Is SEO important?
Search engine optimization (SEO). You've heard of this buzzword, but you might not know what it means or why it's important for your business. And for some people, even the mere phrase sounds like technical mumbo jumbo that’s too complicated to dissect.
So you think to yourself, “Why is SEO important? Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement and my business already has a solid reputation. If it's not broken, don't fix it...right?” Wrong.
Or perhaps you’re a little familiar. You've been told it has something to do with keywords and getting your website on the first page of Google. While ranking for keywords and increasing your search engine visibility are key for developing a strong online presence, SEO is about much more. In fact, here's a secret that some marketing agencies don't want you to know. Ready for it? Here it goes....
No one can guarantee you the # 1 ranking on Google.
In fact, anyone who guarantees this promise “in X amount of days” is indeed implementing unethical marketing tactics that could hurt your business. SEO is a holistic digital marketing process that takes time. It requires constant planning, execution, maintenance and monitoring. But when implemented properly it will increase search traffic, referral traffic, reputation and brand visibility.
And you better believe that Google, Yahoo and Bing constantly change their algorithms to penalize websites who (knowingly or unknowingly) use shortcuts to outsmart the process. That's right; search engines are notorious for banning websites without any notice. Working with professionals indeed has its advantages.
Whether you’re familiar with SEO or not, or whether your business is a new startup company or large corporation, here are 4 reasons why every business model should not exclude SEO from their marketing infrastructure:
It is critical for success.
Ever heard of “out of sight, out of mind.” It's true! You soon forget people or things that are no longer present. This is not only true for consumers but for search bots as well. Without SEO a website can be invisible to search engines. It’s like having a great commercial that never airs.
If a website is lacking quality content, effective link building, keyword strategy, or proper URL and HTML structure (just to name a few), search engines will ignore your site and it won't generate traffic. More traffic = higher visibility. The higher your visibility, the higher your returns, and higher returns generate direct revenue.
Your competitors could be drinking opportunity that could be yours.
Thanks to the Internet, marketers are able to reach customers at every stage of the buying process: anytime and anywhere. But the playing field is not level.
With SEO, the longer you take to get into the game, the more competitive the keywords become and the harder it is to rank for them. Therefore each time your competitors show up for a product or service that you offer, and your website does not show up, you’re missing the opportunity to sell what your customers want, when they want it.
Search is Growing.
The phrase “just Google it” is perhaps one our favorite ways to explain why SEO is important for online visibility. That’s because consumers use the Internet to look up everything: from information about a product, reviews, location, competitor choices, etc.
In addition to the rising amount of search queries, more and more people are becoming comfortable with purchasing online and customer mobilization is rapidly growing. Therefore SEO gives business owners access to a rapidly expanding market.
But search engine results pages (SERPs) are not the only places consumers are hanging out. The growing popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are also great and additional avenues to generate traffic back to websites.
As search expands, gaining “online real estate” becomes more important.
Lack of SEO could hurt other marketing and advertising efforts.
Even with a solid traditional marketing strategy like word-of-mouth, the Internet is the most important source of content at all phases- before, during and after referrals. In fact, recent studies from Google reveal the Internet is both the leading spark of WOM conversations and the #1 resource utilized to take action after a conversation.
Search impacts more than 15% of all WOM conversations. And Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations a day. Therefore lack of brand visibility could decrease credibility or your ability to connect with potential clients.