Setting up a website is the same as hiring a bill board. If you have a bill board in a high traffic area, you can expect better results than a low traffic site. With a website, when you first launch it, your site is located in the equivalent of the desert; what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) does is drive traffic and consumers to your site.
This is why you cannot embark on an online strategy without implementing effective SEO first.
Here are 5 genuine reasons why SEO is vital to your business:
1. ROI – Return on Investment
SEO generates positive ROI. Almost every SEO program will generate a positive ROI, but the issue becomes which SEO investments should be made, along with analyzing the relative merits of following different strategies. SEO strategies only deliver negative results when they are promulgated and implemented by inexperienced or inept practitioners.
On the client side, the greatest risk to SEO strategies delivering positive returns is client expectation. SEO takes time, results are rarely, if ever immediate, and 3 month time horizons for projects are unrealistically short.
2. Defensive SEO – Protect Your Brand Reputation
Many view SEO as a way to get your name to the top of the search engine rankings. It is that, but it is also much more – consider what happens when your company is receiving bad PR and is coming top of search engine rankings for the wrong reasons, a product recall for instance. SEO under these circumstances will also encompass handling the negative aspects of your online search engine rankings.
When someone is bad mouthing you on the internet, you need to know what is happening and be able to take appropriate measures. You may see that the adverse criticism is justified and seek to take remedial action, or you may wish to counteract negative press with positive news. In either case, you need to know what is happening before temporary damage becomes permanent.
3. Harness and Direct the Creation of Quality Content
The single, greatest feature of your website will be the content. “Content is King”, is a frequent mantra you will hear from web designers, SEO practitioners, marketing staff and most of all, from users and potential online customers. The search engines are no different either, and your content must be relevant and user-friendly.
Implementing an SEO strategy will impose discipline on your online creative team. Content will not only become more focused, but will force you to answer serious questions on your business. What are your unique selling points (USPs)? What features of your customer offering are really benefits? What are customers really thinking and responding to with your products and services?
4. Implied Search Engine Endorsement’
How much would you pay for the Budweiser blimp to carry your name and logo at next year’s Super Bowl? How much would you pay for Angelina Jolie to be photographed using your product? Endorsements are extremely powerful which is why many celebrities and sports stars receive such mega-paychecks; sponsors pay millions for the privilege to have their brand identified or associated with them.
Now think about the impact on a user who makes an internet search and your brand comes up top of the list. The impact on a user who sees this is much greater than just, “it’s convenient for me to click on the first result I see.” There is an implied effect that somehow, Google or Bing, are endorsing your brand by ranking you highly – the truth is very different of course, but the effect is what matters.
5. SEO Delivers Accessibility
Think about the time when you opened the doors on your business. Until you spread the word, either through advertizing, offering promotional discounts or throwing a grand opening ceremony, who actually knew where to find you?
If you were on Main Street, people may see you as they went by, but if you were tucked away from the eyes of the public or potential customers, you had to tell people who you were and where to find you.
SEO is the means you achieve the same exposure with your online marketing presence. The difference with SEO is that it has more than a local reach; it has a global reach and will also bring your company to the notice of those you may never have imagined would find use for your products and services. SEO is essential to gain online visibility and increase your accessibility to potential customers.