Running a business online requires you to know how to use a number of important digital skills. It also requires an understanding of the foundation of branding and presence online: SEO.
While your social channels are crucial tools, search engine optimization is the most sustainable and economical way to build your brand and improve your presence online.
Being able to strategize and handle your own SEO will save you money, time and allow you to take better control of your business in the long run. With that in mind, below are 6 reasons online entrepreneurs need to know SEO.
Local SEO Is Good for Traffic and Conversions
Local search has become an essential component of the success of small and medium-sized enterprises. Local SEO focuses on enhancing a company’s online presence so that search engines display its web pages when people perform location-based searches for products and services.
For instance, something like “SEO Brisbane,” allows digital marketing companies located in Brisbane, Australia, to enjoy organic traffic from people searching these terms or phrases. The logic applies to all businesses and industries, especially if you also have a brick-and-mortar business or provide a tangible good or service in a specific geographical region.
Local optimization focuses on individual towns, cities, regions, and states in order to create a brand’s reputation at the local level. Local SEO is one of the best and most cost-effective things you can do for business.
Increases Your Organic Traffic
SEO is crucial because it is the primary way through which you will be able to get leads without having to rely on word of mouth or recommendations.
When you put the time in with SEO, new clients find your company on their own by searching for words and phrases that you have specifically targeted. If you aren’t already optimizing your website, SEO can provide a completely new source of leads.
If you do the keyword research and write the keyword and SEO-optimized content, people will find your site. One of the major upsides of spending time doing off-page SEO is that leads are already looking for what you have to offer.
SEO, therefore, is the best technique to drive organic traffic to your website and to make sure that the people who are visiting are already looking for what you’re selling.
Organic traffic is traffic to your website that originates from visitor searches on various search engines, and SEO is hands down the most effective approach to boost organic traffic. The more you optimize your website, the higher it will rank in search engines for specific keywords.
Why is increasing organic traffic with SEO so important? There are numerous reasons for this, the most important of which is that organic search is the key driver of website traffic to business websites.
While you can have some success relying primarily on word-of-mouth and social media to advertise your website–and you can certainly pump money into PPC campaigns–SEO is the single most effective (not to mention cost-effective) way to drive traffic.
B2B SEO Reduces Sales Cycle Time
We’ve already established that SEO helps more users locate your company online, but that’s not the only benefit. When customers look for a product or service online and arrive at your website, they are already looking for what you have to offer; all you have to do is persuade them to work with you.
Unlike the B2B appointment setting, where you reach out to clients who may or may not be interested in purchasing at that moment, SEO services bring customers to you who are ready to buy.
A smart SEO strategy shortens the sales cycle because you don’t have to convince customers to do business with you. Users will find you organically and will have all of the information they need to make an informed decision and eventually accomplish a conversion or engagement on their own.
Keep in mind that it is vitally important to ensure that you are speaking to and attempting to persuade customers in a way that reflects where they currently are in the sales funnel.
Establishes Trust and Credibility
The purpose of SEO is not just to increase the amount of organic traffic you get to your site but also to lay the groundwork for a beautiful website that is straightforward and intuitive to navigate and provides a pleasant user experience.
People have faith in Google, and if your website appears on the first page of a search (as a consequence of excellent SEO), you receive instant confidence from a user. Great content and optimized on-page features can help you establish even more credibility.
In fact, more than a full 25 percent of people will click on the very first link on the search engine results page. The click-through rate begins to fall quite dramatically as you move further down that first results page.
Provide a Better User Experience
Everybody wants to rank well in search engines and attract organic traffic, but few recognize that providing a great user experience is a crucial part of achieving that. While there are numerous aspects that contribute to SEO—great content, backlinks, website speed, and so on—user experience is unquestionably one of them.
Google is highly sophisticated, and it has learned how to evaluate whether a site provides a good or a bad user experience. A great user experience is essential for the success of a website.
User experience is dependent on things like whether the content on your site is useful and meets the user’s search purpose. It is affected by whether your website is simple to use and browse, especially on mobile screens.
A good user experience immediately builds credibility with your visitors and includes elements such as good quality images, consistent branding, and many other design elements. UX is an increasingly important part of SEO and should be a primary concern when optimizing your site.
SEO Is Less Expensive and More Sustainable Than Paid Advertising
SEO is certainly not free and requires an investment of both time and money–in learning, in tools, and potentially in people to help you do it. However, it is a great deal less expensive, especially over the long run, when compared to other services. And, while results may take time to appear, your efforts, patience, and perseverance very often pay substantial dividends.
With a well-designed website and high-quality content, you will not only boost your brand’s image, but you will very likely witness an increase in website traffic. SEO should not be viewed as a sunk cost, but rather as an investment that will bring value to your company over the course of many years.
You don’t need to be an SEO expert in order to run a successful business online, but you do need to know the basics.
This includes things like how to build links, how to write and optimize content for SEO, how to do good keyword research, and how to ensure that your site is optimized for speed and navigation.
The SEO checklist is quite long, and there are plenty of resources and free tools out there to help you ensure you are attending to everything that will help make your website stand out among the crowd.
If you have been wondering whether to spend some time and money learning and improving your SEO game, the above reasons hopefully have made that decision a more straightforward one.