Search engine optimization, more commonly referred to as SEO, is the process of adapting your website and its content in such a way that its exposure to the search engines is increased in order to drive relevant traffic and more of it to your website. SEO is important because the search engine robots (also known as crawlers or spiders) navigate, view, index and rank content in a somewhat more limited way than people do. With hundreds of millions of webpages out there, there is no way that the search engine databases and caches can be handled by manpower alone, so algorithms are used to process and manage the data instead. While these robots are getting better and better at what they do with every update, they still have a long way to go before they work exactly like people do. For this reason, SEO is crucial for the success of your online marketing campaign. This article considers some of the key benefits of SEO in today's highly competitive online marketplace.
Most people start with a search query in Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine before they actually end up on your website (or a competitor's website for that matter). SEO capitalizes on this fact by optimizing your website in such a manner that it appears in the first page of the results when someone enters a query which is relevant to your business. Targeting relevant key words and phrases will help to increase your prevalence in the results, ultimately leading to more website traffic.
It might take some time, but a solid SEO strategy will increase the chances of getting your website into the very top of the first page of results. People are far more likely to place trust in a company listed at the top of Google (sponsored listings excluded), and your brand name will steadily become a familiar sight. Getting your website in the top of the results page provides a huge boost in credibility, more than any paid advertising campaign could ever do.
Although SEO is all about driving the right sort of traffic to your website (traffic which leads to higher conversion rates) as is the case with most other forms of online marketing, it presents an excellent ROI. If you target the right keywords and can offer value to your visitors, SEO can bring your business a great deal of financial success, and it doesn't even need to cost you anything if you do it yourself rather than hire someone to conduct your SEO campaign for you.
Unlike social media marketing, content marketing and certain paid advertising campaigns, the results of search engine optimization are largely permanent. Once you have optimized your website and its existing content, you shouldn't need to do so again. However, there will still be some maintenance required to ensure that your SEO strategy is always conforming to the latest standards and requirements, and SEO should remain ingrained into any content marketing strategy as well.
One of the best things about online marketing is the enormous amount of data collected. This data allows you to track results and determine the performance of every digital marketing channel that your company uses. SEO is no exception to this rule, and you will be able to start tracking your results from the very beginning and tweak your strategy until it starts working for you in the longer term. SEO gives you access to a huge amount of data and insights into your customer base and website traffic.