Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of getting organic (or free) traffic to your website from search engines. As an online business, you likely generate lots (if not all) of your revenue through your website, making SEO an important marketing tool.
Undoubtedly, SEO is important for your online success as it provides a low-cost method for gaining traffic and leads, and when done correctly, can provide you with high converting traffic.
While PPC ads can be an effective way to generate traffic and leads from search engines, it can be costly and isn’t a cost-effective measure for someone with a small ads budget.
Implementing an SEO strategy, however, costs much less than advertising on search engines, and can be highly effective when done correctly.
If you aren’t familiar with SEO, read my beginners guide to SEO.
An SEO Strategy is Cost Effective
To implement an SEO strategy, you either need to hire a firm or a consultant to manage it for you, or you can implement it yourself.
Aside from the time it takes for you to write optimized blog posts, going with the latter provides you with a free source of traffic.
Keeping your costs down is incredibly important for businesses, which is why SEO is a great alternative to buying ads.
Your Profits Will Increase
Optimizing your content for long-tail keywords will results in targeted traffic. Long-tail keywords are more specific than keywords, and are usually four or more words.
Because long tail keywords tend to be more specific, you can actually begin to target users depending on which phase of the buying process they are in.
Users fall into three categories when it comes to their search intent:
- Navigational: user is trying to reach a certain site
- Informational: user is researching information
- Transactional: user is ready to buy or convert
So, let’s say you have a photography site/blog, and you want to sell your Lightroom presets. Instead of targeting keywords such as “Lightroom presets”, you would target long-tail keywords such as “buy lightroom presets for weddings”.
With the first keyword “Lightroom presets”, we don’t know if the user is looking for information on how to create their own presets, how to use Lightroom presets, or if they want to buy them. By targeting a more specific long-tail keyword, you are able to attract users that are more likely to convert.
You are also competing with fewer websites, and the likelihood that your post will appear on the search engine results page (SERPs) is higher.
You Can Get Targeted Visitors To Your Site
Once you get to know your target audience, you will be able to notice patterns in the things they are searching for, so that you can be the one to provide information for them.
One way to figure out what it is your users are searching for is to add search analytics within your site. By adding search analytics, you can view what people are searching for on your site’s search bar. This can tell you if you need to create new content to meet their needs, or what you need to create more of.
Another way to figure out what your customers want information on is to ask them directly. Send them an email and ask for them to provide you with one burning question they have.
After you know what your current users are looking for, create blog posts addressing those topics in order to attract more targeted visitors.
Stay Ahead of Your Competitors
If your business is continually appearing in search results for queries your customers are searching for over your competition, you will be able to grow your share of the market and ultimately take some of their business away from them.
If your competitor is ranking higher than you, treat this as an opportunity to do a competitive SEO analysis on them to see which areas you can improve your SEO.
SEO Builds Your Creditability
When running an online business, your online reputation is incredibly important. Having high rankings on Google and other search engines signals to your users that you are an authority in your niche, and builds trust.
Whether your customers realize it or not, when they see you rank high in their searches, they will subconsciously view you and your business as a creditable source.
Long Term Results
When you pay for an ad, the traffic from that ad ends when your campaign ends. SEO yields long term results once you begin to rank for your key terms.
Disadvantages of SEO
With over 1 billion websites on the web, SEO is more important and more relevant than ever. However, implementing an SEO strategy takes hard work. SEO is not something that can happen overnight and requires lots of time performing keyword research and creating content.
When done correctly, the only disadvantage to SEO is the time it will take to develop a strong strategy.
Having a strong SEO strategy is very important for your online business. Not only is SEO more still relevant in 2017, but having a strategy in place will ensure you are staying ahead of your competition, getting targeted customers to your site and will allow you to increase your website conversion rate.
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