Some people say SEO is dead; some think that it’s overrated, and some have no clue about what it is. But the fact is that we’re becoming more and more of a digital society where people spend enormous amounts of time on the Internet, using it for entertainment and socializing but also for shopping, researching and business. In this day and age, a business with no online presence is almost as good as dead; your audience is online, so why aren’t you there? But just being online isn’t enough anymore. The competition is fierce, and you have to do your best to present your business to the right audience, the people who are searching for what you’re selling. To beat the rest of them, SEO is a tool that you can’t afford to miss in your marketing arsenal.
You Don’t Want to be a Needle in a Haystack
This is the first and most important reason why you need SEO. The worst thing you can do is to build a website and hope for the best. SEO isn’t just about link building, like many people imagine; it’s about optimizing the code, the words and the images on your website, its structure, and inner links, so that Google bots can understand without a doubt what your website is about, and serve it as a relevant result when someone searches for what you’re providing (content, product, service its all the same for them).
Then comes the link building to help you get above all the other websites that are optimizing for the same, or similar, terms. With millions of them, or tens of thousands if you’re lucky, without SEO your website is the smallest needle in the largest haystack in the world.
Help People Who Are Looking For You, Find You
Without SEO, your website has really good chances of getting found for your brand name. Now, if you’re a small business that’s only just starting, nobody knows about your brand yet, right?
If you’re a plumber in Atlanta, you won’t gain many, if at all, new customers from those who are searching for the name of your business; and if you’re not optimized for the searches like ‘plumber Atlanta’ or “plumber Vancouver”, people in need for a plumber will find your competitors. Now, wouldn’t it be great if they found you instead?
SEO is a Business Investment, Not a Cost
Some keywords that your website could rank for have great conversion rates the most obvious example are so-called ‘buying keywords’, like: ‘buy used cars in New Jersey’, ‘cheap used cars’ etc; visitors who come through these keywords will probably spend a lot of money on your website if it’s about selling used cars. But wait, you’re ranking on page 6 for these?
SEO services can be expensive, that’s correct. But it delivers long term results, and the costs tend to decrease significantly as the campaign progresses, and once your website gains some authority on the search engines, it will require much less maintenance (although it will require some maintenance to stay competitive).
Results are Tangible
With traditional marketing (magazines, billboards, TV, etc), you have no way of knowing whether the campaign worked, or the customer just happened to find your phone number (unless they tell you). SEO, on the other hand, provides extremely trackable results.
The data in Google Analytics can tell you exactly how many people have come to your website using which keyword, their location, and behavior on the website, and the advanced options can be set up in such a way that you can track almost every single detail that can help you improve the various, but precise, segments of your marketing. Don’t you want to know exactly if your advertising is paying off and what you can do better?
Still not convinced? OK, one last argument: basic SEO you can do yourself, there’s plenty of guides on the Internet. Fix your titles and inbound links, rewrite some of the content on your website if needed, and wait for a couple of days for Google to pick up on the changes you’ve made. When you see the increase of traffic (and there will be one), just think about what you could achieve if you’d hire a professional.