust is to create a clean, beautiful website that is easy to find. There are many ways to establish credibility with Google and other search engines. In addition to what is mentioned above, that credibility is earned over time as a result of:

  • Good page structure.
  • Quality backlinks.
  • Consistent user behavior on your site.
  • Optimized on-page elements and content.

It Makes a Difference In the Buying Cycle

Customers do their homework. That’s one of the biggest advantages of the internet from a buyer perspective and why Google is one of the most successful companies in history. Using SEO to convey your messaging to your customers and prospects can be a game-changer for your business. And, it positively impacts the buying cycle when done right, and possibly negatively when it’s done wrong.

Brands must be visible in the places people need them for a buyer relationship to be established. Local SEO makes your business visible and lets potential customers find the answers they need.

SEO is Relatively Cheap

This is a big one. Sure, SEO costs money just like anything else that’s worthwhile, but SEO is cheap in a big scheme of things. The return on investment is considerable in terms of benefit in helping your business to gain credibility in the market, making your customers sticky and loyal, and impact to the bottom line. You shouldn’t look at SEO as an expense, like the expense you allocate for an advertising campaign that has a beginning and end. Good SEO is an investment that will pay dividends over the life of your business. And the good news is that, with time and attention, it gets better over time, which takes us to the next point.

SEO Is a Long-Game Srategy

SEO should have a meaningful impact within 6-12 months of implementation, but much of that implementation will impact your business over several years. As the market changes, and it will, it’s important to pay attention and change accordingly. Even a basic site that hasn’t undergone a significant SEO implementation will improve from basic best practices being employed as long as the site has reasonably good design. Google does some of the lighter lifting for free — just for showing up.

But the more time, effort, and resources that are committed to SEO, the better chance your website, hence your business, stands out as a strong contender amongst the competition.

SEO Is Measurable

While SEO doesn’t offer the easily-qualifiable return on investment like paid search, you can certainly measure results with good tracking and analytics. The hardest part is connecting the dots on the back end because it’s difficult to understand the relationship between all actions taken. But, it is worth understanding how certain actions should affect the performance of your site and audience growth, and hopefully, they do. We certainly aim for those improvements, and it’s usually nota major a challenge.

The biggest thing most customers want to know is where they were before, where they are now, and where they are (or should) be going. There isn’t a better way to demonstrate the impact of good SEO.

The Bottom Line

Implementing quality SEO on your website is always going to be beneficial. That’s just the way the digital world works. Many small business owners still haven’t come to grips and rationalize the reasons “they” are different and how it won’t move the needle on their business. Many consider it a “new age” marketing technique, but that adage is at least 10 years old now. It’s simply critical to any business’s web presence, especially as available data and your competition continue to increase and grow.

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