As a business owner or marketer, this may sound obvious. But here goes: Generating website traffic and leads is the biggest marketing challenge you face right now.
In this post, we’ll share how investing in SEO services can help you achieve online visibility and lay the foundation for generating leads for your business.
In the new normal, it’s more important than ever to position your business online to get the most exposure.
We’ll help you answer some of the most burning questions you’re likely to have about SEO, such as: why is SEO crucial for the long-term success of a business?
To answer these questions, we’ll cover:
- What does SEO mean?
- Why invest in SEO services?
- The relationship between SEO and content
- Conducting an SEO analysis
‘If they don’t find you, they’ll find your competitor’
A new report released by Hubspot shows that 47% of marketers believe that generating traffic and leads is the number one challenge they face in 2021.
In its annual State of Marketing report, Hubspot listed SEO as the second most popular marketing approach for 2021 – behind social media. The report also lists a website as the second most popular marketing channel used by companies.
Because organic search is one of the most valuable marketing channels, investing in SEO is essential for any business serious about using the web to grow. From small local businesses to big global brands.
As our own Head Hocho, Eric Prinsloo, says: “Now, more than ever, more and more people are online looking for the types of products and services your business provides. And if they don’t find you, they’ll find your competitor.”
SEO statistics for 2021
If you’re still sceptical about the value of SEO, take a look at some of these SEO statistics:
- 53% of all trackable website traffic comes from organic search, while only 15% of all trackable traffic comes from paid search advertising
- On average, the first Google desktop organic search result is clicked 32% of the time (click-through rate or CTR) by searchers
- The first Google mobile search result has an average CTR of 26.9%
- Google currently holds 91.75% of the worldwide search engine market share
- 90% of consumers have used the internet to find a local business in the last year
- 75% of digital marketers use content marketing specifically to generate links
What is Search Engine Optimisation? How does it work?
SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimisation. SEO is about promoting your website on major search engines to find potential new customers online. Its aim is to increase traffic and sales.
More specifically, it’s the process of increasing the quantity – and quality – of traffic that you earn through the organic (unpaid) search results.
And since the function of a search engine is to deliver the best results to its users, websites that are better optimised for search and relevant (both technically, and in terms of content), will attract higher rankings and a greater share of traffic.
A successful SEO campaign ensures that search engines understand and present your content.
It’s a long-term (and ongoing) process that businesses undertake to ensure their website has the maximum exposure on search engines for relevant keywords and phrases.
Therefore, SEO is a marketing tool that aims to develop long-term sustainable results and build your brand credibility.
One of the best ways to understand how SEO is different to other sources of website traffic such as paid search or social media is the boat metaphor used by digital marketer Andy Crestodina.
He writes: “Just like sailors rely on the weather, SEOs are subject to the winds of Google [algorithm changes]. But sailors who know search optimisation often go very far very efficiently. Here’s why: every page can catch traffic like a sail catches wind.”
Benefits of SEO
- Increased website visibility and traffic on search engines
- Generates more leads
- Long-term sustainable results
- Builds brand credibility
Here’s why your business needs to invest in SEO services
According to Search Engine Journal, SEO has a “20+ year record of driving traffic, conversions, and revenue.” As a marketing tool, it has a solid track record.
And in the past 18 months, the need for SEO has become that much more important as consumers have switched en masse to digital in response to the pandemic.
Even the most traditional business have realised they need to move quickly to embrace the opportunities that being online offers.
When considering the value of SEO, it’s helpful to think of investing in a retirement policy. It’s like money that gains in value over time and remains in your account. Likewise, investing in SEO services creates long-term value for your website that continues to accrue over time.
1. SEO works
It is estimated that there are about 5.6 billion Google searches per day.
This astounding volume means that ranking in Google’s search results (remember, Google has almost 92% of the search engine market share) presents a valuable opportunity to get more traffic to your business’s website.
It’s important because website traffic generates leads and leads turn into sales. So, improving your rankings by investing in SEO services can grow your bottom line.
And this means hiring an SEO agency to work on your website so that it can become a trusted resource by Google and other search engines.
2. Higher rankings bring business credibility
Whether you’re considering a purchase, whether online or in-store, you’re likely to start your research with a Google search.
According to some studies, most web users look past paid ads and instead begin with a click on an organic search listing.
Consider the statistic quoted above: 53% of all trackable website traffic comes from organic search, while only 15% of all trackable traffic comes from paid search.
When someone is doing research for a product or service, they are more likely to engage with your business if you rank highly in organic search results. And to rank high, your website would have relevant content.
So, getting a click on your website indicates that Google and other searches have found your website to be relevant. This builds trust and authority for your site and gives your potential customer the assurance they’ve landed on a website that can help them.
A word of caution though. Building authority takes time. SEO is a marathon and not a sprint.
3. Your competitors are investing in SEO services
Competition for clicks is fierce. And whatever niche you are in, you can be sure that some of your competitors have hired an agency for SEO services or are doing the work in-house.
No matter how you look at it, SEO services are a must.
If you’re ranking highly in search results, you need to keep on optimising your site to stay ahead. And if you’re not investing in SEO services, your competitors are likely to outrank you.
Consistent optimisation on your site will also ensure you stay on top of any algorithmic changes that could affect your rankings and traffic.
Moreover, a site that is technically sound (an important aspect of good SEO), will ensure it is in the best position to rank higher than your online competitors.
4. SEO helps with a better user experience
Google has recently completed rolling out its page experience update. This update is a ranking signal and puts emphasis on the quality of the user experience on a website.
The following are now considered important signals for delivering a good user experience in Google Search:
- Core Web Vitals: aspects of page loading, interactivity and visual stability are important
- Mobile friendly
- No intrusive interstitials: content on the page is easily accessible to the user
Work on these elements is part of the technical aspects of SEO. Investing in SEO services to get your site to deliver a positive user experience will go a long way to improved rankings.
5. SEO is not dead – it’s here to stay!
A decline in click-through rates and constant algorithm changes have prompted some commentators to suggest that SEO is dead.
But industry experts such as Neil Patel suggest the opposite. “Don’t worry about things that are not in your control. Instead, start adapting or your traffic and business will be dead.”
The days of searching through a telephone directory for a service provider are long gone. Consumers will continue to use search engines to find what they need. This means that SEO will evolve (for example, the growing popularity of voice search).
And it also means that the sooner you start investing in SEO services the greater your chances of setting up your site for success in the future.
The relationship between SEO and content
Karan Sharma writes that “SEO without content marketing is like a body without a soul”.
SEO is largely focused on the technical process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your site. Content marketing, on the other hand, is about publishing content relevant to your audience in order to engage them.
At its most basic, SEO is about researching and using relevant keywords correctly in your content in order to attract prospective clients via search.
At Select Web, we use a range of tools (both paid and free) that help guide our client keyword research and inform our content choices – from blog topics and articles to more detailed on-page optimisation work.
This includes using backlinks, internal links, metadata and formatting to deliver a positive interaction with the content.
SEO and content marketing work hand in hand to promote fresh, consistent and unique articles and blog posts that can be indexed and ranked by search engines.
Take the first step with an SEO audit report
Ready to start investing in SEO services? Get a free website health check to get a baseline report of how your website is performing.
Our report highlights how compliant your site is with Google’s requirements, site rankings and a host of other important metrics.
Simply having a website does not guarantee a steady stream of prospective customers beating a path to your door.
To succeed online you need a plan to improve your visibility and credibility. SEO services ensure better Google rankings, more qualified leads and more business. Remember, if they don’t find you, they’ll find your competitor.
- If you’re ready to talk SEO with our team, schedule a free digital marketing consultation.