SEO is the hottest acronym in digital marketing. Considering the benefits of SEO and the myriad resources on how to leverage it, it would seem these three letters can make or break your entire digital marketing strategy.
If you aren't familiar with the term, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's the practice of making your website content attractive to search engines so that others can discover you.
But does SEO really deserve the hype?
In a word, yes. But only if you recognize what SEO can truly do for your business.
Take a look at these eight benefits of SEO you might not have considered:
#1 - The Best Benefits of SEO are (Mostly) Free
While investing in SEO costs time, you can rest assured you'll never pay a physical penny for its benefits.
No one can pay to be the number one ranking on Google. The only way you'll get to the top is through research and hard work.
It doesn't cost anything for your website to appear in search results. Unlike PPC advertising, it's also free to you and your audience when someone clicks on your website on the results page.
However, you'll likely need to spend some money with a content writing agency to create web copy and blog posts that are optimized for search engines. Your content won't see the benefits of SEO without partnering with someone skilled in SEO practices.
#2 - More Than Half of Your Website Traffic Might Depend on SEO
An SEO study suggests that a whopping 64% of referral traffic is generated organically. Let that sink in.
More than half of your business's website traffic could be thanks to people finding you via organic web searches.
The aforementioned study was inspired by online discount giant Groupon. Groupon was curious to discover just how much their website relied on organic referrals. They de-indexed their website for just one day and found that 60% of their traffic relied on organic search.
How much do you think your traffic would increase if you optimized your website for search engines?
#3 - SEO Creates a Better User Experience
User experience (UX) has become a central focus lately, and not just because it's helpful for customers. A well-crafted UX can also be the precise signal search engines need to index your website appropriately.
Search engines now want to see mobile-friendly designs, especially now that more searches occur on mobile devices than on fixed connections. They expect positive user signals, such as low bounce rate and a high amount of time spent on the site.
They also look for readability cues, diverse media (such as images and videos), and other elements that are beneficial to viewers.
With an improved UX, your audience isn't the only thing that benefits. Your website also gets a much-needed nod from search engines, which will help you attract new audience members and - hopefully - more leads.
#4 - Inbound Leads May Be More Qualified than Outbound Leads
SEO traffic is arguably the best website traffic because the people that visit you are actively looking for what you offer.
Think of SEO as a magnet that pulls people to your website. With the right content, you can attract those who are actively searching for the solutions you provide, rather than pushing advertisements that people may or may not be interested in.
Because of this, search engine traffic is more likely to convert than non-search engine traffic. By investing in SEO, you're investing in the chance for more conversions.
#5 - SEO Promotes Your Business 24/7
Unlike customer service reps and sales teams, your SEO is always alert and working. Weekends, holidays, late nights, and early mornings won't stand in the way of a prospect learning more about your business.
When you close up shop for the day, your rankings will be just as you left them. Continue your efforts, and SEO will continue to work for you for years to come.
#6 - You Can Measure the Results of SEO
John Wannamaker once said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don't know which half."
Many businesses find themselves in a similar situation. The truth is, you may never know the effectiveness of each part of your marketing and advertising strategies, but you can measure your SEO efforts.
You can use your own website analytics or Google analytics to determine where your referrals are coming from. Check how your website ranking is progressing and how many conversions you're earning through searches.
There are tools available (some of which are free) that can help you measure your SEO results. However, partnering with an SEO company who's already familiar with all things SEO can help you get the best results while freeing up your time for other areas of your business.
#7 - The Benefits of SEO are Long-Lasting
As previously mentioned, once you gain the benefits of SEO, they don't disappear overnight.
While advertisements and campaigns may become dated, your SEO will never go out of style. Your rankings won't vanish if you stop paying for your SEO service.
However, getting to the top is only part of the battle. Staying at the top requires ongoing dedication. You will need to dedicate a little time to maintenance and upkeep if you want to maintain your rankings.
#8 - SEO Fuels Offline Sales
You can bet people are researching you before they do business with you. Your website has become the go-to resource for people who want to learn more about what you can do for them. But first, they have to find it.
Employing SEO efforts can help more people find you online. People use search engines to find answers, resources, products, and services. SEO can put you front and center in these searches, which may prompt a phone call or in-person visit to complete the transaction.
The benefits of SEO aren't so easy to achieve, especially if you have no prior knowledge of how SEO works or how to give your competitors a run for their money. Do it right, however, and you'll wish you'd started sooner.
Is your website optimized for search engines? Find out today how you can start capturing more qualified traffic and revenue through your site with a complementary consult.