Why Do You Need Search Engine Optimization, (SEO)?
We often receive the question, “Why must I be concerned with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?” The answer is quite simple: it is one of the two most important things you can do within your marketing strategy. Besides social media marketing, executing a properly-planned SEO strategy will ensure the right people find you when you need them to the most – when they need something from you.
The world used to be a very different place – even after the Internet became a place to find things. Besides looking in the local newspaper and the yellow pages to find products and services, the Internet became an additional place to find those goods and services. Once you found the website of a place you liked, you would bookmark the website so you could easily find it later. Occasionally, you would respond to a radio or television advertisement. As I said before – the world used to be a very different place.
The Internet vs Everything Else
In today’s world, the Internet has a reach that goes beyond any single television channel – and so far beyond radio, newspapers, magazines, and the yellow pages that it’s senseless to even concern yourself with how very large that gap is – just know that the gap is astronomical. The yellow pages is nearly obsolete – it is quickly being replaced by smart phones whose users can no longer remember what the yellow pages looks like. Newspapers and magazines are clamoring to find a working online model in the wake of a drastically-shrinking subscriber base. Consider this: local newspapers, once considered the primary source of news and information in a community only reach around 15% of the population while Facebook alone reaches nearly 80% of your local community. One final difference between now and “the good ole days:” with the amount of information currently available online, people no longer bookmark websites – if they find them at all. That’s where SEO comes in.
Search is the Largest Use of the Internet
While Facebook reaches a huge portion of the world’s population, it is not the largest and most-used website in the world – Google is. Google is the absolute largest and most used website in the world – and it’s a search engine. In whole, more people search for information on Google than those who use Facebook. If you want only one place to concentrate your online marketing efforts, that place is Google. However, SEO strategies not only help you with Google searches, but any other search engine as well – such as Bing and Yahoo. Incidentally, did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? That’s right – YouTube is a search engine and it’s also owned by Google! Another note of interest: YouTube has more viewers age 18 to 34 than cable TV!
SEO is Tricky
The challenge with SEO is that search engines change the way they rank pages almost daily. For instance, Google grades every page on your website against approximately 200 different criteria in order to determine where it might appear in a given search. If you don’t stay up-to-date with the way in which the search engines may rank each page on your site, your rankings begin to fall until you are so far down in search results that your site is never found. We stay on top of the search engine changes, research keywords that you are most likely to rank better for than your competition, and monitor your site for your current rankings across the Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines. We take what we learn and make constant updates to your site to ensure your rankings continue to rise – which results in an increase in targeted website traffic. In other words – we make sure the right people find you when they are searching for your products and services – and we make sure they find you before they find your competition.
What About PPC?
The next question we frequently receive when explaining SEO is, “Why couldn’t I just run a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign? That gets me directly to the very top of the search results, right?” The answer to that question is yes and no – and you’ll still lose the race against your competition.
PPC ads can deliver quick results when it comes to website traffic – but there is still a certain amount of SEO work needed on the pages that your ads point to in order for the ads to be effective. Regardless – let’s say you have the perfect page and the perfect PPC ad campaign that gets you to the top of certain search results. Here’s what will happen: You will receive about 4% of the clicks for the search where your PPC ad appears. Your competitor who has been working on their SEO strategy, will show up as the first “real” result under your ad and will receive about 48% of the clicks in those search results – the next search result (in the number 2 position) will receive about 12% of the clicks – the next search result (in the number 3 position) will receive about 8% of the clicks.
Because people generally skip over the ads at the top of the search results and move on to the “real” results, a search that is conducted 1,000 times in a given period will send about 40 clicks to the PPC ad at the top, 461 clicks to the number 1 organic result under the ad, 115 clicks to the number 2 position, and 77 clicks to the number 3 position. In all likelihood, every link on the first page of the search results will receive more clicks than your PPC ad. What does this mean? Even if your PPC ad had an unlimited budget, your competition who works on their SEO strategy and ranks in the top 3 of the organic searches under your ad will ALWAYS receive drastically more traffic than you. There is no way around it – in order to compete, you must have a proper ongoing SEO strategy in place.
Remember that the world is a drastically different place than it was several years ago. Without proper SEO and social media marketing plans in place right now (this year), you will not be able to survive against your competition if they have those plans in place and you do not. The time is now – and the clock is ticking – contact us today!