Tired of Hearing About SEO?
Author: Bil Gaines
You’ve heard it a million times: your business needs a killer SEO strategy. Why? Because somebody said so.
Here’s the truth…
Sorry. You really do need a killer SEO strategy.
We know this because we have data.
STAT: 100 billion searches take place on Google per month.
That translates to about 3.3 billion searches each and every day – more than 38,000 searches per second.
That’s a pretty sobering statistic, right? That’s how influential search engines are.
It’s a simple fact: Google rules.
Well, Google and all the other search engines out there. They use massively complex algorithms to determine what web content is compelling and unique and valuable, and what content is trash.
Where you end up on that continuum is totally up to you – and your commitment to SEO.
Without SEO, your business isn’t going anywhere. Search engines are ubiquitous facts of life for your customers. People go to search engines before they spend money. And if you’re not in their search results, they won’t spend their money on you.
If you’re not in on the SEO game when it comes to your local business website, you’re missing out on an investment into the absolute most ROI-friendly infrastructure in the world.
And if you don’t have a clear plan of attack, you can easily get swept away in a sea of ever-changing algorithms.
The Basics of SEO
“Okay. So, what is it?”
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Chances are you already know a bit about SEO and what it can do. If you’re a business owner, you likely have people making this pitch all the time.
This practice involves obtaining website traffic from free, organic (natural) search results on search engines. (You can get a more detailed rundown over at Search Engine Land.) Customers input keywords and choose what to read from a page full of search results.
STAT: 75% never venture past the first page of search results.
That’s why ranking matters. Being at position 10 (the last on page one) or position 11 (the first on page two) could make all the difference in getting that customer.
Unlike paid search ads, SEO is inherently free. This may be why so many businesses are reluctant to spend money on SEO services.
But it’s not easy, and it doesn’t come fast.
It takes weeks and even months of ongoing effort to see and track positive results. But the end result is worth it.
Here’s the thing:
If you want real results, it’s best to leave SEO to professionals.
It takes time to learn, time to implement, time to track and report, time to keep up with changing algorithms, time to generate new content – it takes lots of time, and you’ve got a business to run.
Think More “Branding” Than “Marketing”
SEO is what we do here at Custom Creatives. We are all about branding, and we think of SEO as branding.
It’s easy enough to rank for your brand name and show off your products or services. What’s not easy is appearing in a search for a specific product or service and showing off your brand name.
Suppose some customer, in need of a service or a product that you provide, went to Google to help himself out.
Don’t lie to yourself – what are the odds that customer would search specifically for your brand name?
Brand loyalty is a thing of the past. Your competition is out there gunning for your repeat customers. And what about new customers?
On the flip side:
What if you were on page one of those search results? What if you were the most immediate option for a ready-to-buy customer looking specifically for what you have to offer?
You need to be on page one of those search results – and you need to be in the organic listings. PPC can get you there at a predictable cost, but the ROI is not nearly that of organic SEO.
STAT: 70% of searchers click on the organic links rather than the paid ones.
And anyway, PPC might be prohibitively expensive, depending on your industry. It’s a great supplement to SEO, but it shouldn’t be your primary strategy.
With SEO, you can ensure accuracy and consistency of your brand in online local directory listings, customized for local regions and neighborhoods, says Entrepreneur.
STAT: 85% of small businesses say they want to be found on local listings; however, only half of them actually update those listings.
Failing to use SEO to move your brand forward – constantly – means you’re losing ground to others who are, as pointed out by Forbes.
Here are some more reasons why you need to get in on the SEO act:
- Cost efficiency.
You just have to take a look at the high costs of other forms of advertising, such as PPC, social media marketing or email marketing programs. You’ll realize it’s a no brainer on the ROI that SEO delivers for virtually no cost. If a $2,000 per month investment brings $5,000 of new business, that’s all the math you should need. Sure, social media marketing is crucial to improving your company’s image in the community, and PPC is great for spurring revenue, but in terms of the lowest overall cost of implementation, SEO is where it’s at.
- Increased market share.
Up to 90% of customers consult online reviews before buying something. Without proper SEO, people can’t find you. If they can’t find you, they can’t buy what you’re selling. Chances are great that those customers will move on to the next business on the list – one of your competitors.
- Rising mobile device use.
Traffic on mobile devices is only expected to grow in the coming years. Research shows that most people use their smart phones to research local businesses before they make a purchase. According to Google, there’s been a 500% increase in mobile searches in the last two years. Take advantage of local search optimization to capture this audience.
- Strong content profile.
Google constantly updates its search algorithms, increasingly placing higher importance on things like social media indicators. These factors will impact your rankings, so be sure to build up and cultivate a healthy content profile over time. According to Search Engine Journal, quality content marketing can lead to a 2,000% increase in traffic and a 40% increase in revenue.
- Local search.
Auto Revo says that of the 30 billion mobile searches that occur each year, 12 billion are local in nature. Local searches will soon take a big chunk of all mobile searches.