“SEO” has become a buzzword for business owners and marketing directors over the past couple of years, but what does it really mean and why does it matter? When it comes to hiring an SEO specialist, some small- to mid-sized businesses are guilty of hiring a coworker’s niece or nephew who is a fresh-out-of-college, self-proclaimed (and self-taught) SEO expert. Other companies hire outside agencies to optimize their websites. In either scenario, business owners are often left wondering if they are actually getting any ROI from seemingly elusive SEO efforts.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making the best build, design and content decisions for your website – and other online properties – so that search engines will read, recognize and rank your website for search terms that match your business. And the answer is yes, it really does matter – a lot! Here are five reasons that SEO matters.
5 Reasons SEO Matters
- Your Competitors Are Doing It
Savvy business owners were investing in SEO years ago, and now almost everyone is doing it. If you aren’t yet then you’re late to the game. (But the good news is that there is no such thing as “too late.”) The fact that your competitors are optimizing their online presence means that they are opening their business up for more new customers and more opportunity than you are. Jayson DeMers at Forbes said, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is a game that’s all about staying one step ahead of your opponents,” and we couldn’t agree more.
- Mobile Everything
Mobile matters, and that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. We shop, search, play, research, ask and live on our smart phones. And to state the obvious, mobile is digital. Thanks to smaller screen sizes and the instantaneous load time expected by smart phone users, SEO couldn’t be more important in your mobile marketing plan. Search engines like Google give priority to mobile friendly sites and accelerated mobile pages (AMPs), so ranking higher on mobile takes a unique approach with tactics that may differ from those of your full (desktop) site. If your brand utilizes apps, there also are numerous new options available for optimizing your mobile app and for working them into your overall SEO plan (i.e. linking strategy).
- You Want Solid Marketing Plan
You wouldn’t question whether or not your brand should have a good, strategic marketing plan – right? The best marketing plans are well-rounded. They should address every part of the customer journey across every platform that your customers use – internet and mobile making up a large part of that. Leaving SEO out of the equation is a misstep and doing so would cause other marketing efforts to suffer (i.e. paid search). A strong website and consistent web presence should be the foundation of everything you do digitally.
- It Builds Trust and Authority
Good SEO includes things like quality content, user-friendly web design and a well-built site – all of which are also signs of professionalism and trustworthiness to both users and search engines. More importantly, especially if your goal is to reach new customers, people trust search engines. Most users only choose from first-page results when they are searching for a product or service, and optimizing your online presence according to search engine algorithms is how your company can show up front and center.
- It’s “Free” Advertising
That’s right! Aside from the upfront investment in an SEO expert to optimize and maintain your online presence, this optimization will result in free traffic and free leads. Unlike paid campaigns, SEO doesn’t stop, pause or run out of budget, so what you do today will still be working for you a year from now.
If you’re looking for experts to partner with you in your SEO efforts, contact our crew to schedule a consultation.