Search engine optimization is one of the most efficient ways of navigating the landscape of digital marketing. People spend countless hours on the internet, so you want to take advantage of their presence and direct them towards your site. Print ads, TV commercials, and other forms of outreach may still have a place in marketing, but these methods are becoming increasingly easier for consumers to ignore. Everyone looks to search engines like Google and Yahoo, though, so when you want to bring attention to yourself, you will have dramatically higher chances of success if you occupy one of the top slots on a Google search page.
Arguments against SEO
It is true that search engine optimization is an investment, and it may take some time before you see results. Some small business owners believe that if they have a working website, a viable brand message, and an effective sales pitch, then they can get away without an SEO strategy. Josh Rubin, CEO of Post Modern Marketing, says that besides selling your product on your online store, you need to cover more of the basics:
“Have you promoted yourself and your cool new flip-flop-Ugg boot combo outside of the internet in places like local retail stores, fashion websites, social media, and sales sites like Amazon and eBay? By beginning to build a brand and customer base the old-fashioned way, you can begin to drive traffic to your site naturally. If nobody has ever heard of the brand name ‘Fluggs,’ then nobody will be searching for them for SEO to do you any good.”
However, people do not necessarily need to search for your specific brand name to find you. Consumers search the internet for information regarding their favorite subjects and topics, so optimizing yourself for a variety of keywords can help you reach them. Keeping your social media channels up-to-date is also an excellent way for search engines to find you. Everyone can benefit from an SEO strategy, but you can customize it according to your budget and needs.
Why you need SEO
SEO can help increase your “organic search” rate, which is one of the primary sources of website traffic. Google is not only the most-visited site in the world, but it is also the most popular email provider, so grabbing Google’s attention can dramatically increase the number of visits you get. SEO also influences the buying cycle: customers often perform thorough research for the best deals, so advertising your prices without being obnoxious sparks their interest.
The digital age allows for widespread e-commerce where merchants can sell their goods to people around the world, but SEO can also help you with your immediate community. When people want to shop in person, they first pull out their phones and search for the nearest retailers. Local SEO can help you stand out to potential customers in your immediate vicinity.
Who benefits the most?
Do not convince yourself that your business type exempts you from SEO. LinkNow reports that the top five businesses that SEO can benefit are plumbers, restaurants, doctors/dentists, lawyers (and other legal services), and mechanics. None of these services are entirely digital businesses, but everyone has health, legal, auto, or home problems (and everyone gets hungry), so the first thing they do is look to the internet for someone to help.
Businesses like pet services or those with multiple locations need SEO, too. Search engine optimization is about attracting customers without bombarding them with advertisements, so consumers will appreciate the subtlety and are more likely to consider you trustworthy if Google recommends you.
How can you improve your strategy?
There are immediate steps you can take, including polishing your website and regularly posting content on your blog or social media channels. Regarding the former, make sure you use three kinds of metadata appropriately: title, description, and keyword. Do not overdo it, of course—Google might punish you—so strike a balance between optimization and legitimately relevant content.
For the long-term, one option for consistently updating your SEO strategy is hiring a specialist. With someone on your team, you can ride the ever-changing waves of the internet. If you do not have the budget for a full-time employee or do not need to change your strategy consistently, you can also partner with a firm like 180fusion. 180fusion helps businesses of all sizes develop SEO, social media, and PPC solutions to garner as much relevant traffic as possible.
Having an SEO strategy is essential to success in the digital age. You may not need a strategy as detailed as someone else, but anything you can do to stand out amongst the internet crowd will help your business.