By now, every business owner and website developer understands very well the importance of SEO. Search engine optimization is the fine line between leading a successful, lucrative business and losing potential clients. If you have heard this term tossed around a lot, yet you don’t fully understand its meaning and benefits, let us sum it up for you. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of perfecting your website pages to meet the requirements of search engines. The sole purpose of these practices is to make sure that your page can be read, analyzed, and understood by different search engines. This way, search engines will be able to bring up your page whenever it is related to the topic being searched. SEO benefits can be summarized in optimizing organic search results to increase the quality and the quantity of your website’s traffic. Here is a thorough explanation of the gravity SEO holds on your search results.

Expanding Your Reach

Statistics are showing a great increase in the number of online shoppers. Since the coronavirus outbreak, many people have begun understanding the fun and convenience involved in online shopping. People use search engines every day to shop for services, products, or to merely learn about something they are interested in. Regardless of your website’s purpose, you can rest assured that people interested in your content will start clicking on your page with the right SEO practices. This can only happen when the website is ranking on the top of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). 

The majority of people do not bother scrolling down the first page of SERPs beyond the first few links, let alone visiting the second or third page. A well-thought-out SEO strategy depends on a number of factors, such as utilizing unique keywords after heavy research, choosing the right titles and headings, a user- and mobile-friendly website design, and many other on-page SEO essentials. When utilized correctly, these practices have the power to expand your reach to include more potential customers. This eventually equates to an increase in your conversion rate, and by extension, the money your business is making online.

Increasing Traffic

Click-through rate is the number of people who click on website links in SERPs or on paid ads. After spending some time in the market, it becomes more evident for business and website owners in each industry the exact words on their web pages that would make the perfect keywords. However, beginners and business owners who have not been focusing on their SEO skills sometimes need to seek the help of a professional agency. Not only for this reason, but Northern VA SEO also clarifies that keyword search is an ever-changing aspect of SEO that needs to be done every now and then to ensure that your website is current and up to date. These changes happen for different reasons. This means that without a bullet-proof strategy and enough knowledge and experience, it’s almost impossible to keep up with them. 

Utilizing relevant keywords increases the chances of your website to rank higher on SERPs, which, by extension, gives enough room for the click-through rate to increase. Think of it as an interesting numbers game with pieces of domino that follow each other. The higher your link appears, the more traffic your website is likely to get. Consequently, this will lead to an increased chance of closing more deals and completing more sales. This means a higher conversion rate eventually ends up translating to more money in the pockets of your company. Why? 

SEO practices might help your brand grow and get out there but what matters to most businesses, in the end, is the amount of money they are making at the end of every month. Conversion rate means the number of customers that have visited your website and were convinced enough to complete the desired action. Let this action be checking out with some products, subscribing to a certain service you are offering, or even clicking on affiliated links.

Raising Brand Awareness

As clarified, without the right keywords that put your page up there among the first few results in SERPs, none of your SEO practices really matter. This goes back to the reason that without ranking high, you are basically missing a chance of having more people who reach your page visit it and make the desired action for your business. Raising brand awareness is one of the main benefits of using the right SEO strategies that are tailored to your website and business. When more people search for the specific keywords that are pertained to your website, your chance of having more views and visitors increase. 

Once you succeed at getting your page higher on search result pages, your website visitors will start learning more about your brand and what you have to offer. With more people learning about your brand, seeing your logo, and taking an interest in your services, your business will have more brand recognition. Think of the time you were looking for something up and ended up coming across an awesome small company that supplied everything you were looking for. This is the exact effect of SEO on a company. It does not matter how big or small your company is. What truly makes a difference is how you choose to apply SEO practices to spread the word about your brand.

Improving User Experience

SEO and the quality of user experiences are intertwined. Focusing on SEO does not only save your page a place up there among the first few results in relevant searches, but it also helps in focusing the attention on users and enhancing their experiences. Some people are always looking for workarounds or loopholes in order to get the results without actually doing the work. This approach to SEO will rob them of the full benefits that SEO can magically offer. In online marketing, providing users with positive experiences is the only way to see the full potential of what the online world has to offer for your brand. Search Engine Optimization, in its mere essence, focuses on providing the user with top-notch experiences. Take page load time, for example.

A survey that was recently conducted has shown that there is a drop that can reach up to 7% in conversion rate for a one-second delay in loading pages. Imagine what a 3-second delay would do. Without SEO strategies and available features, one would have never thought of this possibility. In the pre-SEO world, users used to endure horrible vain experiences that didn’t resolve their queries, and owners used to lose clients—all without understanding the real reasons behind this pattern.

After SEO has shined some light on the importance of page speed, you get the chance, as a website owner, to kill two birds with one stone. Just by optimizing page speed, you are increasing your chances of scoring a higher rank while providing a better user experience for your visitors. Google and other search engines do not only focus on providing users with the most relevant content, but rather the most relevant content with the best possible user experience.

On-Page SEO Is a Must-Have

Inbound marketing techniques are always more effective. While paid ads and planting links in other websites help in increasing traffic, on-page SEO practices help in attracting quality traffic. The difference between both has everything to do with the purpose of your website. If your main purpose is to spread the word about your brand or website and increase your numbers, then outbound marketing strategies are bound to fulfill these desires at a much rapid pace. 

On the other hand, if you want real numbers that can translate into branding, money, and more organic traffic, then inbound techniques are your best bet. Driving traffic to your website isn’t the challenging part. It’s quality traffic that would lead to a higher conversion rate that’s demanding to reach. Expanding your target audience reach is what deserves your effort, time, and hard-earned money. This is the general rule when it comes to the difference between the effects of both marketing techniques.

Let’s Take A Look at Leads

To speak in specific numbers, we need to take a closer look at one of the most important benefits of SEO, which is getting leads. You will come to find that inbound strategies in such factors are the most reliable and smartest sources. Such sources include Business to Business (B2B) leads, Business to Customer (B2C), and non-profit organizations. Search engine optimization is included in inbound marketing strategies along with social media, content marketing, referral, and many more. For example, when it comes to business to business leads, inbound practices and SEO have scored more than 40% effectiveness compared to only 20% effectiveness for outbound strategies such as cold calling, TV, ads, and others. 

The percentage of self-sourced leads, depending on the experience and skill levels of your sales team, competed with outbound strategies with just a slightly lower percentage. But what about B2C percentages? The same study that was done by the same company found that the effectiveness of inbound strategies surpassed every other source with a percentage that came so near to hitting the 50% benchmark. This means that inbound strategies alone achieved what the other three sources combined barely managed to carry out.

It is the More Cost-Effective Solution

The Search Engine Journal estimated inbound leads to be much more cost-effective by 61% than outbound leads. This makes sense without even studying the numbers. Who needs to pay for ads or shoutouts when they have one of the highest-ranking websites in SERPs? This means that SEO doesn’t only bring in money for the business, but it also saves the company money and endless effort exerted in finding the right candidate for making and promoting ads. 

If you want to cut your advertising costs, then your best bet is focusing all attention on SEO and other inbound marketing strategies. This will save you the trouble of advertising your page or having to do the whole Pay Per Click (PPC) ordeal. The majority of inbound strategies cost little to no money. Even business owners who decide to go above and beyond and splash out on some next-level features and tools, they are not really taking any risks since they know for a fact that this will pay triple the amount they spent.

What About Physical Stores?

With the increasing number of online users and shoppers, brick-and-mortar stores are easily neglected in our digital-driven world. Business owners would rather spend money and effort on their websites than printing physical ads or upgrading their physical stores, and they have a good reason. Search engine optimization has been proven to be effective not only for driving traffic to your website but also to your physical store. Even people who refrain from ordering online still depend on search engines when they want to try out a new restaurant or search for the nearest store that offers a certain product in their minds. 

Paying attention to optimizing your website for search engines to find your content and bring it up to such users is bound to bring some attention to your physical store. Different surveys have proven that 75% of online users would never click on the second page of search result pages. This means that a high rank will probably push customers to click on your website whenever they are trying to search for relevant products and services, which consequently means more customers the way of your physical store just like your online website.

Regardless of your business size or industry, you must have considered the idea of hopping on the SEO bandwagon to enjoy its many benefits for your business. Refraining from investing in SEO is one of the biggest mistakes that any business owner could make. The importance of SEO isn’t really about ranking on the first page of search engines’ SERPs. It goes way beyond that. A high rank means more clicks on your website, growing brand awareness, a higher conversion rate, and, eventually, more money. Search engine optimization doesn’t only push customers your way, but it also gives your brand a more professional look.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.