In this digital day and age, your website is the most important tool to drive potential customers to your company. But making sure your website is actually viewed by your target audience is harder than you might think. As search engines are flooded with a vast sea of information every day, it is easy for your website to get overlooked. Utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an effective solution to this problem, as it improves the different aspects of your websites, to ensure it will be seen by your audience. In this post we will showcase how SEO can help drive more traffic to your website and why it is essential for your company sales.
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization improves the quality and quantity of traffic on your website. That means it drives a bigger number of potential customers to your site. It does so by focusing on making your business visible in google search results and finding ways to make your website more attractive to potential customers. Briefly summed up, it turns your website into a customer attraction machine and as a result, helps you make more sales.
If you look at SEO in more detail, it can be broken down into 3 different kinds, that work the best, when they are combined.
On Page SEO optimizes elements on your websites, so it has a higher chance to rank highly in search results made by potential customers.
- page headings
- alt tags for images
- meta data
Off- Page SEO
Off-page SEO instead focuses on all the things you do away from your website to increase the traffic on your website.
Lastly, Technical SEO, as the name suggests, describes anything technical you put in place to make your website more appealing. Essentially, this covers methods to make your websites as easy as possible for search engines to crawl and index.
- page load speeds
- site structure
- mobile friendliness.
But isn’t SEO dead?
One of the most common beliefs about SEO, is that it is not necessary anymore and essentially dead. This misconception comes from an outdated view on SEO, that equates it with keyword-stuffed web pages and spammybacklinks.
Fortunately, SEO has long evolved to a better, more visitor-focused SEO and is very much alive today.
Why is SEO important?
On google, the biggest search engine out there, there are 5,6 billion searches every day, with estimated 130 trillion pages to potentially come up for every search. These numbers can seem daunting, especially if you consider that 75% of searchers never look beyond page 1 of search results. Ideally, you would want your web page to be ranked as high as possible by google, so it is actually seen. And to rank well, you need to think about SEO.
How do you use SEO effectively?
Your final goal is to increase your sales by driving more customers to your websites. Since the focus lay on your customers, you need to ask yourself: “What does my site offer to its visitors?”
So, above all, every aspect of your website should serve the purpose to give the best possible customer experience to its visitors.
This can be achieved by writing high quality, unique content relevant to your target audience, having a simple to use, good looking website and following the 3 SEO strategies, we discussed earlier.
The benefits of SEO
Any small improvement to your SEO can make significantly positive changes to the performance of your website on Google.
The benefits of improving your SEO include:
- More clickthroughs to your website – i.e. more potential customers
- More high quality leads – i.e. visitors who are likely to purchase products from you
- Better conversion rates – i.e. a bigger percentage of visitors who become customers (or who perform some other desired action on your website, such as signing up to your mailing list)
- A greater return on your investment (ROI) than outbound marketing tactics like cold calling or advertising
- More visitors to your physical premises – 50% of mobile users visit a local store within 24 hours of making a related search
- Greater brand awareness – the higher a page is ranked, the more people will see it, even if they’ve never heard of your brand before
- Greater credibility – people tend to view sites that appear higher on Google as more credible and, as your reputation/authority grows, Google also rewards this with higher rankings
- Higher market share – all of the factors above combine to give you a higher market share
Do I really need SEO for my business?
Even with these benefits in mind, you may be questioning whether SEO is really necessary for your business or if the costs outweigh the benefits.
Here are the reasons SEO can have a positive impact on businesses of any size:
With an established customer base, a known brand and resources, there is no doubt, that bigger businesses have a natural headstart regarding SEO- budget.
Nevertheless, big businesses aren’t safe from challenges.
For example, the optimization of bigger websites is potentially more difficult than the optimization of smaller sites. Another problem is getting everyone in a large company on- board to invest in SEO, especially when there is financial pressure.
But, as mentioned above, big businesses also benefit from SEO in a number of ways.
It can help them promote special offers, publicise different locations or grow mailing lists. It can also be used to help them rank above their competitors and promote specific product lines.
A Website and a clear online marketing strategy play a big part in the growth of companies. According to a study from Business2Community, businesses that have both of these things grow twice as fast as those without.
When you build a website, chances are you have invested a lot of your time and money into it. However, just building your website is in no way enough anymore. It is essential to let people know, that your site exist, and SEO is the best way to do so.
You can help bring more traffic to your website by paying attention to your search engine optimization. One of the best things about SEO is that it attracts new visitors that fit your target audience and are highly like to buy from you.
By using SEO you should experience a fantastic upward spiral of visibility. As your web pages begin to rank more highly on search engines, your social media following will increase as well. This on the other hand will grow your brand awareness and reputation and therefore boost your website rankings.
A well thought out SEO strategy is the secret ingredient that allows many small businesses to compete with big businesses.
An example of a successful SEO campaign and orchestrated social media marketing is Fashion Nova, a small fashion company that managed to achieve Google top rankings for the keyword ‘fashion’ in 2017. They ranked above household names such as Levi’s, H&M, Nordstrom and Macy’s – thanks to Social Media and SEO- can you imagine that level of exposure for your small business?!
Companies without a website
Even companies without a website can benefit from the value of SEO, because just having a Google My Business listing will already boost your online presence.
You can list your contact details, opening hours, post images, showcase product descriptions, feature reviews, answer FAQs and much more on Google My Business. That way you can bring in enquiries straight from search engine results pages (SERPs).
There’s a huge amount to be gained from focusing on local SEO, if your business is in any way reliant on local customers or footfall.
Here are a number of blogs about this topic full of hints and tips:
- Local SEO vs Organic SEO: What’s the difference?
- Best practice guide: Local SEO for multiple locations
- Ace your local SEO
- Seven simple hacks to improve your local SEO
If you’re still unsure if SEO is important for your local business, these stats collated by 99 Firms might change your mind:
- 28% of local searches result in a purchase
- 97% of consumers search online for a local business
- Every month, Internet users visit 1.5 billion locations related to their Google searches
- 46% of all Google searches are local
- 61% of mobile users are more likely to contact a business if its website is mobile-friendly
- 78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase
- 67% of consumers prefer businesses that customise their ads and content to their location
- 70% of consumers will visit a store because of the information found online
What’s holding you back from focusing on SEO?
As many small business owners or their representatives have confirmed over the years, two of the main reasons for not addressing SEO are worries about the price and not knowing where to start.
WordStream recently published an article about the challenges SEO imposes for smaller businesses:
- Lack of money
- Lack of time
- Something else always comes first
- It’s hard to keep up with advice about the best approach
- Google favours brands
- Bigger businesses have been at it for longer
- Your website is smaller
- You have fewer SEO tools and less powerful software
- You have less clout for link building and media coverage
- You don’t have a relationship with Google
While there’s no doubt that these are understandable concerns for many small businesses, consciously focusing on SEO can help you break down the barriers above.