In this three-part Benefits of SEO and Ranking blog series, Forward Vision Marketing’s Isabel Roco discusses SEO benefits and how to improve Google search rankings. Topics include Why SEO is Important for Businesses and How to Get Your Website to Rank Higher on Google, Why is SEO Important for Businesses?, and How to Get Your Website to Rank Higher on Google?
From “best b2b digital marketing agency” to “weather tomorrow,” you probably google something more than once a day. In fact, it’s estimated that Google processes 5.6 billion (yes, that’s with a ‘b’) searches a day! Each person uses the search engine about three to four times a day.
It’s no surprise that one of the key benefits of Search Engine Optimization or SEO is being found on search engines like Google and having that free traffic. But it doesn’t stop there…SEO can also help a business with branding and marketing.
There are multiple reasons why SEO is beneficial to businesses, whether it be small businesses or big enterprises. Here are some of the top reasons:
1. 24/7 Lead Generation Using Free Traffic
SEO is always on
Global users searching on the web using search engines like Google and Bing means someone can find your business throughout the day (or night) without you having to attend to it.
This continuous flow of traffic to your site is the start of bringing more eyeballs to your products and services, which hopefully will convert into leads. It’s like having a store where potential customers can come, browse and buy 24/7.
SEO has higher quality traffic
When someone is searching for a particular term on search engines like Google, they are looking for answers. From “product launch tips” to “marketing in-house vs agency,” search intent can be informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional.
Whatever the searcher’s intent is, she got there because she was looking for you to begin with versus being “interrupted” by an ad. This means better quality of traffic that would linger on your site versus bouncing off or abandoning your site. The chances of your business converting this visitor into a lead now become higher.
SEO has higher conversion rates
A HubSpot report revealed 59% of marketers point to SEO and other inbound practices as providing the highest quality leads. SEO is closely tied to content marketing. A study showed most B2B marketers use content marketing which is 62% less expensive than traditional marketing. It also generates 3x leads and increases website conversion rates by more than 5x.
2. SEO Helps with Branding
Branding is the process and practice of identifying what your business is about, your promise to your customers and how you’re different from your competitors. More than just about your logo, website and marketing collaterals, what appears on search about your company and how often potential customers see your brand can also impact your branding.
And as with branding, consistency is key when it comes to SEO and using it to help with your branding efforts.
SEO builds brand awareness
A potential customer searches for “telecom acronyms guide,” “5G issues and benefits” and “digital transformation.” Your different blog articles consistently appear on Google’s page 1. Potential customers see your name often, becoming more familiar with your name, and associating it with your field of expertise.
Even the controversial zero-click searches are still valuable. It may not drive clicks to your website, but it still puts your brand top of mind. And if you consistently add value to the searcher, they may eventually check out your website, and convert by downloading a white paper or signing up for an enewsletter.
SEO builds credibility
Google’s search algorithm and ranking factors are complex. Although not a direct ranking factor, Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness (EAT), is important because it’s still part of Google’s algorithm as stated in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. It’s in keeping with the search engine’s goal of presenting the best answer—credible, valuable answers—to the searcher.
When people search the internet and find your website at the top of the list, it gives them the impression that you’re an authoritative, credible source of information. They can trust you more than someone who doesn’t rank high on search engine results.
Consistently ranking on top of search results for topics that are important to your industry and your customers can help establish your reputation as a thought leader in your field.
SEO builds visibility
Have you ever seen those search results that are prominently placed at the top, sometimes with a border around it or with accompanying images? According to Google, featured snippets are results displayed with a description about a page even before a link to a page is displayed just like in the example below.
Featured snippets can be displayed on its own or shown with other search results in the “People also ask” section and even in Knowledge Graph.
As you can see, this prominent position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a premium spot that can dramatically increase your brand’s visibility, not to mention the increased traffic to your site that comes with it.
3. SEO is Cost-Effective Marketing
SEO costs less
(Value of Conversions – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment = SEO ROI
SEO ROI may seem more difficult to calculate than other marketing activities like PPC which has fixed costs directly associated with it. There is the cost of an SEO specialist if you’re doing it in-house or an SEO retainer’s fee if hiring an agency. Add to it the cost of SEO tools or software. The consensus though remains that SEO still costs less than traditional marketing (Hello, Super Bowl 30-second commercial for $5.5 million!).
SEO is fueled by content marketing and a study shows that content marketing is 62% less expensive than traditional marketing.
SEO to reach new audiences
Search Engine Optimization gives you a chance to reach a broader audience that would not have been able to find you otherwise.
Compared to paid ads where you must specify your target audience and where your reach is capped by your budget, SEO can potentially help your website reach more people without limitations. The key is to closely match the searcher’s query, so your content gets served up as the top search result on page 1.
SEO helps improve conversion rates
Do you find yourself skipping the sponsored ads on the SERP and heading straight to the organic search results? This is not to say that paid advertising does not have a spot in the marketing mix (paid ads can have a 200% ROI). Paid ads and SEO can work hand in hand to optimize your marketing ROI.
However, SEO is less intrusive. Think about it…here’s a potential pool of people actively looking for solutions to their pain points. And here you are, presenting what they need at the time they need it. This makes this audience more receptive to your messages and more likely to convert.
The first five organic results in Google account for almost 68% of clicks. There is a big potential to bring in free traffic to your website and get this engaged audience to convert into leads.
You have probably seen the benefits of ranking your website on Google’s SERP yourself. Continuous flow of free traffic, branding and affordability are just some of the top reasons why SEO is important for businesses.
The bigger question now is, how to rank higher on Google. We will give you tips on improving your Google ranking on part 3 of this blog series. In the meantime, if you need help using SEO and content marketing to boost traffic to your website and attract more customers, check out these SEO and Content marketing packages.