How SEO Can Grow Your Business
The need for SEO has been steadily increasing as more businesses shift to an online model. However, in 2020, that need skyrocketed, and by 2021, demand for SEO rose to an all-time high.
Today, even the more traditional businesses, with traditionally brick-and-mortar models, have gone digital, and they are looking for effective and cost-efficient ways to expand their reach online. SEO is one of the best strategies for doing this.
Regardless of the size of your business or the industry you’re in, SEO offers countless benefits — benefits that far exceed helping you expand your reach. Check out how SEO can grow your business and help take your brand to the next level.
8 Ways SEO Offers Real Value to Your Website
As you transfer your business online, or as you grow its digital presence, you may find yourself asking, “How will SEO help my business?” Let us count the ways you can use SEO for business growth.
1. SEO Helps Drive Organic Traffic
There are dozens of ways you can drive traffic to your website, including through paid advertising and inbound links. One of the most common sources of traffic, however, is organic search. Organic traffic also happens to be the best kind of traffic.
Organic traffic is traffic that you generate through unpaid means.
It is traffic that happens naturally or, dare we say, organically. Organic traffic is free. It is also the number one driver of all traffic, accounting for approximately 53% of online traffic. Moreover, organic traffic tends to generate the highest quality leads, especially when you target long-tail keywords. This is because long-tail keywords best address intent, which refers to why a searcher is searching in the first place.
How To Get Organic Traffic
How does this all relate to SEO? SEO — or “Search Engine Optimization” — is the process of targeting keywords and phrases searchers are most likely to use to find your website, product or service. The best way to do this is to write content for your website.
When you target the appropriate key terms in your content, and when you incorporate them strategically throughout your website, you are doing what is necessary to help people find what you offer organically.
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2. SEO Creates a Better User Experience
An optimal user experience is something that all website owners should strive to create, regardless of what Google says. However, if you have yet to make user experience a priority, there are several reasons you should change that sooner rather than later.
Google favors websites that provide an optimal user experience. In fact, it designed each of its algorithm updates to help achieve this outcome, beginning with the Panda in 2011 and ending with BERT in 2019. Per Google, BERT represents the biggest leap forward for search in the past five years and is one of the greatest algorithm updates in all of search history. Effectively, BERT accomplishes the following:
- It ensures that website owners publish specific and in-depth content.
- It ensures that website content contains long-tail phrases that more specifically address user queries.
- It ensures that website content is clearly written and concise and that it was designed for human consumption.
Each of these outcomes contributes to Google’s overall goal of creating a positive user experience by making it easier for users to find the information they seek in fewer clicks. When you optimize your site correctly, you can contribute to the user experience, earn Google’s favor and, in the process, work your way up in the search engine ranks. This is a prime example of how SEO can grow your business.
3. SEO Serves To Build Trust and Credibility
As with an optimal user experience, building trust and credibility should be a primary goal of website owners and SEO. Although a beautiful website that provides a seamless user experience is one way to accomplish this objective, SEO is the real key player.
Several elements go into building an authoritative and trustworthy website. Those are as follows:
- Positive user behavior
- Natural links
- Machine learning signals
- Optimized content and on-page elements
As you can imagine, creating an authoritative site based on these elements takes considerable time and effort. However, if you put forth the effort, the results will do more for your brand and business than most, if not all, other digital optimization labors.
4. SEO Can Help You Understand Your Consumer’s Voice
SEO in and of it itself may not help you to understand user intent, but the data can. Data analysis is a crucial aspect of SEO for several reasons, one of the biggest of which is that it gives you a clear picture of user intent and behavior. It does this in a few different ways:
- SERP analysis
- Search query data
- AI insights and analytics data
Armed with the right data, SEO can tell you what customers need and want.
5. Local SEO Helps To Increase Traffic, Engagement and Conversions
With the rise of mobile search, local SEO has become a key player in the digital success of small- to medium-sized businesses. Local SEO refers to the process of optimizing your digital properties — including relevant local listings and social media profiles — with local citations and backlinks for the purposes of targeting potential customers who are in your neighborhood, city or region.
Local search, unlike more traditional SEO, relies heavily on digital properties other than your website, particularly review sites. If you want to lay a strong foundation for local search, create optimized listings on review sites such as Home Advisor, Angie and Yelp. Also, look for business listings sites that cater to businesses in your particular region, such as MLive in Michigan, 702Pros in Las Vegas, Nevada, or the Salt Lake Chamber in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Why Your Business Should Use Local SEO
There are dozens of reasons to invest in local SEO for business growth. Some of the more convincing are as follows:
- As much as 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smart phone visit a business within 24 hours of doing so. 28% of those searches result in a sale.
- A survey reveals that 61% of consumers say they conduct at least one local search daily.
- Online reviews are a major influencing factor in local search, with as many as 82% of consumers saying they spend at least 14 minutes reading reviews during a local search before deciding which business to visit.
- 92% of the time, Yelp appears in the top five search results for local SMB searches.
- According to Google, nearly one-third of the queries it processes are related to location.
At this point, you may be wondering how to master SEO and grow your business from a local standpoint. Unfortunately, Google keeps its local search algorithm a closely guarded secret. However, it does reveal that relevancy, distance and prominence all play a factor.
6. SEO Is Affordable … and It Works
Yes, SEO for business growth does cost money. Yet, the investment you make is likely to be minimal compared to the ROI you will see as a result of your efforts.
Though the ROI for SEO varies by industry and how much you invest, FirstPageSage gathered enough data (see image above) to estimate a “time-to-break-even” over a three-year period. Per the data, the time to break even is anywhere from between five and 16 months. The construction industry sees the quickest return, at five months, while ecommerce takes up to 16 months before it begins to break even. Ecommerce also happens to have the lowest ROI at its three-year peak, at 317%. The industry with the greatest ROI is real estate, at 1,389% at its three-year peak. Even ecommerce, which has the lowest ROI, can expect to see a return of more than three times its investment within three years of SEO implementation.
Not only is the ROI for SEO substantial but it’s also long-lived. As long as you continue your SEO efforts, a large part of which should include blogging, you should continue to reap the rewards of your earlier efforts. Once you reach your peak, your efforts will continue to compound and thereby contribute to your trust, credibility, rankings and growth.
7. SEO Drives Clicks
The fact of the matter is that if you’re not on page one of the SERPs, you’re not getting clicks. Not only do you need to rank on page one but you also need to rank within the top three of the organic search results. Better yet, you need to rank as a zero-click search.
According to a recent study, the first three results on a Google search results page capture 50% of all clicks. To put this into a reverse perspective, 30% of all results on pages one and two never receive clicks at all.
What’s better than ranking within the first three spots of organic listings, however, is ranking as a zero-click result. What does this mean, though?
A zero-click result is one that provides the searcher with the answer he or she seeks directly in the SERPs. Because the answer is front-and-center, the result satisfies the searcher’s intent without the searcher ever having to click through.
Understandably, you, like many other website owners and SEOs, may wonder how SEO can grow your business if searchers never actually click on your results. This is a hot topic of debate among the digital marketing community at the moment. While zero-click searches ultimately benefit Google and the user, brands do benefit in that the rich information in the results may act like press mentions or billboard ads. They help to spread awareness, build audience familiarity with your brand and position you as an industry expert or leader. Some marketers believe that brands that show up in zero-click searches are the ones who will win at the new on-SERP SEO game.
8. SEO Is Not Going Anywhere
The number one reason to invest in SEO is that it is here to stay. More consumers than ever are turning to the world wide web for information on products, services and brands and, increasingly, to make purchases. The most effective and cost-efficient way for brands to position themselves to be found is through SEO. Though search strategies may evolve with technology and consumer preferences, the bottom line is that search and everything that comes with it — including SEO — is not going anywhere.
How To Master SEO and Grow Your Business
Now that you’re familiar with how SEO can grow your business, you may wonder how you can use SEO for business growth. What does SEO look like, and how can you implement it?
There are dozens of SEO strategies that are worth looking into. However, one with which we are intimately familiar and that may have the greatest impact on your rankings and bottom line is blogging.
According to the stats, 72% of online marketers say that blogging and content creation, in general, are their most effective SEO tactics. Websites that blog continue to have more than 400% more indexed pages and see 97% more clicks through to their website than brands that don’t. You can find dozens of business blogging statistics or advantages of blogging for business that show the benefits of content creation. Or, you can experience the benefits yourself by making blogging an integral part of your SEO strategy. If you choose to do the latter, check out our SEO blog writing services to determine which package is right for you, your budget and your growth goals.
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