SEO is important for business because it provides organizations with the visibility they need to attract customers during this digital era. Eighty-one percent of customers and 94% of B2B buyers will perform searches online before they make a purchase, so brands that do not have a strong online presence will find themselves falling behind the competition.
A strong SEO strategy will allow brands to position their website and their content highly on the SERPs for relevant keywords so that they can attract the attention of prospective customers and bring them into their sales funnel.
What is SEO?
SEO describes the strategy that brands use to make their content more appealing to the search engines. The visitors who navigate to sites via this channel are referred to as organic traffic or SEO traffic. Although no one knows Google’s exact algorithm, through careful study, SEO professionals have been able to uncover a number of different factors that seem to impact the ranking of sites. We refer to these factors as either on-page SEO, meaning strategies you implement on your own website; and off-page SEO, meaning techniques you implement off your main web property.
A well-developed SEO strategy will incorporate both on-page and off-page SEO.
For on-page SEO, it will include producing content related to high-value keywords and then optimizing the content to ensure that the search engine spiders know what the content pertains to. This means paying attention to the title tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, URL, and keyword placement.
For off-page SEO, the content will also link to appropriate content both on and off the website. Brands need to develop strategies to attract backlinks to drive traffic and rankings. You can accomplish this by promoting the content across various platforms, such as through guest postings, social media, or content syndication.
Why is SEO important?
Google looks at a variety of different factors when determining the ranking of websites that show up on their SERPs. They want to find content that is relevant to the user’s query, but that can also be trusted to provide value for the reader. When content ranks highly on the SERP, it has a much greater chance of attracting clicks and attention than the content ranked lower. An estimated 30% of clicks will go to the search results in Position One on the SERP, falling to 12% by Position Three. At the bottom of the page, sites in position in nine and ten only receive about 2% of the clicks. (Smart Insights 9/2016)
The disparity between the top and lower ranking sites indicate clearly that brands desiring attention from online customers need to boost their rankings. The digital ecosystem is quickly becoming an essential part of the sales funnel for nearly all businesses. In 2016, for the first time, more purchases were made online than in stores (United Parcel Service Inc). Almost half of retailers also say that customers like to research online, even if they do end up buying in a store. Brands need to pay attention to SEO to ensure that their share of voice and visibility to customers is not compromised.
SEO has become a critical component to the online success of businesses. Those who want to make sure that their organizations have a strong presence and are ready to engage the modern customer need to invest in learning SEO and becoming domain experts..