As a business owner, you’re constantly trying to improve your business and get more customers through the door, and you know that your company website can be a great way to drive conversions and sales on autopilot. But no matter how great your website is, your numbers won’t improve unless people are finding you and engaging with you through your site.
This is where search engine optimization (SEO) can help your business. SEO offers a whole host of tricks and strategies to drive more traffic to your website and grow your business. Below are eight key ways that SEO can help you.
Get More Traffic to Your Website
In a nutshell, getting more search traffic to your website is the whole point of SEO. But the best thing about search engine traffic is that it tends to be much more targeted than traffic from social media, and this leads generally leads to more conversions, leads and sales.
There are several ways that SEO can help you improve traffic levels. An effective SEO strategy will include outreach to major media outlets and relevant blogs in your industry to build relationships that lead to guest posting opportunities and backlinks.
It will also include an emphasis on keyword-driven content that attracts searchers who are looking for information, products and services that your company can provide.
A good SEO plan will also include improving on-site factors to improve page loading times, reduce bounce rate and increase time on site through the inclusion of engaging multi-media content and internal linking that drives traffic deeper into the website’s content.
Increase Traffic Levels for Years to Come
Another awesome thing about SEO is that – if done properly – the steps taken will produce positive results for months and even years to come. It’s important to be patient with your SEO efforts. Changes to your website and backlinking efforts will take time to work their magic, but once those improvements lock in, you’ll see an upswing in traffic that is likely to last for a very long time with little or no additional effort.
How many other forms of advertising can accomplish that? With more traditional means of advertising, the effects quickly fade away once the ads are taken down. But with SEO, your website’s boost in search rankings and subsequent web traffic is likely to last much longer.
Spread Brand Awareness
Here’s something that might be difficult to measure, but it’s sure to have a positive impact on your business – increased brand awareness.
As your website starts to rise in the search rankings, more people are going to see it listed in the search results when they’re looking for something online. They might not even click through to visit your website, so you won’t see them showing up in your stats, but the fact that your site is showing up higher in search means that more people are noticing it as they browse through search results. Over time, when they see your website showing up more often, the likelihood that they’ll click on your site and come see what you’re all about begin to increase.
This is similar to the old marketing maxim that a customer won’t purchase your product until they’ve seen your advertisement at least seven times. The idea is that they aren’t familiar with your brand yet, so they don’t make a purchase or click on your search result. But the more often they see your brand name showing up in search, the closer they are moving toward doing so.
Getting your name out there is the first step, and getting your name to the first page of a search engine is the first step to having people notice you.
Help You Build a Reputation as a Leader in Your Industry
Improved reputation and expert status is the flip side of brand awareness. With higher search rankings, not only are more people noticing your brand, but they’re also starting to associate you with having a higher status in your industry. This can help you as either a B2C business or a B2B business.
The more you show up in search, the more people notice you and the more they perceive your company as being a leader in your industry. The more they perceive you as a legitimate brand, the more likely they are to want to purchase your products and services, to want to share your posts on social media and to want to work with you or be associated with you.
Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or an owner of a small or mid-sized business, this is a huge win for you and your company either way. But it takes time to accomplish significant results, so be patient and commit to a long-term strategy with an ongoing SEO campaign.
Stretch Your Marketing Budget
Compared to other traditional forms of advertising, particularly using big media outlets like television and radio, marketing your business through the Internet can really save you a ton of money. In fact, there are actually a lot of things you can do to increase web traffic levels that won’t cost your company a dime, other than the time needed for someone to implement these techniques. SEO is revolutionary for small businesses, not only in terms of accessibility, but in cost-effectiveness too.
Improve User Experience for Your Visitors
One of the biggest mistakes many people take when implementing SEO practices is that they forget what the big picture is all about in the first place. Why does Google have all these rules? Why do they look at all these ranking factors? What are they trying to do anyway?
Google just wants the same thing that every other business out there wants: to provide a great experience for their customers, so that those customers continue to do business with them.
What that means is that they want to send their search “customers” to websites that will provide just what they’re looking for, and will do it in a way that provides a great user experience for them. If your website is just plain terrible and doesn’t help your visitors find what they’re looking for, then Google doesn’t want to keep sending its customers to you.
Having a quick load time, a website optimized for both computer and mobile use, and easy to use navigation can only make you company better and ultimately provide a better experience for your own visitors. That’s a win for you, a win for them and a win for Google.
Generate More Leads and Sales
Of course, all of these SEO tactics, marketing strategies, website improvements and so on all lead to one big advantage for you: improved sales. At least, that’s how it should be. Search engines can lead targeted traffic to your website, but it’s still on you to convert those visitors into paying customers. Improved traffic levels can certainly help drive sales, but your content must be optimized to convert these visitors into returning customers too. Conversion rate optimization is beyond the scope of this article, but make sure to put it down on your to-do list.
There’s always more to learn!
Completely Trash Your Brand
Wait a minute. That’s not what SEO is supposed to do for you, right?
That is correct.
SEO is supposed to help your business – not hurt it. But if you’re following outdated “black hat” tactics that were popular in the past but have since been smashed by Google, then your misguided SEO efforts are actually more likely to get your website penalized or even completely removed from Google’s index.
That’s really, really bad.
This is why you must stay up to date with the latest news in the industry and make sure that all the methods you use to boost your search rankings are based on solid “white hat” SEO strategies and Internet marketing best practices. The SEO Expert recommends that you talk to someone who specializes in SEO to make sure that you stay in the clear when it comes to Google’s guidelines to avoid hurting your business.
To get you started, here are a few pointers to keep you from going down the wrong path:
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Never buy cheap backlinks
- Never spam anyone ever
- Only hire reputable SEO agencies with long-term clients
- Follow Google’s SEO best practices for webmasters
SEO can be an incredibly exciting thing to start working with, because it can only help your business when done correctly. Don’t forget to be open to trying new strategies and make sure to keep up to date on the changes to Google’s policies.