Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as it’s more commonly known, is one of the most misunderstood terms in the world of digital marketing. While SEO has been painted as some sort of secret that requires an intimate knowledge of the search engine algorithm, at its core, it is a marketing tool. SEO’s unfair characterization as some kind of voodoo over the past decade has caused many otherwise savvy business people to devalue its importance as part of a good, solid marketing plan for small, mid-sized, and large businesses.

In reality, SEO is a very viable marketing outlet that can, when paired with well-designed landing pages and well-written content, bring a business qualified leads and customers. Moreover, studies have shown that SEO can have a better return on investment than traditional forms of marketing, like TV or print ads. And although it’s not some sort of magic, SEO alone is not going to transform your business from a shop in your parents’ basement to a Fortune 500 company. SEO works best when it is a part of an overall marketing plan. Still not convinced?

Here are our 5 Reasons Why SEO is so Important for Businesses:

1. SEO is Good for Business Visibility and Branding

When people search for your products or services, you obviously want to appear as high in the search engine rankings as possible, but the reasons for this are more than just because you want them to click through to your website. In fact, there is a certain amount of value in simply appearing in search results for terms directly related to your business. For example, most searchers don’t just simply search once, click on some websites, and be done with it. Instead, they search, click on some websites, edit their search terms, search again, click on some websites, further hone their search terms, search again, and so on. This means that if you can continually show in all these various search results that you are gaining more and more traction with each potential customer. Chances are very good that they will eventually click through to your website, and since you continually displayed in all their search results, they will trust you that much more.

2. SEO Provides Credibility for Your Business

Consumers make mental notes of the companies that show up on Google and on other search engines. It may be a subconscious note for some, but they do nonetheless. In the minds of consumers, your ranking becomes a vote of confidence. That may sound a bit exaggerated, but research has shown that higher search rankings lead to more credibility in the eyes of consumers.

3. SEO Brings Your Business Traffic

Sure, by itself, traffic is not going to make you any money, but the first step in converting a consumer into a customer is to get them in the door, so-to-speak. All those people searching on the Internet day and night aren’t necessarily going to make you any money, but chances are that quite a few of them will eventually become your customers because of your search ranking. Just like in a brick-and-mortar storefront, you still have to make your best effort to sell to your customers once they make contact with you (in this case, through your website) and it’s better to do business on a proverbial “crowded street corner” than it is to set up shop on a “deserted island.”

4. SEO Has One of the Best ROI’s in Advertising

SEO rewards your business for its efforts at a higher rate than pretty much any other traditional forms of offline advertising — the same can be said for almost all types of Internet marketing. The reason for this is because SEO is an inbound marketing strategy; which means it allows you to market to people when they are looking for the products and services your business provides. You don’t have to interrupt their favorite TV show; you don’t have to take up space on a page where they are reading a news article. You just show up when they are looking for the services or products you provide. You don’t have to convince them they need your product or service because they are already looking for it. All you have to do is convince them that you are the right business to purchase from. In other words, with SEO, half the legwork is already done for you.

5. SEO Gives You Unmatched Insight Into Your Customers

As we already stated, SEO generates valuable traffic. Google Analytics tracks this traffic through important data and metrics. The data and metrics are valuable because they give you insight into your customers, such as: how they search; how they browse; the language they use; the technology they use; the region they live in; the time and days they are most active; and much more. This is extremely valuable because it can help you make more informed decisions regarding your business and its strategies, both online and offline.

The bottom line is that SEO can help you build your business by getting you in front of your potential customers exactly when they are looking for your products or services. It provides reliable sources of user data and analytics that can help you tailor your message to attract new customers. As long as the Internet continues to drive consumer buying habits, SEO is an important resource for your business marketing efforts. Remember that SEO is part of a larger marketing plan. If you’re new to inbound marketing, contact us for a free analysis.

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