What is SEO and Why Is It Important for Your Business?

For many businesses, search engine optimization (SEO) seems like a pretty easy concept to understand. It’s only a matter of choosing a few choice keywords and implementing them into your website’s copy so that it ranks high on search engines like Google. In truth, while this basic principle is important to grasp, it’s also imperative […]

For many businesses, search engine optimization (SEO) seems like a pretty easy concept to understand. It’s only a matter of choosing a few choice keywords and implementing them into your website’s copy so that it ranks high on search engines like Google. In truth, while this basic principle is important to grasp, it’s also imperative to note the ever changing SEO practices that have emerged in the last few years. 

SEO is constantly evolving, and will more than likely continue to evolve as technology advances. For instance, popular search engines like Google would’ve been happy to accept short-tail keywords (search phrases with only one or two words) in a webpage’s copy 10 years ago. In today’s marketing landscape, however, long-tail keywords and phrases rank higher. As Jia Wertz from Forbes writes, “as Google gets smarter and voice search becomes more commonplace, search queries are becoming more conversational, which means long tail keywords are on the rise.”

SEO is multi-faceted and even complex at times. Having an in-depth understanding of its advances and practices can do wonders for your company’s SEO strategy. Through SEO, your website becomes more visible to your target audience, which facilitates traffic and potential conversions. It is also a highly valuable strategy that can help you build customer relationships by positioning your company as the leading expert in its respective industry. Our blog discusses everything you need to know about SEO and why it’s vital for the success of your business. 

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It refers to the practice of enhancing your website’s traffic through organic (non-paid) search results. With SEO, your website’s quality and quantity is vastly improved, allowing search engines to rank your website on search listings. Most customers will typically only review the first page of search engine results so it’s crucial to optimize your website so that it ranks as high as possible.

As of now, the most popular search engine is Google. In fact, according to NetMarketShare, “In 2019 (to date), Google accounted for just over 75% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Bing at 9.97%, Baidu at 9.34%, and Yahoo at 2.77%.” This means you may need to hyper-focus on Google and fully understand how it ranks different websites.

Besides understanding search engines, SEO also involves understanding people and their online behavior, including what they regularly search for, the answers that they want, and what type of content they consume helps your website’s discoverability. This helps you reach and connect with your target audience since you can offer solutions to their pain points. 

What are the key elements of SEO?

Because SEO is complex, it consists of numerous key elements that require extra attention. Take the time to understand each element before delving into SEO practices:

  • Keywords

Keywords are a crucial part of SEO, though they’re no longer the only technique that matters. In its simplest form, keywords are words and phrases that your customers use to search for online content. Brands use these specific words and phrases within their content to help rank higher on search engines, ultimately helping them connect with prospective customers. The keywords you choose must be carefully selected through meticulous research. This helps you apply them wisely throughout your content in order to enhance its effectiveness. 

The best keywords to include are ones with high search volumes and low competition. And, of course, as mentioned before, incorporating long-tail keywords can help your content rank for lower funnel searches and voice searches. You can also include short-tail and local keywords that optimize your titles and other on-page features in your website. 

  • Content

Content is another part of SEO that your business can use to engage audiences. With effective SEO-ready content, you can increase the visibility of your website. Of course, blog posts are not the only type of content that should be relevant and educational for your business. It also encompasses:

  • Website copy
  • White papers
  • Ebooks
  • Images (infographics in particular)
  • Local SEO

One of the newer developments of SEO practices, local SEO has surged in relevance in the last few years. As many people rely on mobile devices for their daily chores, many searches are performed from smartphones. And as many as 46% of these searches are entirely local. Along with implementing local keywords, other good tips for local SEO include creating pages for your business on Google My Business, claiming directory listings, and including location-related pages for your website.

Why is SEO important for businesses?

If you’re unsure about your SEO strategy and why its importance in your marketing efforts, don’t stress. Here is a list of  reasons why SEO is crucial for your business..

  • Enhanced visibility. One of the most important uses of SEO is enhancing your brand’s visibility. When your business has significant visibility, this makes it easier for potential customers to come across your page when they search for a product or service that you offer. To achieve visibility, your website must rank high. The higher you rank on a search results page, the better chances you have of gaining potential customers and click-throughs to your website.
  • Increased web traffic. When you gain visibility and ranking on search engines, you increase web traffic to your company’s site. Ideally, you should aim to rank among the top five position rankings on a search results page, and if possible, the first one. Nearly 33% of clicks are given to the first ranking page, and overall, 75% of clicks go to the first page of search results. If you want more customers to find you through a search engine, you must implement the best current SEO practices that help you rank in the first positions on a search result page. 
  • Establishes expertise and trust. A company that establishes itself as a trustworthy, quality and relevant brand is increasingly important with customers. The content you include in your website lets potential customers know what you have to offer in the industry. This leads to a higher ranking and reputation, which leads to potential prospects for your brand.

The tactics that companies use for SEO have undergone a massive change. While these methods may be confusing, it is ultimately our responsibility as business owners to stay updated on the constantly changing trends in SEO strategies and tactics. The end goal of SEO is to create a fantastic experience for your target audience. Once you have that in mind, you’ll find it easier to make choices with the keywords you research and content you create.

Social media also plays a significant role in a company’s marketing efforts. Check out our blog, Role of Social Media in Marketing & Business to learn more about how social media benefits your business.