I hope "start doing SEO" is on the list of your New Year resolutions because these 3 mythical letters have stopped being a buzzword years ago. Let's face the fact — in 2019, SEO is not a nice addition to your business, it's a must. However, there are many website and business owners who still haven't implemented SEO in their marketing strategies or simply lack SEO knowledge. Some people think it costs an arm and a leg or that they will have to hire a specialist for this job. Others assume that SEO is a pain in the neck or too time-consuming, so why even start.
I agree, SEO is not a bed of roses, but here're 5 powerful arguments that will definitely inspire you to start doing SEO the second you finish reading this article!
1. SEO lets you be where your customers are
Like it or not, but traditional forms of marketing like print advertising, television, radio, etc. have kind of lost their power. They have become some sort of white noise nobody pays attention to. That's why people are turning their heads to Google — it lets them find what they are searching for in a flash of a second. So I think it's only natural that people use Google as a starting point for product research.
Imagine you need to buy a coffee machine. Where would you search for it? Of course, on Google's search result pages, where else? The Internet has spoilt people and turned business upside down — now people are more likely to visit your website rather than a physical shop first. As a matter of fact, 96% of Americans shop online.
That is why your primary responsibility as a marketer and business owner is to be where your customers are — on Google. More than that, you need to be visible, which means your site needs to rank at the top of the 1st page. Therefore, ignoring SEO in 2019 is almost like denying that the Earth is round.
Another strong argument in favor of SEO is that organic search is so far the primary source of website traffic.
The explanation is rather simple — if your website is seen by a searcher, most probably he or she would visit it. And the more people visit your website, the more conversions you can possibly receive, and therefore, the more money you can earn. What's cooler than that, traffic can bring you income because it directly influences how much money you can make from publishing ads on your site with AdSense.
Yet another reason why you need to start doing SEO now is that organic search is what dominates conversion activity the most. According to the Forrester Consumer Technographics research, 49% of consumers rely on search while making their purchase decisions, and 19% admit that search engines influence their buying decisions the most. On top of that, 58% of the time search is the final or only event within a purchase path. Are you still undecided about SEO?
Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the time to join an SEO race is now! Because as you're reading this, tons of customers are already looking for your products or services on search engines.
2. SEO is a lot more cost-effective than PPC
As I’ve already said in the beginning, many business owners are taken aback due to the "cost" factor of SEO. Others decide to go for PPC, thinking that it costs less and gives immediate results.
The truth is, both SEO and PPC will cost you money. It's even fair to say that SEO will cost you more at the initial stage. But the trick is that SEO has a long-term value, while PPC only has an immediate effect — as long as you pay you'll be in search results. It also needs to be established that organic search drives almost 95% of all traffic. To that tune, 70-80% of visitors ignore ads, focusing on the organic results.
Of course, the sum of money you will spend on a PPC campaign highly depends on your industry and competitiveness. You will most probably spend a pretty penny if you want to rank for high-volume keywords with tons of monthly searches. And even within your industry there can be drastic variations in keyword costs and average costs per click. So before you decide to jump in a paid advertisement, it's only right to do proper keyword research and calculate how much that will cost you. This is pretty easy to do with the help of Google AdWords' Keyword Planner or SEO PowerSuite's Rank Tracker.
Here’s the formula to see monthly cost of a given keyword:
Clicks per month * cost per click = monthly cost for that keyword
For instance, if you sell coffee machines and want to rank for the search query "buy coffee machine" with 3.68$ cost per click and 385 estimated monthly clicks, be prepared to spend 1416.80$. This is a kind of a big amount of money to be spent on targeting just one keyword, isn't it? However, if you choose to target a less competitive, long-tail query like "how to choose a coffee machine", that will cost you 51.48$ per month. Much less, but it's still money that you can save if you decide to choose SEO.
However, it's also fair to say that PPC is a nice addition to SEO, especially for short-time product promotion and sales. Statistics show that marketers who use organic SEO techniques accompanied with pay-per-click ads see an average of 25% more clicks and 27% more profit compared to using one technique. But of course, in the long run, investing your time in SEO and some money in good SEO tools will definitely pay off and hold water for years to come.
3. SEO helps you build your brand
Unless you are a company like Apple, it's not likely potential buyers are typing in your brand name while searching for your products or services, agree? In the real world, they are more likely to search for some products or services related to your business. And of course, you want your website to appear as high in the search results as possible.
The thing is, searchers may not admit it, but they definitely make mental notes of the rankings for their queries. It may seem like a huge prejudice, but the majority of them do associate higher rankings with higher credibility of this or that source, which is kinda the right way to think. That is why SEO is exactly what can help boost your website's credibility in the eyes of potential consumers.
It's also fair to say that in 2019 SEO is crucial for raising awareness of your brand. Practice shows that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. It means they tend to perform many searches and modify their search queries a lot before making the final decision. Doing SEO right can make your webpages continually show for a vast variety of search queries and help you gain more mindshare with your customers. And of course, the more you appear in your potential customers' search results, the more chances are they'll become the real ones.
4. SEO influences almost every aspect of your business
There's a popular misconception that SEO can only boost your rankings, and there's no point for businesses that don't pursue this goal to do SEO. Well, this has nothing to do with the real state of things, let me say. The truth is, SEO influences a huge variety of things, which makes it the smartest marketing investment you can ever make.
First and foremost, SEO has a massive impact on how your brand is perceived by the audience and your business' reputation. The thing is, online reviews are a huge part of SEO. According to the BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review survey, 97% of customers do read reviews when searching for something. And 85% claim that they tend to trust online reviews just as much as they would trust personal recommendations.
Of course, reputation building doesn’t happen in a flash of a second. But with SEO, you can learn how to manage your online reputation and use reviews for your advantage.
Secondly, as it has been already mentioned in the article, SEO influences purchasing decisions a lot. Therefore, you can definitely expect that your sales and the number of qualified leads will increase without added monetary investments. To prove it's not an empty chatter — according to NewsCreed, 57% of B2B marketers confirmed that SEO has a massive impact on lead generation.
Thirdly, increasing your website traffic (with the help of SEO, of course) means that more people can potentially share your content on social networks and spread the word about your business and products.
Fourthly, SEO can eliminate many unnecessary activities like sending emails and cold calling and free you a lot of time. What's cooler than that, it can significantly ease the job of your support team. They will no longer have to answer same old questions about your company's location or prices because all the needed information will be at their disposal in a local pack, for instance.
5. SEO improves your website
As you may know, Google is quite choosy and demanding when it comes to the ranking process. It constantly raises its standards so that only high-quality sites rank on top positions. As a matter of fact, business owners who are not involved in SEO, don't really bother with following Google's guidelines or running deep website audits. And getting into SEO definitely makes you take a close look at your site and enforce its security, user experience, and technical aspects. By taking care of these things, you can significantly improve your website as well as receive some pleasant side effects in the form of traffic, conversions, and sales. And who doesn't want that? I'm sure, in the long perspective, your site will say you a massive "Thanks!".
I know, looking after all these aspects may first seem like mission impossible, especially for a freshman. But the good news is that there is now plenty of tools (including SEO PowerSuite, of course) that can significantly alleviate your sufferings and reduce the amount of manual work almost to zero. You see, the devil is not as black as he is painted, and SEO is not as complicated as it may seem.
Well, these were just 5 reasons why your business needs SEO and needs it now. But SEO has a lot more benefits. Fact is, in 2019 your business simply can't strive without SEO, full stop. But the coolest thing about SEO is that it has a long-term impact and you'll hardly ever regret investing your time and efforts in it because it'll definitely pay you off. So don't miss a chance to double, triple, or quadruple your business and start an SEO campaign now.
As always, I'm dying to read your feedback on the topic. Go ahead and share the story of how implementing SEO changed your business in the comment section. And may the force of SEO be with you.