Why is SEO Important?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) dictates how often your business is seen by prospective customers by making it easier for a search engine to lead them directly to your content. Over 60% of marketers believe that their SEO content is where their most quality leads
SEO is about using keywords that are designed to increase the likelihood of content being discovered by a search engine. It’s a tool that enables a business to drive web traffic and create quality leads from this virtual footfall. Leads generated by SEO have a close rate of over 14% (HubSpot), making it a vital strategy. This then propels a business’s website in the search engines rankings, allowing it to establish the itself as the most relevant result shown.
But this is not the only benefit, including SEO into your content or website helps it become more user friendly, fast and reliable. This will lead to increased brand awareness, credibility and trust amongst your customer base. The more your website/content is discovered, this too will allow it to climb higher through the search engines ranks. The perception among web users is that the higher a website is in the results, the more of an authority on the subject matter it is. These positions will be highly coveted by your competition and investing in SEO is the key to reaching them.
From a cost point of view, SEO offers excellent value and is much less expensive than other forms of marketing. Businesses often invest heavily in their websites design but hiring the services of a specialist SEO agency will deliver a stronger ROI. SEO also compares favourably to traditional advertising in terms of cost. It allows smaller businesses to essentially level the playing field and compete against much larger and more established rivals. The company with the most effective SEO strategy will be the one that ranks the highest in search engine results.
Investing in SEO, and the right agency to implement a strategy, will lead to an increased level of organic search results. This represents a large part of most business’s website traffic and is an important part of their buyer funnel. Organic results are typically a websites primary source of traffic, so getting this stage right is critical. If a business relies on traffic from a certain geographical location (such as its local area) then investing in local SEO is an effective way for a business to get itself seen by the right audience, making it easier for them to discover the website.
SEO can also positively impact the buying cycle when done correctly. This is why a coherent strategy and the use of an expert SEO agency is so beneficial. Some keywords and terms will be more powerful than others. This leads many businesses down a route of trial and error until they find a strategy that works for them. It’s better to simply get this right the first time.
Ultimately SEO represents a long-term strategy with quantifiable results. The reason why SEO is important is it allows a business to take control of its own online visibility in a cost-effective way. It can be used alongside other digital marketing techniques, even complimenting them.
What is SEO?
Now that we’ve clarified why SEO is important, and examined its many benefits, it’s time to break down some of the terminology and sub-categories associated with it.
Technical SEO – This represents the first stage in a business’s SEO process. Technical SEO has nothing to do with the actual content of a website and more to do with that websites set-up. It includes any strategies that allow the website’s configuration to now enable SEO, allowing for search engines to locate it easier.
On-site SEO – Also referred to as On-Page SEO or Content SEO, this refers to the content on the web page that will make use of SEO strategy. It involves optimising the content so search engine crawlers (the tools sites like Google use to find their results). The structure of the web page, the keywords, images, headings and internal links are all part of On-site SEO.
Off-Page SEO – This is an essential step and involves layering the content with ‘backlinks’ in an effort to establish trust and relevance. Search engines use complicated algorithms to try and discern the intent of the user, then guide them to the best possible (and most relevant) results for their search.
Services Offered by an SEO Agency
Keyword & Market Research – Knowing which keywords to use helps inform a business’s SEO strategy. An SEO agency will already be well versed in what works and what does not. Meaning the business can rely on them to take ownership of this task, while they focus on closing the leads that the SEO agency have generated.
Content Marketing – SEO and content marketing go hand in hand. A specialist SEO agency will often be responsible for all content curation, and as SEO is always evolving this is sensible approach to take. This way a business’s content and SEO can mirror one another for brand consistency.
Digital PR and Outreach– This service includes blogging, liaising with journalists, press associations and influencers. Like content marketing, digital (as well as traditional methods of) PR and outreach benefits from an effective SEO strategy, allowing the business to communicate with one representative voice.
Penalty recovery – This is another service offered by SEO agencies. When configuring off-page SEO it’s possible to fall foul of a search engine rules, for example by linking to ‘link farms’ or paid content. Doing so can result in a warning or ‘penalty’, especially from market leader Google. This makes it harder for businesses to use SEO and they will require assistance in overcoming this obstacle.
Penalty recovery will be a strategy employed by an SEO agency who can help you get back on track, or ideally not make this error to begin with. It’s easily done for those who are inexperienced with SEO.
SEO is woven into many aspects of digital marketing but represents an essential cornerstone to every modern business’s online strategy. The above techniques coupled with an effective SEO strategy will allow a company to organically drive as much traffic as possible to their website to generate more leads, and ultimately more business.
Choosing an SEO Agency
Even businesses that already have a dedicated digital marketing team often struggle to give SEO implementation the time and resources it needs. To fully appreciate the benefits; this is an endeavour that needs careful planning and execution, along with constant refinement. SEO is a long-term strategy and it’s one that is always evolving. As are its trends and best practices. Managing a company’s SEO strategy is considered a full-time job with many businesses advertising for such a position, yet this is not always the best strategy.
SEO is more than just a form of digital marketing, the skills involved in making it a success also include technical proficiency and an abundance of creativity. This can be a difficult balancing act for those not already well versed in the subject matter. It is also another reason why companies who experiment with SEO strategy often fail. There is much trial and error involved and the average business cannot afford to waste resources on experimentation.
This is confounded by the risk that competitors may have hired a specialist SEO agency themselves and are already capitalising on the benefits of SEO. This also allows them to focus on the daily running of their business and leave their SEO duties to the agency
Many business owners and their staff are experts in their field, but this may not translate well to establishing and running a clear SEO strategy.
In an increasingly digital age, every business needs to take advantage of the tools that are on offer, especially one like SEO which represents a brand’s visibility. The value of SEO when compared to other techniques also cannot be overstated it. Ignoring SEO is no longer an option and is done at an organisation’s peril. Every business needs an SEO agency that truly understands why SEO is important and can create an effective strategy with minimal supervision.
Virtual Solutions Global offer a bespoke SEO service as well as a range of other digital marketing options. We have over 15 years’ experience and possess a thorough understanding of SEO. From working with a wide array of clients all around the globe, this experience has allowed us to adapt our strategy to apply it to various other industries. We can quickly and effectively build a comprehensive SEO plan from the ground up, ensuring demonstrable results in a short space of time. Take advantage of SEO now. If you’re interested in building a lasting strategy to get ahead of your competitors, then talk to Virtual Solutions Global today about your SEO needs.