It's easy for business owners looking for a marketing edge to fall into the shiny new object trap. Before fully mastering one strategy, up comes another with enough sparkle and glitter and lofty promises to draw your attention and siphon off even more funds from the marketing budget.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Google Ads marketing have all managed to dip their hands into advertising budgets across the country, but all pale in comparison to the ROI potential of SEO.
SEO is critical to getting the top spots in the search results, but it's much more than a first-page listing. It will improve your brand recognition, build trust, and attract a steady stream of leads to your company.
One of SEO's most significant advantages over all other forms of digital marketing is that once you achieve a first-page listing, minimal effort, and investment will be required to maintain your position. Digital marketing experts call this organic traffic.
Keep reading to learn more about how organic traffic from SEO will be one of your most important sources of new leads in 2020.
SEO Is a Lucrative Source of Traffic and Leads
SEO is a long game, and results from a new website can be slow in coming. However, once the holy grail of a first-page listing is achieved, you will have a steady source of leads that will continue to bring in new business without much effort and even less of your marketing budget.
SEO doesn't just work for Google Search. They do command the lion's share of searches at over 92%, but that's no reason to disregard smaller players like DuckDuckGo.com and Bing. The good news is that your SEO efforts for ranking in Google will also positively impact your ranking in the other search engines.
The reason you should strive for as much organic traffic as you can is that the leads it brings in are more highly qualified than leads arriving from other sources, like paid ads on Google and Facebook.
People researching a product or service in the search engines are much further along the sales pipeline than a social media user who happens to see your ad pop up in their newsfeed. They may click through to your offer, but there's a good chance they are just curious and not ready to buy. Even worse is that you have paid for a click that is unlikely to convert.
SEO Improves the User Experience
If a searcher doesn't like what they see, or you don't deliver on the information they are searching for, they will leave your site. Google monitors user behaviour on a website, and if the activity indicates a low-quality experience (like quickly hitting the back button), your site will drop in the search results.
Good SEO practices lead to better user experiences. Searchers rely on Google to provide them with the most reliable, up to date, and relevant information for whatever they are researching. Your SEO efforts will push you towards delivering a superior service and an excellent user experience for all your visitors, which will earn you higher rankings.
SEO Builds Trust
People have a certain amount of trust in Google as a reliable source of information. Some of this trust will flow through to your company when searchers regularly see your site in the top positions of the search results. After all, if a major corporation like Google puts its trust in your business, then you must be worthy of it.
Creating trust is incredibly important for every organization. If you don't have it, then there's very little chance that visitors will part with their money to purchase what you are offering. A site that holds a visitor's trust will also earn more backlinks, attract more shares and likes on social media, and grow your list of followers and subscribers.
It takes time for Google to trust your site, but if you consistently publish great content that provides solutions and answers to the keywords you are targeting, Google will eventually reward your site with higher positions for more and more keywords.
Local SEO Improves Engagement and Attracts More Leads
Small and medium-sized local business can take advantage of local search to reach more local customers. A recent study revealed that 78% of local searches resulted in a visit to a store within 24 hours, and the majority of those searches are completed on smartphones.
Improving your local search results is achieved by including the name of your area with the keywords you are targeting, such as "emergency plumbing service, North Shore," in your content.
You can also improve your local search rank by ensuring your business is mentioned on sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and True Local. Create a Google My Business and Facebook page and encourage your customers to review your company.
Online reviews are a trusted source of research. Make sure you and your staff provide exceptional customer service, so you only attract 4 and 5-star testimonials.
SEO Leads Convert More Often
SEO leads generate a conversion rate of almost 15%, while other forms of marketing typically achieve less than 2%. Sixty per cent of digital marketers report that SEO is responsible for attracting the highest quality leads.
SEO is scalable. Once your website gains a search engine's trust, it becomes easier to rank more pages with more keywords to bring in even more leads.
SEO is a Part of the Online Sales Cycle
The internet has changed the way people shop. A smartphone in every pocket means that researching a new business, reading reviews, and watching product demonstrations is possible from anywhere, from a supermarket queue to sitting on a bus.
Almost 70% of every online interaction starts with a search, and 70% of online consumers will read at least four reviews before considering a purchase. When you optimize your website using sound SEO practices, the search results will be sending leads to your business rather than your competitors.
SEO Doesn't Stand Still
Achieving a stable position in the search engines doesn't mean you can sit back, relax, and watch the leads roll in. There are always going to be more keywords to target and content to create and update. Plus, your competitor's will be working at pushing above you in the search results.
Google is always striving to improve the search results, which means its algorithm receives constant tweaking and updating, and occasional adjustments are needed on your end to keep up with the changes.
SEO takes work, but the upside is that your website will never go stale and out of date, and you will always be delivering the latest, most relevant information to your audience.
SEO Reveals Opportunities
Organic search results will bring a lot of valuable traffic, but that's not the only value you will get out of SEO. When you use all the tools available to you for creating a better website, you are also learning more about your customers and how you can better help them. Your research will also reveal new trends, new content ideas, and more ways to convert visitors into paying customers.
SEO Is More Affordable Than PPC
A pay-per-click campaign will only continue to work as long as you keep up with the weekly or monthly payments. SEO does take some investment in the first stages, but once your website is established, your financial obligation becomes much lower. Ranking pages will continue to bring in traffic while you invest in researching new keywords and creating more content that will help you win even more customers.
Research reveals that inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound leads, which means that SEO is hard to beat when it comes to creating a return on your marketing investment.
SEO Is a Long Game
When you are consistent with your SEO efforts, you will see results in the first year, and possibly the first few months. It won't generate traffic as fast as paid advertising, but in two or three years you will appreciate the almost free traffic that SEO is bringing to your business.
During the first few months, you will be targeting low competition keywords with lower search volumes. The reason for this is because these phrases are much easier to rank, but they will still earn you the trust of Google and your visitors, while also bringing in a few valuable leads each month.
Once your site is established and has some authority and trust, you will then be able to target higher volume more competitive keywords with a greater chance of success than a new site could achieve. And don't forget, those first keywords you went after will still be working for you.
First Page Rankings Should Be Your Goal
Websites that don't get onto the first page of the search results will not get traffic, so your goal should be to aim for the top position. Almost 92% of clicks go to sites featured on the first page.
It's for this reason that you will start with low competition keywords. Once your site has a few first page appearances, you will then have more chance at showing up for the more challenging keywords.
SEO Creates More Brand Awareness
Google only gives first-page rankings to the sites that deserve it. When people consistently see your website in the search results, their trust in Google will flow into trust for your brand.
Becoming a familiar sight in the search results will help to create more brand awareness and establish your company as an authority that more people can reliably turn to for information and services.
SEO Attracts More Social Media Followers
Your SEO efforts will attract more visitors to your website. More traffic to your website will also mean more visitors flowing through to your social media profiles, and a portion of those will follow you, click the like button, and share your content.
Social media engagement may not have a direct influence on ranking your website, but when you receive shares and likes, there will be traffic clicking through to your website from those links. Activity on your website will have an impact on how well your site ranks.
SEO Improves Your Website's Performance
Optimizing the technical aspects of your website to improve its performance can have a significant impact on its ranking ability. As we discussed earlier, Google will favour websites that deliver an excellent user experience on every device.
Ensuring your pages load fast, and look as good on a mobile device as they do on the desktop is essential to staying in Google's good graces.
Mobile traffic has taken over from the desktop, which prompted Google to create its mobile-first initiative. This relatively recent initiative means you need to optimize every page of your site to work well on smartphones, or you risk having it dropped out of the search results.
Other aspects of a technically optimized website include smaller image file sizes for faster downloads, use of alt text for images, descriptive metadata, XML sitemaps, clean code, and unique content.
Technical SEO also helps the crawl bots understand your content so they can index it accurately and provide a better user experience on the search pages.
In summing up, the above is an extensive list about why SEO will be necessary for your business in 2020 and beyond. Creating a website is an integral part of the story, but it's SEO that will make the site work for your business.
Unlike paid online advertising, once you lay the groundwork, your SEO strategy will continue to work for you with only minor monitoring and maintenance. It's for this reason that SEO blows all other marketing campaigns out of the water when it comes to ROI.
SEO will not only attract more leads to your business, but they will also be highly qualified leads who are ready to buy, or close to it. Maintaining momentum on your SEO strategy will also mean that you will always be one step ahead of the competition. If you'd like to learn more about how to optimize your site to achieve higher rankings, get in touch with the SEO experts at SEO assassin today.