what are the advantages of SEO? You’ve probably been told to use search engine optimization a few times as a business owner or marketer. That’s because it’s crucial for your successful marketing strategy.
If you’re not familiar with that tactic, you might feel that it’s not worth the time or money to put into it. Still, you know that search engines care about it, and you want to gain market share in a competitive industry. You’ve heard that reputable websites focus on SEO instead of paid search results, and you wish to learn more.
What’s the SEO Meaning in Business and Marketing
Most people aren’t sure why it matters. However, think about how you locate the information you require during the day. Let’s say you need to replace the television and didn’t know which model to purchase, or you were going on vacation and wanted to find a restaurant.
The results you see are based on what Google believes will give you the best information from the keywords provided. In most cases, the sites ranking on that first page aren’t just there for show. Their owners used SEO so that Google could understand what the content was about.
Each web page used extensive research to find out how users phrase searches for topics to optimise them appropriately. You should do the same to reach your target audience and get more SEO leads.
What Are the Five Search Engine Optimization Benefits
It’s important to understand the advantages of SEO, so continue reading to find out more!
1. SEO Targets That Quality Traffic
Traditional marketing efforts use outbound advertising channels to reach consumers who might not want to hear from you. However, inbound methods focus on making it easier for the audience to find your blog when they need information
On the other hand, inbound marketing is more customer-centric. You’re not interrupting them while they listen to music or watch a show. Instead, you’re creating helpful resources to make it more accessible to get information.
When users want to spend time researching their options and your industry, they find you. Overall, it’s more convenient for them and gives your brand more qualified leads.
Think about it for a second. Do you believe someone seeing a billboard ad on a commute is more receptive to marketing? The likely answer is no. Instead, someone comes across the tips you published on your blog while seeking assistance.
They Already Want Help
If you focus on attracting people who actively seek information related to your services, products, and industry, you’re more effective and reaching the target audience.
You also have a chance to get more customers who are ready to make a purchase. Therefore, you instantly increase your chances of making a sale with your marketing message.
2. No Paying for Ads on Search Engines with SEO
The organic rankings on Google are based primarily on what the algorithm feels might be the best results for specific queries related to that keyword.
Once you create a page, and the search engine thinks it’s worthy enough to direct users there, you continue attracting website traffic to the site for months or years after it’s published.
Writing high-quality content means researching the topic thoroughly. You’re investing time in crafting blogs and articles or might have to spend money to hire the best digital marketing agency to write it for you.
Once that initial investment is made, there are no ongoing costs associated with attracting people to the content.
However, the main goal here is that you can lower your advertising costs by being shown at the top of the search results. It’s free to do, and that’s much different than PPC ads. You’re charged whenever a user clicks to visit the page.
3. Get More Clicks with SEO than PPC Campaigns
PPC ads often appear above the organic search results in search engines. You can’t deny that it’s tempting to be above the rest.
However, most of the time, people ignore them and scroll down to the organic search area and find a result on that first page. Experts speculate and debate on the reason for this.
Generally, a logical conclusion is that users put more trust in Google’s algorithm. They know advertisers get shown at the top, so they ignore those to visit pages their favourite search engine deems the best.
4. SEO Helps with Public Relations
While PR and SEO seem like different strategies, you can use both to maximise the results you get. Link building is the biggest connection between the two.
The main component of your SEO strategy should be earning links from reputable web pages. Your SEO expert’s job is to find opportunities for coverage and placement on news publications, industry blogs, and other relevant sites.
A PR strategy focuses on getting prominent influencers and publications to talk about your brand. Therefore, it’s a huge opportunity to distribute your content to potential customers and reach your target audience.
5. Beat the Competition with Small Business SEO Services
The right SEO strategy is a staple for all marketing efforts. Roughly 61 per cent of marketers claim that their top priorities surround improving their online presence and SEO.
Your competitors are probably taking steps to get higher rankings in the search results. With your own strategy, you can keep up with and move ahead of them to be competitive.
It’s rarely easy to do it alone, but you can hire SEO experts who offer the services you require. Overall, it’s better to do this so that you do things correctly and boost your chances of getting more leads and sales.
What’s the Difference Between SEM and an SEO Strategy
Now that you know the benefits of SEO for a small business, it’s time to learn the difference between search engine marketing and SEO.
You’re focused on increasing your online visibility through search. While some people use SEM and SEO interchangeably, they’re different.
SEM focuses on anything you do to place in the search engine results. It’s an umbrella term that includes PPC and SEO. While SEO is one form of SEM, it’s not the only tactic used in search engine marketing. You’ve also got content marketing and paid tactics available.
What Does an SEO Specialist Do?
Certain SEO tasks can be done in-house with a few online resources. However, it’s best to work with SEO professionals when you’re maximizing organic traffic. What do they do, though?
Primarily, their goal is to increase your brand’s visibility in the SERPS for any queries that relate to your services, products, and industry. They often have a tried-and-true digital marketing strategy that focuses on search engine optimization, content marketing, and PPC.
In fact, PPC and SEO work together well, and a specialist uses all of these tactics to create something unique that meets your needs. Here are a few things they utilise:
1. Site Assessment
The SEO process starts with a full assessment of your website. Whether it’s been optimised before or not, they evaluate all the ranking factors and determine where it stands on the search engine results pages for your targeted keywords.
Your SEO expert also looks for issues that impact user experience, such as page loading times, site structure, and navigation setup. They might also take your competitors into consideration. Generally, they identify any other sites that target similar audiences and keywords, evaluating what they do well.
With that information in mind, they can make changes to your website, prioritising those based on what has the biggest impact on you.
2. Ongoing Testing and Optimisation
After the assessment, an SEO expert works on the priorities they’ve already identified. They fix usability issues, focus on keyword research, and optimise pages based on the keywords they’ve chosen. This often takes a few months, but it doesn’t end there.
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy. When you hire a specialist, they find new ways to improve your site regularly. In fact, they help you earn new links for the site, optimise on-page factors, and test the changes they make.
Experienced professionals keep up with the changes in industry standards to ensure that your website is always within the algorithm’s rules. In a sense, you’re more effective than the competition.
3. Analysis and Reporting
Your SEO specialist should also regularly analyse and monitor the website’s results. That means you know what you’re getting for the investment you’ve made. Often, they use Google Analytics to gather SEO data on what you were doing and what’s changed.
Beyond that, they should be routinely checking the key metrics, such as conversions and website traffic, to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t so that they’re improving their strategies and yours.
1. Keyword Optimisation Is the Most Important Aspect of SEO
In the past, keywords were the most crucial part of SEO, so it’s not a lie, but it’s an outdated way of thinking. When Hummingbird rolled out in 2013, Google focused more on user intent from the keywords researcher’s input. Therefore, you don’t have to prioritise specific phrases and words.
Let’s be clear! Keywords are important, and keyword research helps you guide your strategies. However, you should be incorporating them naturally. Write content in ways that address the user’s concern or question instead of stuffing them wherever to get more words into the article.
2. It’s Quick and Easy to Optimise a Website
If you find a “professional” who promises SEO results in a few weeks, run away. Everyone wishes that were possible, but it’s not true. It generally takes four to six months before locating the right SEO strategies and implementing them to see results.
While the idea of easy and fast results is tempting, you shouldn’t fall for it. Find an expert who offers a clear outline of the strategy and realistic timelines to be more satisfied with your outcome.
3. Only Use Keywords with High Search Volumes
Most site owners are new to the game, so they focus their SEO efforts on keywords that have a high search volume. You want to rank on that first page for a keyword that gets thousands upon thousands of searches each month.
However, that’s not realistic in most cases. It’s highly difficult to rank for such keywords, so a strategy that focuses on that might not produce significant traffic or rankings.
Instead, you should focus on the longer keywords because they’re less competitive. Some people incorrectly believe that those words aren’t worth your time, but long-tail phrases account for about 70 per cent of all searches.
While those long-tail terms might not bring in thousands of visitors every month, a strategy built on them does. It’s easier to rank for them, so you’re more likely to see positive results in a reasonable amount of time.
Tips to Increase Organic Traffic Using SEO
Understanding the benefits of SEO is just the first step. Your goal is to boost organic traffic, and rankings aren’t the only focus here.
Here are a few tips to increase traffic without changing your rankings so that search engine optimization works in multidirectional ways:
1. Find Ways to Boost Your CTR
The first few results you see on a page earn the most clicks in most cases. However, that’s not always true. If you can find ways to get more clicks when your pages rank lower in the SERPs, you could boost traffic without having to outrank the competition.
Use Google Search Console to find pages with high click-through rates. Then, see what you’re doing well (meta descriptions and title tags), and adjust the rest accordingly.
2. Earn Featured Snippets
One Hubspot study indicated that pages in the Featured Snippets area of Google saw double the click-through rates as those appearing in the regular results.
If you can get a spot in the Featured Snippets, either through local SEO strategies or something else, you could boost CTRs without having to climb in the traditional organic rankings.
Roughly 70 per cent of snippets are found from results that aren’t in the number-one position, so that’s a great way to get more clicks.
3. Boost Your Site Speed
Did you know that your website speed could be hurting your click-through rates? Someone searches for something, and your page is first. They visit and can’t get the page to load within a few seconds. Therefore, they click away without viewing any information. Google tracks that and might put you lower on the SERPs because of it.
4. Focus on Local Search
Local searches are becoming more popular and include things like “plumbers near me” and “restaurants near me.” Roughly 80 per cent of all local searches on mobile lead to a conversion.
Therefore, local businesses should focus on these strategies to find people who are ready to buy and are already near you. The first step is to create a Google Business Profile (formerly GMB). Request reviews from clients. Before you do that, optimise the listings so that everything is correct.
5. Promote a Good User Experience
User experience is a crucial component of SEO and a big ranking factor in Google. In a sense, Google learned how to interpret a favourable/unfavorable user experience. Positive ones are pivotal to your website’s success.
If you’ve got tons of pop-ups or don’t have a mobile-friendly site, people leave. That produces high bounce rates, and Google determines that your page isn’t valuable, so you’re pushed down in the SERPs.
6. Focus on Off-page and On-Page Ranking Factors
On-page ranking factors focus on the content quality on the page and keywords targeted. However, off-page factors are the endorsements you get from other pages (primarily called backlinks).
There’s no single ranking factor that can fix or hurt your SEO efforts. It’s actually a combination of them all. Your SEO expert can help you find out what you’re doing right and repair the issues so that your page runs smoothly and attracts more people.
Overall, your digital marketing strategies should focus on SEO. In fact, search engine optimization is the best way to improve online visibility to reach consumers when they want to find information.
It also presents many more advantages that other marketing tactics can’t provide. Most marketers like the idea of earning new customers without ever having to pay for an ad. Others enjoy the fact that organic results get more attention and clicks than advertisements.
Clearly, search engines focus on SEO, and it’s important to understand what that means for you and your brand.
The benefits of SEO outlined today help you realise that you need it for your own website. If you’re not sure where to start or don’t have the time to focus your efforts on search engine optimization, it might be wise to hire an company to do the work for you.
SEO pros have the knowledge and skills required to do the job right.