The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
As a business owner, you will need more than just a simple website to attract your target customers and clients, even though it will help to get your brand recognised online. In fact, there are numerous online marketing tools that can support your promotion campaigns, including paid ads. However, search engine optimisation (SEO) is by far the most effective weapon in your marketing arsenal.
If brand awareness, target market expansion and greater revenues are part of your online business goals and strategies, then SEO will prove to be extremely useful. Here are a number of reasons why optimisation can be a vital factor in the success of your organisation.
It will boost your online credibility
If a website ranks highly on the search engine results pages, this is usually a sign that it is credible and trustworthy. It is therefore imperative that you devote some time to:
- Adding to and improving your content
- Reducing your site’s loading time
- Identifying and using keywords that can boost your ranking
Although establishing credibility can take time, adhering to Google’s E-A-T guidelines can accelerate the process. E-A-T is the acronym for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. To rank well in this Google category, you will need to perform some or all of the following tasks:
- Obtain high-quality backlinks or mentions from trusted online sources
- Ensure your site content is accurate and current
- Obtain favourable customer reviews and provide quick responses
- Highlight your credentials
It will support your content marketing efforts
Original and useful content, including text, images and videos, tends to attract more visitors to a website. By implementing SEO, your site can rank even higher on the results pages. For this reason, you should try to create content that is:
- Optimised with keywords
- Updated regularly
It can help your paid marketing campaigns
Combining SEO with paid ads will only increase the odds of your website landing on the first page of the search engine results. For instance, you can include your site’s highest-ranking page in your PPC campaign, especially if it contains cheaper cost-per-click keywords.
It enables you to reach more than your competitors
Remember, in all probability, your competitors will be implementing SEO too. As a result, the company with the best SEO strategy will almost certainly triumph in the ranking game.
You should begin your campaign by answering these questions:
- Who are your competitors?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Furthermore, you can gain a competitive advantage if your website meets the following criteria:
Your business will attain higher rankings in local searches
Local searches are quite common and in fact the majority of them lead to conversions. Therefore, it is important to make use of local SEO strategies as your target market will almost certainly be ready to purchase your products and services. Here are some steps you should take as part of your local SEO campaign:
- Create a Google My Business (GMB) account and listings in other local business directories
- Optimise your GMB listing, and ensure that your business name, address, and contact details are accurate
- Include voice search options in your GMB listing
- Optimise the voice search by writing engaging content in a conversational tone
- Make sure the listing content includes answers to common customer queries
- Ask for reviews from satisfied customers
- Add local keywords in your listing content
It tends to increase your user engagement rates
The best way to optimise your content is to match it with the searcher’s intent. This will help persuade them to spend more time on your site, thereby increasing your chances of converting them into customers. There are several ways you can enhance your user engagement, including:
- Web page title and meta tags optimisation
- Ensuring your site is mobile-friendly
- Providing a safe and user-friendly browsing experience
What are the other benefits of SEO?
While SEO can provide noticeable improvements within the first year of implementation, it is a long-term strategy. You will always need to be mindful of any changes to search engine rules and user behaviour. For instance, Google regularly updates its algorithm which often affects how websites are ranked. Nevertheless, the benefits of SEO will still outweigh any challenges.
SEO is either free or cheaper than other marketing strategies
Compared to other marketing tools, SEO is considerably cheaper. Indeed, it is not even a marketing cost but rather a business investment. Moreover, if you decide to implement SEO yourself, the cost will be negligible. However, if you believe your time would be better spent on more important tasks, you can always delegate SEO to an expert.
You can quantify the results
As part of your marketing strategy, you can quantify the results of your SEO. All you need are the appropriate tracking and analytical tools. Online platforms, such as Google Analytics, can provide you with valuable information with regard to:
- Search engine results rankings
- Conversion rates
- Website traffic
For instance, Google Analytics will highlight a user’s buying journey, including:
- The pages they visited
- The keywords they used to search for your products
- The type of specific actions they performed while visiting your website
This information will provide you with an insight into how you could improve your SEO strategy and make it more effective.
It is important to remember that the goal of SEO is to land your business on page one of the search engine results. However, this is still not a guarantee that you will obtain leads and generate sales. For example, if you land among the top three results, your chances of obtaining clicks will be 50% higher but these chances drop considerably when your site is listed further down the page.
It is also important to note that SEO tactics and strategies will evolve over time. New trends and tools, such as voice apps and the Internet of Things (IOT), are constantly appearing. However, there is one factor that indicates that SEO will be relevant both today and in the future: people will always use the internet to find products and services they are interested in.
SEO is a vital element of your marketing strategy as you strive to achieve your online business goals. Although it can pose some challenges, it can also provide excellent opportunities that can have long-lasting benefits for your organisation. For instance, it can boost your brand credibility and engender trust with your target market. In addition, when implemented properly, SEO will also help you establish a strong online presence, which is essential, especially in a highly competitive market. However, running an SEO campaign does require certain skills and experience. As such, it may be wise to employ the services of an expert in order to avoid wasting your precious time and resources.