Many brands and businesses know (or think they know) that they need search engine optimisation (SEO) for their digital properties as SEO certainly improves a website's overall searchability and visibility.
But what other real value does it offer? Why is SEO so important?
These eight reasons should offer some clarity, regardless of the industry or business size, as to why businesses need SEO to take their brand to the next level.
1. Organic search is most often the primary source of website traffic
Organic search is a huge part of most businesses' website performance, as well as a critical component of the buyer funnel and ultimately getting users to complete a conversion or engagement.
As marketers know, Google owns a significantly larger portion of the search market than competitors like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, and the many, many others.
That's not to say that all search engines don't contribute to a brand's visibility — they do — it's just that Google owns about 75 percent of the overall search market. It's the clear-cut leader and thus its guidelines are important to follow.
2. SEO builds trust and credibility
The goal of any experienced SEO is to establish a strong foundation for a beautiful website with a clean, effective user experience that is easily discoverable in search thanks to the trust and credibility of the brand and its digital properties.
3. Good SEO also means a better user experience
Everyone wants better organic rankings and maximum visibility. Few realise that optimal user experience is a big part of getting there.
Google has learned how to interpret a favorable or unfavorable user experience, and a positive user experience has become a pivotal element to a website's success.
Customers know what they want. If they can't find it, there's going to be a problem. And performance will suffer.
4. Local SEO means increased engagement, traffic and conversions
With the rise and growing domination of mobile traffic, local search has become a fundamental part of small- and medium-sized businesses' success.
Local SEO aims at optimising your digital properties for a specific vicinity, so people can find you quickly and easily, putting them one step closer to a transaction.
Local optimisations focus on specific towns, cities, regions, and even states, to establish a viable medium for a brand's messaging on a local level.
5. SEO impacts the buying cycle
Customers do their research. That's one of the biggest advantages of the internet from a buyer perspective.
Using SEO tactics to relay your messaging for good deals, groundbreaking products and/or services, and the importance and dependability of what you offer customers will be a game changer.
It will also undoubtedly impact the buying cycle in a positive way when done right.
6. SEO best practices are always being updated
It's great to have SEO tactics implemented on a brand's website and across its digital properties, but if it's a short-term engagement (budget constraints, etc.) and the site isn't re-evaluated consistently over time, it will reach a threshold where it can no longer improve because of other hindrances.
The way the search world evolves, basically at the discretion of Google, requires constant monitoring for changes to stay ahead of the competition and, hopefully, on Page one.
Being proactive and monitoring for major algorithm changes is always going to benefit the brands doing so.
We know Google makes thousands of algorithm changes a year. Fall too far behind, and it will be extremely difficult to come back. SEO pros help to ensure that is avoided.
7. Understanding SEO helps you understand the environment of the web
With the always-changing environment that is the World Wide Web, it can be a challenge to stay on top of the changes as they take place.
But staying on top of SEO includes being in the loop for the major changes taking place for search.
Knowing the environment of the Web, including tactics being used by other local, comparable businesses and competitors, will always be beneficial for those brands.
8. SEO is relatively cheap
Sure, it costs money. All the best things do, right?
But SEO is relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things, and the payoff will most likely be considerable in terms of a brand's benefit and bottom line.
This isn't a marketing cost; this is a true business investment. Good SEO implementation will hold water for years to come. And, like most things in life, will only be better with the more attention (and investment) it gets.