SEO stands for search engine optimization and it’s a marketing method that can work especially well for small and mid-sized businesses. SEO has demonstrated a better ROI than traditional marketing forms like commercials and print advertisements. SEO leads have a 14.6% success rate unlike 1.7% rate generated by outbound leads like print and mail ads. The tangible benefits of good SEO are improved online visibility, branding, increased website traffic, credibility and a better understanding of customer behavior.
SEO improves business visibility and branding
Statistics says that 61% of Internet users research products online and 44% of online shoppers start the shopping through search results. Considering this large proportion of online searchers and the fact that SEO is still far cheaper than traditional marketing, it’s obvious why SEO is precious for small businesses.
Think of yourself as a customer. You want to buy something and you’re doing online research. After entering key words, do you just choose a couple of top results and go through to their websites? Probably not. It’s common for searchers to make changes to the key words and phrases after having looked at some sites.
What you as the seller want not only appear on page one of search results pages, you also want to reappear in the top results as the searcher changes the key words slightly. This improves your visibility and you get a bigger mindshare of the audience. In turn, this increases the likelihood of searchers visiting your website and it also makes you come across as a credible and reputable business.
SEO adds your business credibility
Whether they admit it or not, whether they are aware of it or not, searchers take into account your search results rankings when making the decision to buy from you (or hire you). The underlying course of thought is something like “if Google considers this business relevant to my search, it probably is”.
SEO boosts your website traffic
On its own, high traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more sales. But, the basic logic is as old as the notion of sales – would you rather sell your product or offer your services in a back alley or on the main street? More visitors significantly increase the likelihood of more customers and thus, more money.
High traffic at least raises your visibility with visitors who don’t turn into your customers (right away). Maybe it’s encouraging to know that more than 50% of local searches result in a visit to the store within one day.
SEO has a very high ROI in marketing
75% of small businesses think internet marketing is effective or very effective at bringing in new customers, according to a North American SMB survey conducted by Bright Local and Chamber of Commerce. Now, SEO doesn’t just beat traditional marketing methods, but online marketing as well. Why is this so?
Because your business emerges only when a potential customer is looking for it. It’s an inbound strategy. Traditional forms of marketing struggle to attract consumers’ attention when they’re occupied with other things – like watching a TV show or reading an article online. These techniques strive to convince the consumers they need the product, while with SEO you want to convince the searcher you are the right business to give them the product they are searching for. With SEO you’re half way there.
SEO reveals you invaluable information on your customers
Have you ever heard the saying: I know half of my advertising doesn’t work. But, I don’t know which half.” That’s what SEO can help you with.
The traffic increase that SEO brings to your website is registered with Google Analytics, a fantastic tool that keeps track of your traffic and visitors. It can give you insight into a host of precious information that is so diverse you can barely believe it. For example, you can find out what key words your visitors use, how they search, what platforms they use, where they are searching from, what days and times they are most active and the list just goes on. This data can inform your marketing strategy further and tell you which way to go for best results.
Free SEO Audit Tool
See how optimized a specific web page, landing page, or blog post is for an exact keyword or phrase