Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, has transformed marketing, becoming a vital tool used by small and large businesses alike. Put simply, this digital marketing principle has the potential to make any company visible to a huge audience of the billions of people that use search engines every day.
Unlike many other digital marketing techniques, search engine optimization has been proven to benefit a wide variety of business variables, such as market share, brand loyalty, brand recognition, brand image, brand awareness, consumer online behavior, and user reviews.
This guide has been created to help further understanding of SEO marketing, as well as the effects it can have on the long-term success of a business.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is a practice used to increase both the quality and quantity of traffic that visits a website through improving organic search engine rankings.
Search engines are the most commonly used online platform, with Google alone recording 3.5 billion searches a day, meaning 93% of all online activity begins with a search. Once this search has been logged, the search engine will use its algorithm to display the most useful and relevant web pages.
What are the Effects of Search Engine Optimization?
Numerous benefits come from incorporating SEO into a marketing strategy, listed below are just a few of these, to help illustrate the range of potential gains.
Click Through and Sales:
The ultimate goal of SEO is to bring a website to the top of a search engines’ rankings, and to make sure it stays there, but how much difference does this really have?
Studies have shown the impact that specific placements on a ranking index can have. For example, there is a 30% drop in click-through between the 1st and the 10th position. Many attribute this to the perception many internet users hold that the highest-ranking website holds that position because they are an authority in their field.
However, a website’s ranking does not only affect the overall number of visitors it will receive, but it is sales numbers too, just as the number of visitors falls, so does the conversion rate. Specifically, there is a 90% drop in conversion rate from the 1st to the 10th website shown on Google.
A quality SEO marketing strategy will not only result in improved sales but will provide a company with valuable data regarding the online behavior of the consumer. Unlike more traditional forms of marketing, which often take months to analyze the results and generate predictions of behaviors, SEO offers real-time access. This provides marketers with a valuable resource that can help inform sales strategies and long-term goals without spending extra money and time on research.
Trust and Brand Loyalty:
Not only does SEO help to increase the presence of a brand on a global platform, thus increasing the potential number of visitors to a website, it also has a significant impact on a visitor’s perception of the company.
Studies have found that 77% of those surveyed would be more likely to click on natural results rather than a paid post. The technique of boosting a website’s ranking organically helps a website to be perceived as trustworthy and relevant, especially when compared to paid posts.
Since many SEO techniques involve using keywords to improve rankings for related searches, it also has a significant impact on the type of customer visiting a website. Namely, SEO draws in relevant traffic. When compared to other online marketing techniques out there, it is not hard to understand why an organic, targeted campaign will have more of an effect than an ad shown to relevant and irrelevant audiences alike.
Examples of SEO Practices:
There is quite a large variety of SEO techniques available to those looking to improve a website’s rankings. Since the best SEO practices have to stay in line with the ever-changing search engines algorithms, businesses are advised to employ expert SEO companies, such as Spark SEO, to ensure the most effective use of resources. For those looking to further an understanding of SEO practices, then try these common methods.
- Create Relevant Written Content, many companies choose to engage with these criteria by creating a blog subsection within a website, written with a focus on relevant keywords.
- Ensure a website is Easily Crawlable if a search engine is unable to crawl a website then their potential for high rankings is severely limited.
- Improve website Speed, search engines want to give their users the best experience possible, and since 40% of visitors will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load, search engines take notice.