By Taylor Belmer
“Open for business” means something different today. For every business across the country that reopens its doors, another remains closed. Or, is only operating online or via curbside pickup. To avoid the confusion, consumers are searching online for answers.
Ensuring your company shows up in their search results depends on how well your website is optimized. Given that 75% of online users will never scroll past the first page of search engine results, companies need to evaluate their search engine optimization (SEO). Now more than ever. No, great SEO cannot protect you from murder hornets or whatever 2020 throws at us next, but it can put your business in a position for success.
Whether a worldwide pandemic or a financial crisis, SEO can help a business continue to sell products or acquire leads even if your storefront is closed. So, your marketing dollars were dispersed elsewhere and you’re now getting around to SEO. That’s okay, too. It’s never too late to start improving your business, and SEO benefits you in many ways. Here are 4 reasons why you should prioritize SEO:
1. SEO is cost-effective.
Organic traffic is free traffic. This can turn into leads, referrals and dollars for your business. You can gain organic traffic by putting in time and effort through SEO. Gaining this kind of user engagement with your brand can save you a lot of money in the long run. Optimizing your site for organic traffic growth is a cost-effective business strategy.
Keep in mind, SEO is even more powerful when you pair it with a fully integrated marketing strategy to build a consistent brand experience. That is why it is still important to invest in additional marketing options, like paid ads and social media influencer marketing. These all work together to help grow your business online and strengthen your SEO.
2. SEO creates growth
SEO is not a one-and-done task. SEO doesn’t make changes overnight. A solid SEO strategy requires continued attention and maintenance. This is because the digital space is always evolving, and search engines are routinely changing their algorithms. What worked last week might not work tomorrow. It’s just the way it is.
But there are aspects of SEO that help your website continue to grow in the long term, once you pour effort into them. For example:
3. SEO builds trust
We trust Google to serve us the results that are most relevant to us. We also trust that content is trustworthy because it is created by experts and authoritative sites in the field of answers we are seeking.
This specific part of Google’s algorithm focuses on a piece of content’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). Today, these touchpoints are crucial to web content, especially in health, wellness, and financial fields. That means Google pays attention to:
- Content quality
- Author by-lines
- User engagement on the page, and
- Quality backlinks to the content.
Among other relevant and correct information that Google (and users) are looking for.
This means that the more your website shows up in search results, the more search engines see your content as quality content and the more people see you as a viable answer or resource.
To keep users’ trust, you need to ensure your website delivers what they need. This all comes back to understanding the user experience (UX) and providing useful content. Google knows when a user clicks into a site and quickly abandons it because they didn’t like the content they found. This will cause a site to drop in rankings as users find the information they are looking for elsewhere. UX directly impacts SEO.
4. SEO provides insights
Google Analytics provides a wealth of knowledge about how well your website is performing, including:
- Which pages are most popular
- How much time users are spending on these pages
- What content people are clicking on
If users are not finding useful content on your site, you will know by the high abandonment rate. Where are they leaving your site to go to? Using SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush, you can see what other sites or content types rank around you in the search engine results pages (SERP). Take this information and let it guide your research and future content creation.
While there are fewer users on other search engines like Bing, these changes will impact your overall SEO and rankings for other search engines. Each search engine puts emphasis on different ranking factors. But generally, these tips apply across both of the bigger names like Google and Bing. In this article we focused on Google.
If you haven’t given SEO much thought before, it’s not too late to start optimizing your site now. By investing the time to optimize your website and provide a good user experience, you’ll not only keep users on your site but attract many more.
Hoffman York is a full-service advertising and marketing communications agency with experience helping clients succeed. HY provides award-winning creative solutions, paid media, content creation, public relations, digital strategies and development, as well as research and analytics. To learn more about how HY can help your brand succeed, contact us at [email protected]. Or, click here to see a gallery of our work.
About the Author: As a UX Copywriter and SEO specialist at Hoffman York, Taylor works with clients to write copy that engages users while focusing on SEO strategy. Taylor delivers valuable insights including site audit, analysis and search engine optimization. In collaboration with UX designers and the digital team, Taylor uses language as a design tool to create the best user experience. Most recently, Taylor has been working with Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, Wisconsin Lottery, Wahl USA and Yamaha Outboards.