S-E-O. I’m sure you’ve heard those three little letters before. But what do they actually mean, and why should you care?
In essence, SEO – which stands for Search Engine Optimisation – is the process of optimising your website so that it appears at the top of Google search results (or any other search engine) when potential customers are searching for solutions that you provide.
But SEO is about much more than just visibility. It can help improve your marketing at every stage from building awareness, to improving engagement and user experience, and most importantly, attracting customers who are ready to buy.
Not convinced? I promise you will be 😉 Here I’ll take you through my top 7 reasons why SEO is important for your business. Let’s get into it!
SEO is the single most effective way to drive traffic to your website. You know that website you spent thousands of dollars on and poured over for hours creating and approving content? Yep, that one!
Sure, social media is great for building visibility and awareness of your brand. But ultimately you don’t own you social platforms. But you do own your website. Your very own real estate on the world wide web.
Your website is where you showcase your brand story, expertise, products or services, testimonials and other important info. It’s where potential customers can find out more about your business and purchase, sign up or book your services. So why would you not want to make sure it’s front and centre in search results?
Not only does SEO drive traffic to your website. But it drives highly qualified traffic i.e. people who are ready to buy.
Leads from SEO have a conversion rate of 14.6%. This means that for every 100 users who arrive on a website from Google, 14 (and a half) of these people will make a purchase, enquiry or booking.
Compare this to an average 3% conversion rate on Instagram and you can see why SEO is one of the most effective marketing channels for your business.
So, why is it that SEO traffic has such a high conversion rate? Well, when you think about how people are using Google, it starts to make a lot of sense.
People turn to Google for answers. Whether they’re looking for advice or inspiration, finding local business info, comparing products and services, reading reviews, or figuring out how to do stuff.
This makes SEO a more effective strategy than running Facebook ads or posting on Instagram where you might be targeting the right people, but at the wrong time. Often on social media you reach your audience when their scrolling in their down time, and not when they are actively researching for your services.
So we know SEO is one of the best ways to drive sales and new business, but did you know it’s also a great way to build your brand awareness?
There are over 90,000 Google searches happening every second. That’s 5.4 million searches a minute. 324 million per hour. 7.7 billion every single day. OK, you get the idea!
My point is, many of these searches will be related to your business and the services you provide. And every second that your website doesn’t appear in Google search results, you’re missing out on hundreds of opportunities for potential clients to discover your business, read your content or work with you.
Whether your ideal client is ready to book, comparing options, or just researching how to, appearing on page one of Google search results is a powerful thing, and will help keep your brand top of mind.
Which brings me to my next point..
When was the last time you typed something into Google and clicked through to the second, third or even fourth page of search results? If you’re like most people, you probably never scroll past the first page.
75% of search engine users are only interested in the first page of search results, because they trust that Google has selected the best results to display first. So why bother scrolling through the rest?
Google’s algorithm uses 200 ranking signals to determine the very best content to display in search results each time someone types in a keyword. And one of the most important factors is your website’s expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
Its all about providing high quality, relevant and useful content for your website visitors. So the more credibility and authority you have in the eyes of Google, the higher you will rank in search results, and the more potential customers will trust you too.
If you run a local business – that is, you have a physical store or office, such as a café or law firm. Or you service customers in a specific local area, like a plumber, landscaper or personal trainer, then chances are your ideal client is using Google to research your services.
Almost half of all Google searches are for local businesses, and this number is only rising with the global impact of COVID-19, shifts in consumer behaviour and a growing trend towards supporting local businesses.
As described by Search Engine Journal, “local SEO allows people to find information about your business quickly and easily, putting them one step closer to transaction”. This perfectly sums up the importance of local SEO for small businesses.
If someone is in your local area and researching nearby services, they are generally close to booking or making a purchase. So, it’s important that your business is visible in these moments, and that you’re providing relevant, useful information including reviews, business hours and contact details.
Despite what many people think, SEO is more than just adding keywords to a page and making some techy tweaks to the back-end of your website.
As part of their mission to make the world’s information “universally accessible and useful”, a number of Google’s 200 ranking signals relate to user experience (UX).
These days, it’s not enough to just have content on your website that’s useful and relevant, but you need to make sure that people can easily access and view your pages. Is your website secure? Does the page load quickly? Can it be easily viewed on a mobile device?
The more websites that provide a great user experience, the more accessible the world’s information becomes. And the closer Google get’s to it’s mission.
So if you’re optimising your website for SEO, not only will you improve your rankings in search results, but you’ll also be providing a much better experience for potential customers who land on your website. Which in turn improves your website engagement, conversions, and overall brand trust. It’s a win-win-win!
While SEO or organic search traffic isn’t exactly free, it is a lot cheaper than other channels, and will continue to produce a return on investment (ROI) over time. This means once you invest time and money in optimising your website, content and SEO strategy, you will continue to get a return on this investment as your traffic and leads grow exponentially.
Unlike social media content which tends to have an expiry date – because the algorithms favour fresh new content – SEO content is evergreen, meaning that it will continue to live on your website and be relevant for years to come.
One piece of great content can continue to rank and drive traffic, and that traffic can snowball over time. As long as people are searching for that topic, then your well-researched, highly relevant and useful content will continue to bring traffic to your website. And with a 14.6% conversion rate, as your SEO traffic increases, so will your leads, bookings and sales.
Plus, there’s no fear of “switching off” SEO and losing traffic like you would an ad campaign. Sure, you’ll need to continue improving your website and content, but once you have a solid foundation, the focus should be on creating relevant, useful content for your ideal customer.