Search engine optimization (SEO) has been an important factor for businesses for some time now, but still remains a bit of a mystery for many people. There is a staggering amount of information out there about SEO, but much of it is contradictory, or even just plain wrong.
Recently there has been an increased feeling that with increasingly complex and nuanced algorithms, and a greater focus on social media, that ‘SEO is dead’. This conclusion is often jumped on by digital marketing folk in new businesses, desperate to cut costs, but in the long run investing in strong SEO remains a smart way forward for startups and new businesses alike.
Here’s our take on why it’s still so important to invest in high-quality SEO for any new business, irrespective of sector, and why the importance of SEO is only likely to increase in the future.
Organic traffic is important
It is possible to get clicks, and drive traffic to your website through a number of methods, and SEO is certainly not one of the most immediate of these.
Social media advertising, for example, can provide instantaneous, shiny analytics and increase traffic overnight. However SEO is a far more sustainable, long-term strategy that continues to reap dividends for a long time.
Additionally, organic searches and traffic generally provide a far greater rate of engagement, and a far more interested, relevant and committed user, than clicks from targeted ads. Getting to and staying at the top of search engine results is really the only way to ensure a sustained flow of visitors to your site, and equally the best way to stay ahead of the competition.
Algorithms are constantly shifting and changing, and it is therefore vital to continue to evolve your SEO strategy as well. This means investing in an SEO expert is a long-term but vital tactic.
SEO investment is cost-effective
Digital marketing is expensive across the board, and startups and small, new businesses can struggle to afford to make their voices heard in a crowded and competitive marketplace. This becomes doubly true when in competition with large, global players with similarly large marketing budgets.
However, although there is an upfront cost, most SEO techniques once implemented don’t require a huge budget to sustain, and provide long-term results.
As stated above, the results aren’t immediate, as SEO is about long-term practice and developing sustainable techniques, but over time the per dollar return can be better than almost any other digital marketing strategy.
The long-term potential of SEO is another reason why spending the money initially, and getting experts to implement the delicate and nuanced techniques correctly and effectively, is worthwhile.
Helps general good practice and systemic change
One of the best things about implementing a strong, coherent SEO strategy is that it helps streamline the entirety of your digital offering, getting your business in line with best practice, and creating a systemic change in the way you do marketing online.
Good SEO work addresses technical issues on your website, builds and maintains links, and generally improves the usability of your site. Plus a good blog set up for SEO keywords is a great enhancement to any business, and is likely to keep visitors on your site for longer.
You’ll also be investigating your Google analytics in much greater depth, which will give you great insights into your existing and potential customer base, and a better idea of what to do to target them in other ways. Put otherwise, it helps shift company culture towards making data driven marketing decisions.
Better business credibility
However users find your business initially, chances are that they are going to do a general search for you at some point. However well-reviewed you are, or slick and professional your branding is, if you aren’t easily discoverable on the first page of searches, people are going to have doubts about your credibility.
Building an online presence is a complex and nuanced task, with a number of strands which all link together. Your website will act as a shop window, but a high search ranking will help dispel any lingering reservations, and demonstrate a certain amount of solidity and reliability.
We hope that this has helped demystify SEO, and provided a few persuasive reasons as to why it remains a useful, even a vital tool in digital marketing. As an investment, although the upfront costs can be a little high, the long-term ROI means overall it doesn’t have to be an expensive investment.
If you are looking to improve your content or kick-start an SEO driven content machine, Scribly.io can take care of your copywriting needs. Get in touch to find out how we can help you scale your business today.