The question of why is SEO important isn’t one I’ve heard for a number of years now. Since the days of clients asking me ‘So do you just call Google and ask them to put us higher?’, there has been a far greater and wider-reaching understanding of the importance of SEO or, the less dirty term we like to use these days, organic search.
Yet there are still over 1,300 people a month in the UK and US who log onto Google each month and type that very question – why is SEO important?
So, in this article, we’ll look to answer that question.
SEO is a gateway to your brand
Now don’t get me wrong, there are numerous digital gateways which can expose potential customers to your brand. Facebook posts, PPC and good old fashioned word of mouth are core examples. Yet SEO is important as it can drive hundreds of thousands of people to your website every month, and not just when they’re looking to make a purchase.
SEO is important because you can strategically create content which aims to attract users to your site, and those users can be rather targeted too. For example, how many reads do your current articles get? 10? 50? 1,000 because you boost them on Facebook?
Understanding the importance of SEO can supercharge these figures, especially when your on-site content strategy begins with keywords instead of what you want to write about. That’s right – the best way to bring people to your website in 2020 and beyond through organic search might not even be what you’re selling, it’s what you’re writing about.
Writing content that’s designed to optimise around a long-tail keyword (think a question that’s related to your product or service), brings people to your website for probably the first time. What you do on-site and through remarketing can then turn these visits into paying customers.
SEO is the initial point of contact for all sales
Let’s talk cold hard cash – sales, business leads and enquiries. Did you know that even in the B2B world, people involved in the B2B buying process are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before they’ll actually get in touch with your salespeople? And that buying decision, for the most part, starts with a Google search.
This fact alone should prove just how important SEO is. You could spend millions a year on traditional sales or advertising. But what if you could bring millions of prospects to you instead through understanding what they’re searching for online, and making sure your website has content tailored for those searches?
In short, a focus on SEO will directly benefit your bottom line.
SEO is sustainable
One thing that 2020 has shown us, aside from how much EU economies rely on people buying their daily coffee, is that businesses with a strong SEO strategy are more resolute and can adapt and thrive through difficult periods.
Why is that?
Because businesses that have traditionally relied on costly paid search or traditional advertising campaigns to generate business has struggled. Not all of them I grant you, but for those who have had to pull marketing pounds to support other areas of the business during the pandemic will have seen lead generation drop off a cliff and critical new sales revenue dry up.
But what if those businesses had invested as much time (and sometimes money) into ensuring that every single relevant keyword to their business, they were ranking for? They could turn off the paid marketing taps safe in the knowledge that their well-optimised website would continue driving demand for their products and services.
SEO is important, therefore, because it is sustainable. It needs maintaining, it needs constant work, but the outcomes are for the long-term. Those 10 clicks that cost you £100 in AdWords could have been 10 clicks a month guaranteed from your SEO work. That’s £1,200 worth of traffic to your website each year for, essentially, free.
SEO is easy to measure
Measuring campaign success has always been a bit of a sticking point for a number of channels. Social has gotten pretty good at fixing this issue, especially with the likes of Facebook’s offline conversion tracking. But do you really know how effective your PR campaigns have been? Or your roadside advertising?
SEO is important because it’s easy to measure the impact of your work. Through SEO software you can track keyword rankings. Google Analytics will tell you how many organic visitors you’re generating and into what pages. Google Search Console will tell you what keywords are triggering a visit to your website too.
Now, I’m not saying that how easy something is to measure is the be-all and end-all. But if you’re deciding your long-term marketing strategy, it’s a lot easier to track, optimise and improve of you can measure the outcomes of your efforts in detail.