These days, content creation and influencer marketing dominate much of the conversations surrounding online marketing strategy, but SEO still matters.
SEO helps increase the quality and quantity of traffic to a website by increasing that site’s visibility in organic search engine results. (That means showing up in Google when your users search.)
It’s an essential element of creating a successful digital marketing strategy and can mean the difference between attracting lots of quality traffic to your site or disappearing among all the other sites on the web.
Here are five reasons SEO still matters:
1. Organic Search Results
While social media platforms and paid advertising generate website traffic, these days, the bulk of online traffic comes via search engines.
Google processes over 40,000 searches every second and over 3.5 billion searches per day. In US searches, less than 3% of people click on paid advertisements.
Since the primary way most people find the information they’re looking for is via search, it’s essential for your site to show up high in results when people are looking for the kind of content you create.
This is very specific, high-intent traffic is essential for engagement, leads, and sales. And, if you are not appearing at the top of search results, you might be giving revenue away.
2. SEO Increases Credibility & Trust
Google uses hundreds of factors in its algorithm to determine website rank.
These factors include a site’s overall quality, the length of time it takes for a page to load, backlinks from credible sources, whether or not a site is secured via https, and so much more.
But Google isn’t the only one who pays attention to these factors. Visitors to a site judge that site within seconds of landing on a page, and their experience will determine whether or not they feel confident enough to take a chance on your business.
In addition to things like backlinks and a site’s quality, authority builds over time as a result of positive user behavior, optimized on-page content, and machine-learning signals.
Establishing your authority goes a long way in creating brand credibility and trust, but that authority is built over time and requires patience, commitment, and a long-term strategy.
3. SEO Increases User Engagement
SEO can be a key factor in increasing a website’s engagement, and these are a few of the most important factors for making that happen.
- Improving page loading speed welcomes users to a site and encourages them to stay longer and visit more pages.
- Formatting posts for easier reading will help to significantly improve the engagement rates.
- Using simple sentences, bullet points, and sub-headings improve readability and encourages visitors to remain on your site for longer periods.
- Using high-quality images in your content also improves engagement.
- User-friendly navigation improves the user experience and allows them to clearly and quickly find the content they’re searching for.
- Interacting with online visitors via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, not only improves the user experience but makes it easier for visitors to share content they find helpful.
4. SEO Helps You Understand How Well Your Content is Performing
If you’re trying to measure exposure and brand awareness, the data you’ll receive from Google Analytics will help you measure what’s working well on your site and what isn’t.
Using a metric such as Earned Media Value (EMV) can help you compare your content’s visibility gained through paid advertising or your brand’s media channels to exposure gained via non-paid marketing such as blog posts, social shares, and influencer marketing.
You’ll also be able to measure the effectiveness of CTAs (Call-to-action) buttons on your site and determine how well your CTAs (Call-to-action) are performing. If your goal is immediate user action, for example, is your “Buy Now” button working better than your “Sign up Now” button?
Tracking sales and leads generated using analytics software is one way to measure the impact of CTA content, and measure the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
5. SEO is the Gift That Keeps on Giving
SEO is one of the only online marketing channels that, when set up correctly, can continue to pay dividends over time. Establishing a long term, white hat SEO strategy will allow you to remain abreast of and adapt to Google’s algorithm updates.
It will also help ensure that you’re implementing digital marketing best practices and maximizing conversion rates and user experience.
When you realize that the average page at the top of Google search results has been there more than two and a half years, you’ll understand that SEO not only matters, it needs to be a long-term strategy to be effective.
In fact, only 22% of pages returned in the top 10 results were less than a year old. If you stop paying attention to SEO, your keyword ranking may start to slip as competitors overtake you in search results.
As you can see, not only does SEO still matter, it can be the key to returning organic results that makes all the difference in where your brand displays in search.
And developing strong SEO can help establish authority and trust among users, resulting in increasing engagement, and helping to ensure your brand message and strategic goals are met.