SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of the first steps that ensues after the development of a website is complete. In layman’s terms, SEO is a set of practices that tweaks the website in a way that makes it appear in a decent position in any search engine’s search results. SEO or organic website promotion ensures that the content, both text-based and media, is up to the standards of the search engine’s algorithms.
How Google outputs the search results based on your input in the search box is determined by a set of rules that Google follows. These rules or algorithms, developed by Google itself, are an efficient set of code that tries to output the most relevant search results as possible. Digital marketers research these algorithms and execute SEO practices so that their website gets recognized by the search engine. These practices are not entirely linked with specific steps or textbook methods; they also demand intuition and good decision making as well as a knack for predicting the trends on the market.
A keyword analysis is one of the core areas that fall under SEO. Keywords are popular search phrases that are designed to catch the attention of search engines consequently making the website (with the relevant keywords in them) appear in top search results. Other branches of SEO include content marketing (closely linked with keywords), on-page SEO, off-page SEO, local SEO, demographics-based SEO.
SEO is mainly used for promoting your website without any external source of money that boosts the website’s impressions. Here are the top 10 reasons why SEO is paramount for any website’s success on the internet.
The Primary Source of Traffic is Organic Search
Google controls more than two-thirds of the search engine market. This means that websites must follow practices that help them get caught by the attention of Google’s web crawlers. Google is the most visited website in the entire world, and if brands are looking to get visitors on their online platforms, they need to get in Google’s good books. If you are running an up-and-coming brand, and your budget is tightly wound, organic promotion is the only way out. Fortunately, organic searches on Google form the majority of internet searches. If your website is properly optimized for search engines, you can attract traffic without shelling a buck. The process, however, is long and requires constant updates and tweaks.
It is all a game of keywords. Although paid promotion does divert a massive chunk of people towards more prominent brands, proper use of competitive keywords might give you the edge. Getting to the best keywords for your brand/product/service requires plentiful market research. These keywords change over time, depending upon market trends and user demands. Also, SEO demands different steps for different demographics.
SEO is Linked to User Experience
How, when, and where people use these search engines all form essential aspects of the mechanics that run the search engine’s crawlers. Search engines aim to give out the best results to their visitors and this in turn, demands website owners to design websites that are search engine compliant. Since search engine algorithms are designed to throw out the most relevant search results, they are deeply connected with the way people use the internet. By transitivity, a site with a good SEO is directly proportional to the experience of uses on the website.
To elaborate, SEO tweaks content to be more readable and more modulated for users. Site visitors have less trouble in navigating through pages since SEO also eliminates dead links and unnecessary navigation loops. If it is an eCommerce website, visitors find their desired products fast. In fact, if the SEO is properly done for all product pages, users can directly land on the desired product page without having to go through filters on the eCommerce portal i.e the search engine directly takes them to the product page. This increases the chances of purchase and makes the process less time-demanding. Good SEO is observed to decrease the bounce rate of the website, meaning that fewer people leave your website. This implies that your website attracts them and makes them want to spend time on it, which is always a good thing.
The Affordability of SEO
SEO is the cheapest of the promotion options that you can choose. If you plan to do SEO on your own, then it would cost you nothing. However, this is not recommended. Digital marketers are trained professionals that execute the best SEO practices. SEO in itself as aforementioned requires a knack for decision-making and prediction. Digital marketers have experience and knowledge of how search engines operate. They understand how the different variables are related to each other. Anyway, SEO is the best way to begin promotion. You would only need to pay your digital marketer and avoid shelling money on paid ads and social media marketing.
SEO is a Prerequisite to Paid Marketing
Even if you are willing to spend on paid promotions, influencer marketing, and social media marketing, SEO is still mandatory. As aforementioned, SEO is directly linked to user experience as well as website bounce rates. Even if you do get traffic via other means, a non-optimized website would be a massive turn-off for visitors. In fact, it can even result in negative marketing. You would lose visitors as well as money on ads, and the visitors would have a bad experience on your website. Search engine web crawlers still index your website even if you pay for ads. A website with lousy SEO would mean that your website will perform poorly. SEO is like the ABC of online promotion and you cannot write an essay without learning the alphabets.
SEO Builds Trust
User experience is not a one-time thing. Continuous pleasant experiences of individual build credibility of your website. A website with good SEO continuously shows up in search results and attracts visitors. This creates an impression of reliability and trust amongst internet users. Constant appearances on search results also show that you are serious about doing business or promoting your ideas. Users love to spend time on websites with many well-written blogs, easy-to-navigate structure, and lubricated payment channels. Once you build the trust of an individual, he/she will begin visiting your website directly from the URL even without searching for it on some search engine.
SEO Brings in Quality Traffic
Users who are genuinely looking for a product or a brand put in keywords that are highly specific and well-thought-of. Paid promotions may be thrown to users who might not even be interested in your website. Since SEO encompasses keyword analysis and research, a website with a good SEO attracts genuine and quality traffic. The people you get via organic searches are more interested in you. The chance of lead conversion or user engagement increases multiple folds when your website has good SEO. These users are highly likely to buy from you or engage with your brand when your website is optimized with search engine standards.
SEO Trumps PPC
The pay-per-click model or PPC are basically Google ads that appear on top of the search results. Whenever you search anything, you’d notice that the first two or three results are tagged as ‘ads’. These are paid promotions for websites that give money to Google so that their websites rank on top of all other websites. However, statistics suggests that users tend to avoid these. The trust in organic Google’s algorithm is so solidified in internet users that they click on non-paid search results more often. This anomaly means that you can perform better than your competitors who are using paid advertisements if you play your cards just right i.e. properly get your SEO done.
SEO is for Life
SEO is a long term strategy for websites to perform better than the rest. As mentioned before, the process is long and requires a lot of research, but once the website fits in the right jigsaw slot, it becomes a lot easier. Digital marketers propose timelines for SEO over which they execute the tasks required. The initial timeline might be 30 to 40 days but the process of SEO lasts as long as your website is up and running. The results of SEO follow the domino effect; one good move leads to another one. Although the results are visible from the very beginning, they tend to pile up as well. This means that the traffic on your website will keep increasing if you follow the trends of the market closely.
In a Nutshell
SEO is undoubtedly crucial in the success of your website. It is only a matter of when you get your website optimized for search engines. Without SEO, the chances of failure are huge. It is like the foundation of a building without which you cannot build anything on top. Phil Frost from Main Street ROI says,
“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about partnering with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.”
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