You’ve likely heard countless times that SEO is an invaluable digital marketing method. However, even if you have a basic understanding of its importance, you might still not have a solid enough grasp to use it to its full potential.
SEO is made up of multiple elements, and understanding what they are and how they work is the key to understanding its overall importance. To sum it up, though, SEO is important because it increases the visibility of your website, and thus the traffic and sales.
Secondary benefits include:
- create brand awareness
- position yourself as an expert and authority in your field
- build relationships with potential customers
So, let’s talk about SEO and everything you need to know about it to succeed in today’s digital world.
The Key Aspects of SEO
The days of keywords being the only thing that mattered in SEO are over. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still hugely important. The way that keywords differ today is that they must be chosen carefully to fit the content on the page. In other words, they must be relevant to the page’s content. But first of all, what is a keyword? It’s simply a phrase that your target audience would use to find your products or services. You can use them to help your potential customers connect with your website and your business.
Good content is essential for SEO because it’s the vehicle that carries the rest of the techniques. Think of it this way: your customer needs a vehicle to reach you online (your content). It needs to be the right kind of vehicle, though, meaning that it has to be content that your target audience would be interested in.
For example, if your website is about cooking, then you would need to write blog posts about different cooking recipes, cooking techniques, cooking stories, nutritional information posts, etc., you get the drift.
If you write good content and follow the right SEO techniques, your blog posts would come up first in the search results, thus allowing you to start building a relationship with prospects by presenting them with valuable information.
If that person wanted to try a new recipe, your blog might be the first one that comes to mind. If you’re going to have any hope of succeeding with content marketing, then your content has to be interesting, shareable, relevant and engaging.
Off-page SEO is exactly as the name implies; it’s SEO practices that happen away from your website as opposed to on-page SEO. The primary way that this happens is through building up backlinks to your website. These are links from other websites (preferably high authority websites) that tell Google that your website is trustworthy and useful enough to garner backlinks from other relevant websites.
There are several legitimate tactics for getting backlinks for your website. Some of the most popular methods include guest blogging, giving shoutouts to influencers in your content, and creating highly sharable infographics.
The importance of local SEO is increasing, along with the usage of mobile devices. Today at least 57% of searches are done by mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, and at least half of those are done with local intent.
This means that, for example, a local restaurant can attract customers using local SEO techniques. For instance, if you’re a seafood restaurant, then ranking for “best seafood in [city], [state]” would be highly desirable.
Other techniques for implementing local SEO for your business include: creating pages for your business on all of the different Google apps and websites (Google Maps, Google+, Google My Business), creating different website pages targeting different local keywords that you want to rank for, and finally, claiming directory listings.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, or SEM, refers to paid advertising. It includes many different options such as display ads, pay-per-click (PPC), Google AdWords, Google shopping ads, social media ads, native ads, and the list goes on and on…
While it’s not an essential component of SEO, it does still have its place in directing highly targeted customers to your website.
The Importance Of SEO
In case you need more convincing about the importance of SEO, the following points should help hammer it home:
Gain Visibility And Rank Higher
Visibility is a crucial function of SEO, and it’s directly correlated with your ranking in the search engines. It’s an especially critical factor when 1/4 of all web users never click past the first SERP.
Gain Traffic To Your Website
This is one of the main objectives of SEO. Ranking number one or in the top 5 results are the key to this. Nearly 33% of clicks go to the top search result, and the first 5 results receive 75% of the total clicks.
Grow Your Authority
This is a relatively new metric that search engines are now using. In the early days of the internet, authority didn’t matter, but it matters now more than ever before. The simple reason is that there are just too many websites these days, and the authority metric helps to narrow down the list of websites that have a chance of ranking.
Give A Better User Experience
This is a side effect of creating good SEO, which is another reason why SEO is essential these days. Great content + good on-site SEO = a good UX (user experience). One example of good on-site SEO is having a website that’s responsive to all types of online users, including mobile users, desktop users, and laptop users.
Grow Your Business
In the end, it all boils down to this. SEO will help you to achieve all of your business goals. It can help with:
- building stronger relationships with your audience
- creating a better experience on your website for your customers
- increasing your online authority and helping to gain the trust of new visitors
- bringing more people to your website
- giving you an advantage over your competitors
- increasing sales and conversions
All of this results in creating a more loyal customer base as well as producing long term growth for your business.