The Importance of SEO: What Exactly Is It and Why Does It Matter?
Search engine optimization is not just some new fad or trend. It’s a key component of any successful business. SEO helps make your website visible to search engines and potential customers, which in turn makes it more likely that you will convert that customer into a buyer. That’s why it’s so important for small businesses to understand what SEO is, how it works, and the risks associated with not having it implemented. Here’s what you need to know about SEO if you want your business to thrive in the digital age.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Essentially, it’s the process of making a website rank higher in search engine results.
It can be done in a variety of ways: through online marketing activities, like social media and content creation; with an optimized site structure; or through the use of search engine tools, like Google AdWords or Bing Ads.
But SEO is more complex than just filling out keyword fields or writing meta descriptions. It requires understanding what people are looking for online and how best to match those keywords with your business’s services or products.
For example, if you want to optimize your website for “health care provider,” you would need to include words related to that topic on each page and throughout your site structure -- not just on the homepage. That way, when someone searches “health care provider” on Google, you will show up as one of the top results -- at least until someone else beats you out by using more advanced SEO techniques.
Why does SEO matter for my business?
Most people have never heard the term SEO, but the truth is that if you’re running a business, you need to know what it is. SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search results for keywords that are relevant to your brand. If you want customers to visit your website and then buy from you, then you need to be able to show up when someone searches for your product or service online.
How does SEO work?
The first step to SEO is coming up with a plan. You need to figure out what keywords you want to rank for and then create content that’s optimized for those keywords. There are two main elements of SEO: on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
On-page optimization includes all the things that happen on your website, including keyword research, page titles, meta descriptions, and headings. Off-page optimization includes linking strategies and social media promotion. You need both kinds of optimization in order to achieve maximum results.
The risks of not having SEO
The risk of not implementing SEO strategies is very real. It’s easy to go online and find a million different opinions as to whether or not your business should have an SEO strategy. If you decide that you don’t need one, you might be missing out on some pretty big opportunities for growth.
SEO matters because search engines like Google are ever-changing the way they rank websites. For example, page loading speed is now a factor in rankings. That means if your web pages take too long to load, you will be penalized for it by the search engine. As a result, SEO takes on a different meaning than it used to. You can't just optimize your site based on keyword research and content quality anymore; now you have to consider how things rank based on the user's experience, which includes everything from load time to mobile-friendliness.
Search engines are the gatekeepers to the internet. The higher your site ranks, the more traffic and sales you will generate.
The key is to focus on the ROI of your SEO and how it can help you generate and close more sales. We’ve outlined the steps you need to take in order to rank higher in search engines, increase your online exposure and get more leads.
1. Outline your goals
2. Build a content strategy that evolves with your business
3. Build a social media strategy
4. Create a link-building strategy
5. Monitor your analytics
6. Get found on mobile devices
7. Run a competitive analysis
8. Establish a measurement plan
9. Measure success