The owners of businesses or blogs/websites these days are obsessed with search engine optimization or SEO. You too may have considered jumping onto the search marketing bandwagon by hiring a team of professionals or getting an SEO company onboard at some point in time. But do you know what exactly SEO can do for you? We lay it out straight in this in-depth post about the various benefits of SEO.
Why do you need SEO for your site/business?
Although SEO takes time and effort, it is a gift that keeps on giving. Here are a few of the biggest benefits of SEO:
SEO is the Largest Source of Site Traffic
SEO is one of the best ways to engage in inbound marketing. When users search for something that is related to your niche, domain or industry, they know what they want and are actively seeking information/leads. SEO helps target a specific demographic and bring in quality traffic to your site while not being intrusive or annoying like TV ads or telemarketing, for instance. SEO is very customer-centric and can help you target a specific section of people online.
Google is the world’s most popular search engine, handling approximately 63,000 searches per second every day! This means that anyone with a desktop or smartphone and an internet connection visits the site to find answers to their search queries at least once each day.
The no. 1 organic search result on a Google SERP receives 32% of clicks while the top three organic search results get 75% of all traffic. With SEO, you can reach out to those who are looking for what you offer in an efficient manner. Various reliable studies have found that it is responsible for bringing in 53% of site traffic, making it one of the top benefits of SEO.
SEO Builds Brand Credibility and Trust
Being featured among the top search results on Google means that the search engine considers you as a relevant, useful and genuine source of information/content and prefers you to other sites that are in the running. SEO helps establish the authority of your site through various practices like getting backlinks from other reputable sites in your field, optimizing on-page content, identifying crawl errors and broken links, improving your site’s user experience, etc.
While leading a Google user to your site is one thing, getting them to stay or keep coming back is quite another. SEO helps in achieving all of these goals while also working wonders for your brand’s credibility and reliability. But as is the case with most good things, this cannot happen overnight and will need continued effort from you.
SEO Improves Your Site’s User Experience
Understanding what prospective users/customers are looking for is crucial. And this is not a one-time exercise as users’ behaviour and expectations may change with time. If they do not find what they want on your site or are struggling to find it, they may leave your site sooner than desired and not come back again. Even Google keeps reinventing the way it finds and populates search information on its SERPs and has now become an answers site after understanding what its users want from it (the need to actually visit a site is fast-waning as you can find all the information you need on a SERP itself).
Google is constantly monitoring user behaviour, including the time spent on a page or site, the bounce rate, etc. to decide if they had a good experience while visiting a site. This is one of the most important Google ranking factors in SEO and cannot be ignored. Even if you place in the top search results for a brief period but fail to wow the users who make their way onto your site, your search rankings are bound to suffer with time.
Understand What Your Customers Want from You
SEO comes with great insights into your customers, including the times of the year, month or day they are most active, the regions from which the most traffic originates, the language they use while searching online for information, etc. While you can use the Google Keyword Planner to know the keywords that are most relevant to your business or niche, Google Analytics will tell you a lot about user browsing behaviour, their interests, etc. This will not only help you plan your SEO strategy but also course-correct in case you see new trends in user behaviour.
No Need to Spend on Paid Ads
Low overall costs are one of the biggest benefits of SEO. While most digital marketing professionals bank heavily on or strongly recommend one form of online marketing over another, we believe that a good combination of both paid and non-paid marketing methods is the key to success. While paid marketing accounts for around 15% of a website’s traffic, it may not always be the best course of action for smaller businesses that are just starting off and have budget constraints that make it difficult for it to take on the high per-ad costs. On the contrary, SEO needs only a one-time investment in human resources and can produce long-term results.
Local search focuses on geo-specific searches and local business listings. It is very important for small and medium sized businesses to have their site optimized for the location they operate in. Having a properly optimized Google My Business profile and knowledge graph panel, tailor-making your site content to answer local search queries, having more favourable local users’ reviews on Google, etc. can help you attract local customers. And if you play your local SEO cards right, you can target people in a specific pin code, city or even state.
SEO Helps in High ROI and Conversions
SEO accounts for a large chunk of a site’s traffic, which means that there can be more conversions. Whether you want to get your site visitors to make a purchase, subscribe to your newsletter or share your content on their social media handle, SEO paves the way for it all. SEO is highly quantifiable – Google Analytics can give you unparalleled insight into every small action that you take and tell you what is working and what is not. As SEO is cheaper than other digital marketing methods and attracts the most site footfall, its return on investment is considerable too.
SEO Increases Brand Visibility
The more relevant SERPs you show up at the top of, the more eyeballs you stand to grab, thus raising more awareness about your brand and your product or service offering. SEO helps you create sustained online buzz surrounding your brand, which in turn helps promote brand recall. With SEO, you can craft a definitive, standout brand voice that will help you connect with the user demographic you have in mind.
Keeping up With Google’s Search Algorithm Updates
Google releases hundreds of changes or updates to its search algorithm every single year to stay ahead of fraudulent or black-hat SEO techniques that have been designed to take advantage of it and gain better search rankings. This means that you must be up to date with all the latest developments in the field of SEO in order to hold on to your search rankings or continue to climb upward in SERPs. Most SEO professionals know exactly how any Google search algorithm updates can affect your site and can help you retain your advantage in organic search.
This is one of the most important benefits of SEO – it can start showing results anywhere between six to 12 months from the date of implementation and hold good for years to come. And that right there is one of the top reasons you must invest in either a good in-house SEO team or look at outsourcing the work.
You may have the most amazing product or service offering, but it is of no use if people do not know about or discover you online. While you can always start working on your site’s SEO by following a few basic site hygiene measures, it may be a good idea to get professional help, especially if your business is expanding quickly. However, it is always good to stay in the know and be able to interpret SEO growth reports and gauge if your search marketing team or SEO company are doing a good job. And this is where following our blog on everything search marketing will come in useful!
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