Guide to Why you NEED Search Engine Optimization
Part 1 of 3
Ok, so you’ve heard about SEO, who hasn’t. And you know you SHOULD be doing some kind of search engine optimization on your blog or website, but you just haven’t got around to it. Google says that if you provide good quality content to your audience they’ll find you on their own right? You can figure out what people like, and you can provide the basics on your own… building a site or blog is fairly easy to do for just about anyone nowadays too, so you should have a fair chance at making your own stand out, right? So is SEO really that important?
YES, IT IS. The “if you build it they will come” model is a thing of the past. Sure, in the ‘90’s and early 2000’s you may have gotten away with it, but today competition is FIERCE even in the smallest of niches and growing at an ever increasing pace with no sign of slowing down. Writing decent content for a site or a few blog posts is actually highly unlikely to give you a ‘fair chance’ in a search engine for a variety of reasons.
One reason is that there are so many results shown in search engines, your site gets immediately lost in the vast ocean of alternatives. The chances of a person noticing your site among all the option is one in… who knows how many thousands of other related sites that could be shown, assuming your site doesn’t have errors and is strong enough to be listed in a search engine at all. The chances of a search engine choosing to list your site and rank it highly enough for a person to even have the opportunity to notice it go down even more when the fact that the highest ranking sites have strategies to compete and outpace all the others as well. These stronger sites will push the other sites, including yours, down the list to where no one would look and still expect to find the result they had in mind, even your site could have caught their attention.
You can see for yourself that an overwhelming number of websites are listed in search engines related to the topics of your website. In fact, head over to Google now (don’t worry, I’ll wait). Now type in your main keyword in the search box and click the little search icon. Now look at the number of results. I’m guessing its larger than either of our bank accounts will ever be. Point is, that’s how many pages/sites you are competing with in your niche for a very finite amount of traffic.
It is also not too difficult to guess what your competitors are doing to make themselves appear first on that list of results. S-to the-E-to the-O. How can you tell? Maybe you’ve noticed their site, or pages linked to their site, showing up just about everywhere else you turn within your niche as well. While your site feels invisible, competitors’ sites seem to be burning themselves into the back of Google’s vision. Every day you don’t focus on optimizing your site, content, link profile and visibility in the search engines is another day you fall that far behind your competition. Competition that is aware of, and capitalizing on, the value of organic searches (which by the way often convert at a much higher rate than say PPC traffic).
Organic traffic accounts (on average) for up to 80% of a website’s total traffic. And over 70% of ALL clicks on Google searches are to ORGANIC listings!
Still think you don’t have time for SEO in 2018? Read on to learn more about why Search Engine Optimization in 2018 is more important than its ever been….
SEO = The Gift that Keeps on Giving
While many short-sided business owners see SEO as simply another “cost” on the ‘ol spreadsheet, savvy entrepreneurs know that it’s a wise investment…and like the stock market, tends to pay off consistently and regularly over time.
Organic traffic isn’t as “sexy” as a PPC or social media campaign where “ad dollars in = x number of traffic out”, but it’s a long term play that continues to pay off for years to come.
You’ll often hear of organic traffic as “free” traffic, and that’s because even after your initial investment, you’ll reap the rewards of organic traffic for months or even years after cessation of SEO activities. Organic traffic is reliable, and a steadier form of traffic that tends to grow over time, especially if you are continuing your SEO strategies to some degree (after a campaign is well-established initially, keeping it strong takes comparatively little effort).
Once established in the SERPS, your brand has more “staying power” and authority, helping you to outrank and keep ahead of emerging competitors in the market who now have to catch up to your months or years of optimizations. This allows you to siphon market share and establish a strong foothold in your industry long term.
SEO = More Leads for Your Top Sales Rep…err Webpages
Let’s face it. Your website IS YOUR NUMBER ONE SALES REP. Why? Because your site never sleeps, is available 24/7/365, is consistent in its message, never misspeaks, and is available globally to your entire online audience or target market.
Like clockwork, your site delivers a consistent conversion rate, gathers opt ins, leads, etc., always does what its told to do, and without any backtalk or sass. It doesn’t take vacation time or get sick, and it doesn’t leave your company to work for another one. It exists purely for the purpose of benefiting your company. Your website. Is. Your perfect employee. With the ability to handle thousands of prospective customers at once, why wouldn’t you want to provide them with MORE leads?
The best thing about your website, from a business perspective, is that it’s performance is consistent. This allows you to more accurately forecast sales and revenue figures over time.
SEO = Secret Sauce to your Marketing Mix
The days of “single impact” conversions are over. Sorry folks, but even those PPC ads are not getting the job done any more. Depending on what your website’s potential visitor is looking for, there are likely hundreds or even thousands of options available to choose from. A similarly daunting number of these options will be aggressively advertised to this visitor, making other options disappear from view and increasing the competitiveness of your industry more than you bargained for.
With today’s over-advertised to population, your marketing channels need to be synergistic, painting a picture and telling a story about your organization and the solution/product you provide and how that solution/product will impact your customers. This is one of the best ways you can gain an advantage against your competitors, and the more unique and strategic you can be, the better your site will fare.
Current research into the customer journey demonstrates that on average it takes 6-8 interactions with a customer BEFORE they will make a buying decision. This average not only applies to customer interactions, but also to the processes of casting vision for teams, initiate direction for important life steps, and persuading your spouse to go out for dinner. In fact, it’s a pretty much universal statistic regarding human decision-making and acting on their decisions. Keep in mind that these are two separate, distinct steps! A person will often make a mental decision to take a certain action, such as making a purchase, but still require further interaction and prompting before they finally act on their decision outwardly.
This means that businesses NEED to have multiple marketing channels in place to provide the points of presence necessary to impact that sales cycle.
For example, a typical online sales cycle in 2018 might go something like this:
Step 1: Customer searches Google for a generic product/service
Step 2: After finding your site customer heads over to facebook or other social media to see what others are saying about you
Step 3: Customer sees a retargeting ad for your company to sign up to the email list in exchange for something of value but still does not purchase
Step 4: Customer is browsing the web the following week and sees another retargeting ad for your company.
Step 5: Customer has your service in their mind from previous touch points but can’t remember the URL so they go back to Google and type in the search phrase looking for you in the organic listings
Step 6: Customer finds your site (hopefully, if you’re ranking) and makes a purchase
The above scenario is one of thousands. The point is, your organic positioning can influence and drive conversions from display, PPC, email and other formats…in the same way those other advertising and marketing channels can boost your SEO conversions.
Do not underestimate the importance of SEO strategy to your website’s success. As you have seen from the three benefits here listed, SEO can be critical to your site and help you gain some ground within your industry, which is not otherwise easy to do! Further benefits and strategies of SEO are listed in later parts, and can help you discover more on how SEO can aid you. If you are interested in building a strong SEO strategy, contact Salterra. Our web services, including SEO, will make a difference for your site and your success.
Till Next Time….
About Salterra Digital Services
Salterra was started in 2011 by Terry and Elisabeth Samuels; nothing fancy and nothing pretentious. Quality work at a fair price. Starting with a web design focus, they both quickly learned that while having an amazing website to highlight your business is a great start, marketing is intrinsically foundational for our clients. When several clients were not seeing results through the search efforts of other companies, Terry took it to the next level. While digging into SEO and marketing, he found something he was very passionate about. His inner geek pushed him to focus solely on the data and analytics side of the business while Elisabeth built on her creative and visual strength and expanded the design side. In the industry, it is not always common to have both designers and digital marketing so closely connected, but to them it made perfect sense. Salterra’s World Headquarters is in Tempe Arizona