Five Reasons Search Engine Optimization Should Be A Key Marketing Tool
Posted by Bryan McCall
Like the Internet itself, search engine optimization has finally been with us long enough to start being taken for granted. Where it was once a new and exciting way to add new customers online—almost like magic—lots of business owners and marketing managers have turned to other methods to build web site traffic, specifically social media and paid internet advertising. And, of course, good old-fashioned off-line marketing is still a great way to drive traffic to a web site.
But why the cold shoulder for SEO?
Besides the fact that it isn't the "hot thing" anymore, much of the new attitude about search engines has to do with the competition. After so many books, seminars, and specialists on the topic, a lot of the smaller fish—or even the bigger fish who were late getting to the pond—have decided that they can't compete. That idea isn't only wrong… it's expensive. The amount of traffic coming from Google, Yahoo, and Bing isn't shrinking, it's growing, and you can't afford to let your business fall behind.
Here are five reasons search engine optimization should rate highly among your marketing tools:
It’s getting bigger. The most obvious reason to keep up your SEO efforts, or start them if you haven't, is that searches are growing in importance. Analysts estimate that more than half of all browsing begins with one of the major search engines, so it's a pretty good bet that your customers are making Google and the other major players their first stop. Are they finding you, or one of your competitors?
Local searches are growing. Even small, locally-operated businesses can't rely on the yellow pages and newspaper advertising anymore—the Internet is killing them. Local search listings are more up to date than ever and offer a lot of information including website addresses, reviews, maps, even driving directions. With online information so easily accessible, there aren’t a lot of good reasons for customers to flip through paper directories anymore.
The cost per customer still outweighs other options. Good SEO isn't as cheap as it used to be; these days most marketers don't want to pay for good search specialists, content writers, analytic tools, and so on. Still, compared to the cost of bringing a new customer through the door via direct mail or print advertising, to name a few, search optimization can be a bargain.
SEO has a compounding effect. Probably the greatest thing about search engine optimization—and the most frustrating—is that it takes so much effort to get off the ground. Once you do, however, the results can be exponential. It's ironic that the fear of competition is keeping so many businesses away, when that makes it the very best reason to get started.
It forces you to stay current and relevant. Search engine optimization and marketing requires three big things: a plan, lots of fresh ideas and updates, and constant monitoring and revision. Those are the same three ingredients for any successful marketing campaign. For that reason, SEO can be a great thing for almost any company because it brings a focus and consistency that might not have been there before. It's hard work to make it to the top of Google for your most important keywords, but the byproduct is a sharper marketing edge.
If those weren't good enough reasons to get a jump on your search engine optimization efforts, try this one: it's easier than you think. While there are a lot of technical details to keep track of, much of the process boils down to figuring out what sort of web visitors you would like to have arrive at your pages, and what you would like them to do when they get there. We can help you figure that out, and then the actual steps you'll have to take aren't all that difficult.
There isn't anything wrong with diverting some of your attention to social media and other new marketing ideas. In fact, updating your profiles and content via those mediums is a great way to actually improve your SEO ranking. But no matter what, don't ignore or delay your search engine optimization efforts altogether; pound for pound, there still isn't any better way to bring buyers straight to your company.
Contact us today for more information or check out some of our earlier posts on search optimization: