SEO is not just a marketing strategy. It’s a game-changer.
In my 27-plus years in the industry, I’ve seen how SEO can forever change the trajectory of a business and, in turn, change people’s lives.
As we head into the holiday season and at a time of giving thanks, here are three reasons businesses can be thankful for SEO:
1. SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies
What other marketing strategies can you invest in that continuously pay dividends?
You stop paying for PPC, you stop visibility and traffic. You turn off a billboard ad, you stop getting eyes on your brand.
Sure, SEO is a long-term investment. But oftentimes, the largest investments are upfront.
Your work can continue to get your website rankings and traffic long after you do it. Plus, you own the results you achieve.
Consider the average click-through rate for Google Ads across all industries is about 3%. Then, there’s organic social, which only drives 5% of traffic to websites on average, per BrightEdge.
Our analysis of research on click rates in organic search shows the average click-through rate for Position 1 is anywhere from 29% to 43%.
No offense to PPC or social media – I believe a good marketing strategy includes those, too – but the answer is clear.
Compared to traditional marketing tactics, SEO’s cost-effectiveness becomes even clearer.
Consider this: There are 5.9 million searches on Google per minute. Nowhere else but in the search results do you have the opportunity to reach such a massive market composed of your target audience right when they need you.
Other more traditional marketing strategies don’t even come close to being able to track results, either.
Try figuring out whether your flier, billboard or some other offline marketing tactic actually drove ROI. According to BrightEdge research, the average share of revenue SEO drives is about 45%.
SEO is not a “cheap” solution. Any solution that can move you to the top of millions of competitors for search terms that drive revenue will never be cheap. However, in the end, the rewards can easily justify the effort – and SEO is a cost-effective technique.
For all these reasons, businesses can be grateful that SEO improves their websites to compete in the online marketplace.
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2. Google rewards businesses for investing in SEO
“Focus on the user and all else will follow.” This is No. 1 on Google’s “10 things” list.
SEO – when done right – has the same philosophy.
Google aims to serve its users the best possible search results. So they need our help.
- Invest in the health of their website, optimize it, and make it easy for search engines to crawl and people to use, and…
- Understand their target audience, and create quality content that informs, helps and delights…
… Google will reward these businesses by featuring their content on Page 1 of the search results.
SEO can accomplish all of the things I just mentioned. And Google knows it, too.
This is why Google promotes search engine optimization as a way to “make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content.”
And why Google and the SEO industry have been collaborating for years in person, at conferences, via social media, through web content and more. It’s a partnership.
SEO and Google are not at odds. Well, most of the time. And we can be thankful for that, too.
3. SEO builds trust between businesses and customers
If there is one thing that SEO does really well, it’s building a relationship of trust between a potential customer and a business.
An SEO strategy can align with the customer journey. SEO makes it possible for businesses to figure out:
- What people are searching for.
- What the intent is behind those searches.
- How they can deliver exactly what a person needs, when they need it.
Consider all the ways you can build trust with SEO:
- The first impression: The search results. By showing up on Page 1 of the search results, people immediately begin to trust you. If Google has chosen it, it must be good, right? Plus, putting work into your SEO to entice people further can get those clicks.
- Building more trust: The content. By understanding what your target customer needs at different stages of their buying journey, and creating content specific to those stages, you fill a real need. Whether it’s on your website, your YouTube channel or some other SERP feature, you will show up at the right time.
- Sealing the deal: Time on site and conversions. A good SEO strategy will help move people further into your website and business. Once they land on your webpage from the search results, having additional resources that are easy to navigate can get people to browse the site, come back again, sign up for something or make a call.
Businesses that are unsure how to create quality websites and resources can lean on SEO to help them get there. For example, we have Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. You know that trust is a big deal to Google if you’ve read the guidelines.
SEO can help businesses make sense of these guidelines and create more trustworthy websites. Yes, SEO can even help improve a business’s reputation online.
Thanks to search engine optimization, businesses have thrived.
Over the years I’ve been in SEO, I’ve seen how it can take some companies from scarcity to abundance. It has allowed businesses to create more jobs and has impacted countless lives.
SEO is not just a thing we do. SEO is a game-changer. And I am thankful it is what I get to do every day.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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