With the digital age in full swing, the importance of building a website with SEO in mind can’t be understated. The internet is getting crowded with business sites, and standing out to a potential customer has never been this competitive.
So, what exactly is “SEO?” Short for Search Engine Optimization, SEO basically pertains to the ranking of your site across popular search platforms such as Google and Bing. These platforms use algorithms to scour the web and pull websites into people’s search results. If your site hasn’t invested in a SEO-minded approach, it can often be very difficult to have your organization’s listing served to a potential customer…even if your services match exactly with what the “Googler” has just searched.
In order to ensure that you’re gaining as much online exposure as possible, we sat down with Marissa Kasarov, Project Manager at SunnySide Social Media, to discuss her (i.e., our) favorite reasons to focus on SEO from the very beginning.
Fight Off Competitors
Perhaps the most straight-forward reason for investing in SEO is the fact that your competitors are already doing it. When it comes to searching for a keyword online, what often happens is this perception that just because an organization is ranked higher up on the page than another company, its services are somehow more valuable or sought after. This can create a funnel effect, directing the majority of new clients to one specific company, while leaving the lower-ranked businesses with a smaller trickle of customers.
According to online ad network, Chitika, the top listings in Google’s search results tend to attract 33% of the click-through traffic. “Your competitors are doing SEO. If you’re letting it fall by the wayside, then your potential consumers are going to your competitor rather than your own business,” says Marissa. Taking steps to optimize your search ranking from the very beginning can help avoid some of the lulls in business that can be all too common – especially for startups.
Build Your Brand
The branding process is difficult for any organization, but a small investment in the beginning can really pay off in the end. The key to any good SEO strategy is continuous effort focused on great content, which is exactly what it takes to build a great brand. According to Marissa, “SEO is an ongoing process. If search engines aren’t seeing you posting regularly, they’re a lot less likely to crawl your site and serve your content.” Posting on a consistent basis helps you define your brand, and create an identity for the organization.
Because SEO isn’t a one-off process, it requires that an organization is consistently posting quality information on its site and social media channels, so that others on the internet can re-hash while linking back to your site. These backlinks and social media interactions signal to the search engines that your content is important. This, in turn, ranks your business higher up on the search engine algorithm. In fact, Ad Agency GroupM says that “40 percent of consumers who use search in their path to purchase are motivated to use social media to further their decision making process.” Finding your company’s “voice” brings you one step closer to capturing your own unique corner of the market.
Avoid Missing Out on Business
You may be the best in the world at what you do, but without a quality SEO strategy, your target market may never know. Especially for online-only businesses, if you don’t focus on SEO, you’re risking everything. Even for brick and mortar businesses, SEO is meant to augment regular marketing efforts and can help with the customer acquisition strategy.
Making it to the first page of search results is really important, as customers place great importance on the immediate content being served to them. This concept becomes especially significant when you read things about how 75% of users never scroll past the first page of results. As Marissa puts it, “You’re catering to two audiences: The people who are there, reading the search results, and you’re also appealing to the search engines themselves…you want to cull your content to deliver the most relevant results for a potential search term.”
It’s all about defining your place in the industry through using the proper words and content that’ll get you noticed. No organization wants to miss out on business, and by focusing on the right SEO strategy, your company won’t have to. Regular updates of your site, adequate backlinks, and some industry-relevant blog posts will go a long way.
For more information on SEO and how we can help you get started, schedule a consultation with us.