Do you know the importance of SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) has long been regarded as a proven marketing technique, with businesses reaping the benefits of optimizing their websites and content to draw in audiences. Decades after the term was coined, the SEO landscape has changed, but the technique is as relevant as ever.
Underhand tactics and spamming meant that SEO methods had to be reined in and restricted somewhat, which in turn has placed a higher priority on achieving results through organic (or unpaid) SEO. Rather than simply being a marketing technique, SEO is now also a powerful tool for branding. We’ve singled out the top 10 reasons why it’s worth investing in an SEO strategy to boost branding and business.
1. It works
Changes made to the SEO landscape to restrict the use of underhand SEO techniques mean businesses are having to fine-tune their SEO strategies to make them more organic, which, in turn, means more creative thinking but potentially better results. Organic SEO attracts the most appropriate audiences, so you should be seeing high levels of engagement and a reduction in bounce rates. The focus is no longer on the repetition of key words and phrases but more on how well the content answers questions, how credible the site is and how relevant it is to the search terms.
2. It’s cost-effective
Working SEO techniques into your marketing strategy can be much cheaper than alternative methods, as well as having the potential to be more effective. Rewriting your website to include elements of SEO, publishing regular optimized content and developing a broad online presence can be more cost-effective than options like pay-per-click advertising, for example. The cost per lead for SEO is renowned as being low, providing good returns on investment (and often, very little investment); inbound marketing lead costs are, on average, 61 per cent lower than outbound marketing leads.
3. It can beat the competition
By failing to cover all bases, such as implementing an effective SEO strategy, you could be losing out to competitors who are using SEO methods to their advantage. Likewise, the opposite is true – if you work SEO principles into your marketing copy, your website, social media pages and blog, you’ll have a greater chance of drawing in engaged audiences than your competitors who overlook the benefits SEO offers. See which websites perform better than yours for the same terms and tweak your portal accordingly so that you always stay on top of the competition.
4. It creates credibility
Using organic SEO tactics to climb up the rankings on Google can boost your company’s credibility. The top results shown in Google search are the most commonly clicked, singled out by the search engine as the most relevant results on a number of principles such as ease of navigation, the quality of the website and how many other credible sites link to the portal. These top rankings are perceived as more trustworthy than lower ranked results and even ads on the results page, thus are more likely to receive the traffic.
SEO for 2014 – Video via Steve Shepard
5. It’s up-to-the-minute
More and more people are heading online to find out about products or services; making yourself easy to find online through organic SEO can bring in custom or, at the very least, raise awareness of your brand. Not everyone can drop into a physical store or make phone calls during working hours, so making yourself accessible online really is a no-brainer.
6. It shows you care
Having an online presence geared to your audience shows that your brand cares about its customers – researching your audience to ensure your SEO strategy is reflective of your customers and their needs can help make your efforts more productive. Create optimized content that answers questions, provide updates, or produce useful information that will appeal to your target audience and you’ll increase your follower base as well as generating more leads.
7. It’s going mobile (like your customers)
The advent of internet access through mobile devices means your audience can keep up with you on the move. Search engine optimization can be useful in engaging both old and new consumers – especially through elements like local search – so it’s worthwhile spending some time thinking about how to make the most of the SEO potential offered by mobile technology.
8. It helps you learn more about your audience
Many businesses come up with their own SEO strategies but it’s possible to use specific tools designed by search engines to work out how to create the most effective SEO methods. Find out what your audience is searching for, from where, and whether they’re on a desktop or using a mobile device so you can better tailor your marketing efforts to suit your audience’s demographic. You can even search for specific words and phrases to figure out which will be best for your SEO in terms of popularity and levels of competition.
9. It creates long-lasting results
Once you’ve implemented your SEO strategy, there’s very little maintenance required to keep your position in search results secure. Some elements like regularly updating a blog or making checks on the website now and then can help search engines see that you’re SEO strategy is fresh and organic but otherwise, there are no bills to pay like you would have for ads, and there’s no need to worry about the results suddenly changing drastically – just keep an eye on your competition and make tweaks to your strategy as and when necessary.
10. It builds a cohesive brand image
Using SEO as a marketing tool is one facet of the concept but businesses are increasingly using search engine optimization to create a broad and cohesive online presence. Link to your products and services sold through third party sites and amass backlinks to your own website and social media pages to ramp up where you can be found online, boosting your business’s SEO. Direct your audience to written thought leaderships pieces on your blog, reviews of your services, your latest videos or sale sections of your website to create interest, increase engagement and ensure that your marketing strategy covers all bases.
5 Ways Google Is Changing SEO – In The News
Entrepreneur.com published an article describing how Google is changing SEOJust a few years ago, search-engine optimization was widely considered a specialized knowledge of how to manipulate Google’s search rankings with clever, secret tactics. While that was an accurate assessment then, the SEO industry has matured. It is now a dynamic, multifaceted online-marketing discipline that transcends clever trickery, and has become an essential requirement of expertise for every online marketer. Read more…
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