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 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 independently, right? You can figure out what people like and give the basics on your own… building a site or blog is pretty easy 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 ’90s and early 2000’s you may have gotten away with it, but today competition is FIERCE even in the smallest niches and growing at an ever-increasing pace with no sign of slowing down. For various reasons, writing decent content for a site or a few blog posts is highly unlikely to give you a ‘fair chance’ in a search engine.

One reason is that so many results are shown in search engines that your site gets immediately lost in the vast ocean of alternatives. The chances of a person noticing your site among all the options is one in… who knows how many thousands of other related sites could be shown, assuming your site doesn’t have errors and is strong enough to be listed in a search engine. The chances of a search engine choosing to list your site and rank it highly enough for a person even to 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 more robust 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 your website’s topics. Head 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. The point is, that’s how many pages/sites you compete within your niche for a finite amount of traffic.

It is also not too difficult to guess what your competitors are doing to make themselves appear first on that results list. 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 far behind your competition. The competition that is aware of and capitalizing on the value of organic searches (which 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 didn’t have time for SEO in 2018? Read on to learn why Search Engine Optimization is more important than 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.

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 the cessation of SEO activities. Organic traffic is a reliable and 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 long-term solid foothold in your industry.

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., and always does what it’s told to do 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 to benefit your company. Your website. Is. Your perfect employee. With the ability to handle thousands of prospective customers simultaneously, why wouldn’t you want to provide them with MORE leads?

From a business perspective, the best thing about your website is its consistent performance. This allows you to forecast sales and revenue figures over time more accurately.

SEO = Secret Sauce to your Marketing Mix

The days of “single impact” conversions are over. Sorry folks, but even those PPC ads are no longer getting the job done. Depending on what your website’s potential visitor is looking for, there are likely hundreds or even thousands of options available. 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 applies to customer interactions and the processes of casting vision for teams, initiating direction for necessary life steps, and persuading your spouse to go out for dinner. It’s a 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 particular 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: The 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 the 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 listed here, 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 about how SEO can aid you. If you are interested in building a solid SEO strategy, contact Salterra. Our web services, including SEO, will make a difference for your site and your success.

Till Next Time….

Guide to Why you Need SEO Part 2

Guide to Why you Need SEO Part 3

About Salterra Digital Services

Salterra was started in 2011 by Terry and Elisabeth Samuels; nothing fancy or pretentious. Quality work at a fair price. Beginning with a web design focus, they 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 did not see 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 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 designers and digital marketing so closely connected, but it made perfect sense to them. Salterra’s World Headquarters is in Tempe Arizona

Terry and Elisabeth are the Hosts of Roundtable SEO Mastermind Series and SEO Spring Training Conference.