Marketing

The Importance of SEO for Business

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a term nearly every business is aware of, but not something every company invests in. Many, particularly small to medium-sized businesses, don’t understand the power of SEO – while others swear by it. Understanding what SEO does, and how it can help your brand, is vital in a world driven by eCommerce, search engine rankings and website clicks.

Why is SEO important?

If you are not using SEO and your competitors are, they will attract more business than you will. Why? It is because people are finding and engaging with their websites, while yours is virtually invisible. SEO is marketing their brands day and night, keeping them one step ahead of you.

Imagine investing in a new house and then deciding to leave it empty. The building would have little purpose. Its condition would deteriorate and it could lose value. If you have built a website and hope to convert visitors to customers, you can’t just press the ‘Publish’ button and expect business to flow in. You have got to invest in SEO to help people with an interest in your products or services find your website.

With more than 300 million active websites on platforms like Google and Bing, how do you think people are going to find your company website? SEO not only drives visitors from your target market to your website by making it visible, it gives your domain more authority – something that will ultimately see your brand ranked higher in search engine results and make it easier for people to find and engage with it.

SEO helps people in your target market discover your business

So, what is SEO? It is a combination of things that start with a good, well-designed and accessible website that must be mobile friendly. From there, SEO plays a pivotal role through page titles, descriptions (meta data), headings, keywords and internal links. Essentially, it is all about using the right keywords, content and links to make your website rank highly in search engine results.

Businesses can further boost their SEO with great content that is both original and relevant, as well as further utilising those all-important keywords. Ensuring fresh content, using those keywords again, is uploaded on a regular basis is also vital. A website should never be left to stagnate. Tip: use social media posts that include links to your website to drive traffic and further boost your SEO.

Imagine you are the owner of an independent garage offering the full range of services. Your home page SEO description may state that the business offers repairs and MoT testing. Great, but you are not getting any customers as a result of the website. Why? You have failed to mention the most vital thing – where the garage is located. Because your customers will live or work within a reasonable distance from your business, you need to ensure that anybody using a search engine to find a garage in your area finds your website.

Location is a vital keyword, if your business attracts customers from a defined area. It should be used in page titles, headings, keywords and meta data. For larger businesses, perhaps those which operate on a global scale, location is not important – it’s solely the words or phrases that people looking for that type of business are most likely to use when referring to a search engine. To help you determine which words and phrases people most use to find a business like yours, you can use a free keyword rank checker, undertake your own research or employ the services of an SEO expert. However, don’t forget to carry out regular audits of keywords – to check that they are still working in your favour.

Why is good SEO great for business?

  • It is marketing your brand 24/7
  • SEO drives more traffic to your website
  • You get better conversion rates
  • It is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a business

Without SEO, your website might as well be invisible. It will be lost in a sea filled with hundreds of millions of other websites, with nothing to make yours stand out from the crowd. Effective SEO targets your preferred audience. It is then down to your content to sell visitors your products and services. Good SEO and great content will increase conversion rates, meaning more visitors to your website will spend money with your business.

It is estimated that as much as 93 per cent of the world’s online activity starts with a search engine. Up to 75 per cent of those using search engines don’t look past the first page – making it vital that your business is ranked highly. You don’t have to advertise to get clicks – research has shown that a majority of those using search engines will click on an organic link rather than a paid-for one.

Invest in SEO – it makes sense

If you want to accelerate your business, attract new leads, convert website visitors to customers and increase revenue, SEO is a no-brainer. You need it!

Use SEO to out-rank competitors, increase brand awareness and market your business to new and returning visitors. SEO can help establish your business as a leader in its field, validate your products and services with consumers and give you leverage to expand your ‘offer’.

Websites that are not using SEO belong to businesses that are lagging behind their competitors. If you want to stay one step ahead of the rest, you know what to do – invest in SEO.

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Roisin Kirby is an experienced Marketing Consultant based in Nottingham (UK), specialising in education and services marketing. A Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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