What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, represents an internet marketing practice meant to improve website rankings in search engine results. Since search engine–based traffic amounts to a high percentage of general web traffic, SEO is certainly important and shouldn’t be taken for granted. But just why is SEO important? That’s a question that we’ll explore in detail here.
High-quality SEO can only be achieved through ongoing effort and an understanding of the best strategies. When trying out different SEO strategies, it’s important to focus on achieving three results: organic traffic, better-quality traffic, and a higher quantity of it.
Understanding how SEO works requires a basic understanding of how search engines operate. With this in mind, search engines like Google deploy programs called web crawlers on the internet. They then proceed to scan the entire web looking for data to better understand what certain webpages are about and if they bring any value to the table.
So what is search engine optimization, and why is it important? Search engine results are influenced by algorithms, which take a multitude of factors into account, including but not limited to ranking keywords, the quality of the content, internal links, external links, website architecture, loading speed, relevancy, ads, security, traffic, images, design, location, titles, headings, and more.
Achieving SEO success is somewhat difficult, granted the high complexity associated with internet marketing strategies. Regardless, it’s very possible if time is invested into optimizing your website. In this article, you will learn more about why SEO’s important, whether your website needs optimization, and if there are any disadvantages associated with certain SEO strategies.
Why Is SEO Important?
First, it’s important to determine whether you actually need SEO. Generally, the answer is yes, but there are some notable exceptions. SEO is only needed if you’re looking to increase the amount and quality of traffic you’re getting. If, for instance, you already have a satisfactory number of customers, investing in SEO will likely make things overwhelming since you won’t be able to fulfill all your orders. Generally, if you’re looking to keep a low profile and are satisfied with your current traffic, SEO is most likely not needed.
If you’re wondering why is SEO important in 2019, here’s your answer: several SEO practices not only improve search engine rankings but also make your website more pleasant to readers. Based on this, it’s important to choose a sleek design and make sure that all the content available on your site is high quality.
Now, it’s time to explore why SEO is essential for any website looking to attract more traffic.
Most people use search engines to look for products and services.
Sure, your social media game is great, and you get a good number of orders through Facebook and Instagram. But research shows that 93% of all online activity actually starts through a search engine. Therefore, chances are that 99% of your customers generally use search engines to browse for websites, products, and services. And that’s the importance of SEO. Consider this: a person hears about your website, but he doesn’t remember the URL or exact business name. A quick Google search using the words they remember, or common keywords for the niche, will likely help them find your website.
SEO allows website owners to get quality traffic.
Quality traffic is a broad term, but it mostly refers to users who are actually interested in the content of your website. That’s why SEO is important with Google searches involving the specific keywords that you’re ranking for—it will result in increased amounts of traffic from people who wish to read your content or buy your specific product or service. This doesn’t always happen with advertisements, where you’re trying to persuade people who may not be interested.
It’s also important to point out that most website owners are looking for conversions (the art of turning a website visit into a sale). This is also more likely to happen with search engine–based traffic. Therefore, SEO-based searches for products and services that are in demand will lead to more sales, higher profitability, and better leads. This is why SEO is important for your online success.
SEO can be free.
If your budget is running low, then SEO represents your best bet for online marketing. Implementing SEO is virtually cost-free as long as you take the time to learn more about your niche and which strategies work best. Numerous website owners choose to hire SEO professionals or marketing agencies in an effort to save time. While this approach surely works, you can easily do SEO by yourself if you’re just starting out. You just need to commit to the ongoing process of testing out various strategies.
So why is SEO important when you’re working on your own? If you become a master at SEO and manage to find what works best for your website, you won’t need to invest another dime in promoting it. Who needs paid advertisements if you’re already getting high-conversion, high-quality traffic?
It’s also essential to note that paid advertising is referred to as SEM, rather than SEO. As such, when you hire an agency to take care of your SEO needs, the only expenditure made by the professional is time. No pay-per-click ads or other techniques are involved since they don’t influence search engine rankings. Speaking of PPC, research has shown that SEO results receive 90% more clicks when compared to PPC-based ads, since customers express increased trust in Google’s ranking algorithms. This is why the importance of SEO for small businesses outweighs the need for SEM.
SEO improves credibility and brand recognition.
When you search the web for a particular service or product, do you click on the first few results, or do you spend time browsing the other result pages? Our inner psychology makes us more likely to click on the first few results, thanks to the credibility that SEO provides. After all, Google knows best, right? In the long run, staying on the first page of the SERPs leads to increased user credibility and trustworthiness, while also improving your branding efforts—and that’s why SEO is so important.
Most websites already engage in some form of SEO.
This means that if you choose to avoid doing SEO, your website will be at a disadvantage when compared to your competitors who are already doing it. Implementing high-quality SEO will ensure that you remain competitive on the market and rank high. If you overpower their SEO strategy, then this will bring you higher traffic and increased revenues.
SEO is long-term and works 24/7.
This also explains why SEO is important for business. Let’s assume that your business employs salespersons who cold-call or email potential customers. While they’re sure to bring in a good amount of sales, you can’t have salespersons working nonstop. On the other hand, SEO strategies lead to long-term results and work all the time.
Analyzing traffic and the results of SEO strategies is easy.
You can’t really keep track of how many conversions a billboard delivers or whether your Facebook ad is actually bringing in more customers. However, SEO-based traffic is easy to measure using a variety of tools like Google Analytics. With this in mind, when carrying out traffic analytics, you can easily spot which strategies worked best, the amount of traffic they brought, and which keywords are most searched for. By leveraging this data, your internet marketing efforts will pay off. Having data also makes the importance of an SEO plan worth mentioning. Creating your very own plan based on this data can help when choosing different strategy combinations.
Search engine optimization is part of the marketing “must dos.”
When marketing your business, it’s best to consider both traditional and digital marketing. Each category comes with several strategies that must be implemented to ensure success. As such, when doing internet marketing, focus on SEO, social media, paid ads, content marketing, web design, and any other channels that appeal to you.
SEO directly influences offline sales.
Here’s another reason why SEO matters. Studies have shown that before going to a shop’s physical location, customers tend to research the products and services being offered online. The sales funnel process begins with the search engine and finalizes in your retail location.
Large companies often rely on paid advertising.
Google’s AdWords is the search engine’s paid search engine marketing service. If there are larger firms that class as competitors, chances are that they have big advertising budgets, often invested in paid services. Therefore, it might be difficult to compete via AdWords or advertisements. But a smart SEO strategy can give you a clear advantage in search engine results, so SEO for business growth remains important.
SEO helps customers get in touch more easily.
If you put your store’s location on Google maps and engage in effective SEO, then more details will appear whenever a Google search utilizing your keywords is made. Customers will then learn more about your opening hours, contact number, and exact location. They’ll also be able to see photos from your store while reading online reviews. So how important is SEO? If everything is taken care of, conversion is almost guaranteed.
SEO is also efficient for personal websites and blogs.
There’s a common misconception that SEO is only efficient if you run a business that sells products or services. This is false information. SEO is equally important for personal blogs and other types of websites (including those that don’t attempt to make money off advertisements or affiliate marketing).
SEO provides a plethora of other benefits apart from better SERPs.
Need more reasons why you should use SEO? Numerous SEO strategies do a lot more than simply make it easier for search engines to index your site. Practices such as improving your website design, offering high-quality content, and making sure that your loading speed is quick enough also have an impact on the users browsing your site. Your readers will be happy with the positive experience, thus increasing the chances that they’ll return. After all, nobody wants to browse a poorly designed website with mediocre loading speeds. This only leads to frustration on the user’s side.
SEO practices also include optimizing your website for mobile-based usage. Since over 50% of internet traffic is now mobile, your site should be fully optimized, or you’ll be losing out on valuable traffic.
SEO will be around for many more years.
The importance of SEO will continue to grow until search engines learn to read our thoughts, or implement AI-based algorithms that can accurately predict search queries. Since this won’t happen anytime soon, SEO is here to stay. This isn’t the case with traditional methods of advertising, like using TV ads, marketing leaflets, or billboards, which are quickly losing popularity. Digital is the new way of the world, so those who do not adapt are most likely to fail.
To sum things up, the importance of search engine optimization is that its effective use will lead to a constant increase in website traffic, better brand awareness, trustworthiness, increased conversion rates, lower costs for advertising, better returns on investment, and complete traffic analytics.
The Disadvantages of SEO
Surprisingly, there are a couple of disadvantages associated with SEO, but they do not, in any way, outweigh the advantages.
Results don’t appear instantly.
Let’s assume that you completely optimize your website today. Results won’t appear starting tomorrow. Maybe not even from the next month. Search engine web crawlers will first need to visit your website to determine the new rankings that algorithms will offer. The Google algorithm is still a work in progress, therefore changes are often made, which is why you must continue to use SEO thoughtfully. Successful SEO is a waiting game.
It’s an ongoing process with no guaranteed success rate.
To get the best out of your SEO strategy, you need to constantly figure out new ways to better optimize your website, because Google’s algorithms change over time. This can be frustrating in the long-run, especially if the first strategies that you implement fail to bring in noticeable traffic changes. However, a few base strategies will constantly bring results.
SEO isn’t a guaranteed marketing technique for all websites, but the importance of SEO in digital marketing is irrefutable. For instance, Google refuses to rank certain types of websites (such as gambling); thus, in situations like this, you need to rely on other internet marketing techniques as well.
Google is known to penalize websites.
Being penalized by Google and other search engines can lead to a massive drop in traffic. This often happens when the search engine algorithm detects black hat SEO techniques or website content that it isn’t happy with. There isn’t a clear guideline on what gets a website penalized, but if an SEO strategy sounds shady, then it’s best to avoid it.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, you should now have a better answer to the question, “why is SEO important?” With time, search engine optimization has become a complex niche; nevertheless, success rates are still high.