What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a digital marketing practice that increases the quality and quantity of website traffic through organic search engine results. This uses metrics such as keywords, website usage, site speed, social metrics and other parameters to bring up the best website to match what the user has searched for.
1. If you’re not on page 1, you’ve pretty much lost the click
Statistics show that around 70% of the people that use a search engine will not navigate past the first page of the search results. This means that SEO is important because it’s likely that without SEO, you won’t even be on the first page. A good SEO score is likely to get a website onto the first page of the results if a user searches for business-specific keywords.
On this first page, around 33% of the traffic goes to the first organic result (minus the paid top results). Then the second organic result gets around 18% of traffic. Therefore, SEO is important because if a website isn’t even on the first page, it’s likely that it won’t be considered when choosing which link to pick from in the search results. Using SEO will also impact brand awareness. If a business isn’t appearing in search results for the products that are sold, people won’t be aware of them. Therefore, investing in SEO will not only help boost a business’ profitability, but it will also create brand awareness, so people will recognise a company, and also help build better credibility of said company.
2. Good SEO > Good user experience > Better SEO
Many people don’t know that an optimal user experience plays a big part in getting a good SEO ranking. Google can determine what websites are favourable and what users didn’t have a pleasant experience to determine the search engine rankings. Although, if the user doesn’t have a pleasant experience when using the website due to a problem or being too difficult to navigate, this will lower the search engine ranking and is less likely to appear on the first page of the search.
To determine SEO rankings, the search engine will use UX parameters for the site to contribute to the website ranking. This is because UX has been incorporated into SEO best practices. It looks to see if the website has clear, easy to use navigation, does the content given make the user want to stay on the site and keep them engaged, if the site is secure and finally, if the website is mobile-friendly. Therefore, using SEO will not only help get traffic to the website but also help improve the SEO ranking because of the experience the user has had on that site.
3. Local SEO will increase local engagement
In this day and age, people can’t wait to get home to search for something on their computer. It’s all done with mobile phones. Whether this is searching for a local hardware store or a local restaurant, using a good SEO strategy for both business types will impact the engagement, because people will be aware that there is a shop close by. Therefore, investing in a good SEO strategy would allow a business to connect to local people that are in the area looking for the service that the business offers.
A good example of this would be when people are in places they are unfamiliar with, they tend to search in Google “cafes near me” or “coffee shops near me” to find places to eat or drink. This uses vicinity parameters to better optimise the outputted results in the Google search. Without SEO, the cafe or coffee shop wouldn’t show up on the search results. This means people wouldn’t even think of visiting it. Therefore, people are a lot more likely to engage in a business that has a good SEO strategy because it will bring them up in location-based searches.
4. It’s a relatively cheap, long-term investment
Don’t get me wrong, to have a good SEO strategy it won’t be free. However, this is a lower-cost alternative that could impact the traffic that is brought to your website. A good SEO strategy is likely to ‘hold its water’, as well as aid the growth and success of a business so it would be worth the investment. With the way things are going, it’s unlikely that SEO will cease to be important soon. Therefore investing in this won’t have an expiration date. Although, once SEO is implemented, it won’t be instant.
A good SEO strategy should see a noticeable difference in about a year after the structure has been in place. But this doesn’t mean that after the 12 months you have to do this all again. It’s likely a good SEO strategy will last several years, with only minor tweaks that might need to be made. The way to look at SEO is that it’s a marketing tool. We’re no longer in the age of dial-up internet, people want access to content with a quick response. Therefore SEO investment allows you to use Google as a money-making scheme that every other business thinks it is. A recent study shows that investing in SEO will cost your business 62% less than traditional marketing, but the return will be that it is around 3x more effective.
5. Optimal Reach
People seem to trust what comes out at the top when they search for something in Google. So why not be at the top of that list? SEO will increase the reach of the business because it allows people to connect using a well-trusted search engine. This is because the search results matched what has been searched by the user. This means that the user has interacted with the site because it has the content they searched for. Without using SEO, the site wouldn’t have had this traffic, therefore the business would have lost out on the interaction. This is because, as stated above, it’s very rare that the user will search various pages on google search. Therefore, it’s a worthwhile investment to put money into SEO. Once a good strategy is put in place it will help people connect to your site that previously wouldn’t have.