Why SEO Is Important & Why You Should Do It
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may seem akin to a third-hand description of a platypus. You know it's real, but c'mon. What is it really? A duck? A beaver? A living representation of a drawing I made of an animal in the fourth grade?
When people ask me what I do for a living and I say “SEO”, the most frequent result is blank stares. Then I say “search engine optimization”, and some people suddenly understand. Don't feel bad though. I was the exact same way when I first started in digital marketing over 12 years ago.
"SEO, is that some kind of spice that goes on my steak?" I didn't even know what the term, "search engine" meant back then. Of course, I knew what Google was, but didn't know it was called a search engine - let alone the world's most popular one.
People are usually hesitant to initiate SEO for their business or website compared to PPC, (Pay-Per-Click) which is fairly easy to understand the basics of. You pay Google a bunch of money, and BAM! You get instant traffic, right? The downside to PPC is once you stop paying Google or any pay-per-click platform, the traffic stops too. You got to pay to play when it comes to PPC.
SEO is very different, in some ways. Yes, you have to pay an expert or agency to do the work to get your website ranked highly, but you reach a point where there’s a steady flow of traffic from your organic search engine results page (SERP) entries. After your webpages are ranked highly for performant keywords, it’s usually just a matter of protecting your rankings drops due to Google algorithm updates and technical site issues.
However, cost-per-click won't increase on you with organic rankings like it can and will with Google Ads (PPC). The more people that jump into PPC, the higher the cost becomes (more competition = higher bids = greater cost to clients). I still remember the good old days when you could get 0.5 cent clicks for fairly competitive keyword phrases. Nowadays, that's impossible. Pay-per-click costs have increased greatly over the years, which makes SEO all that more valuable to modern businesses looking to maximize the return on their digital marketing endeavors.
Planning on Being in Business for a Long Time? SEO Is the Way to Go
SEO is a different animal than PPC. If you plan on being in business for the long-haul, SEO is definitely the way to go.
One important thing to consider is how many of us scroll right by the paid ads on Google. Yep, I do it most of the time, and I’m guessing a lot of our readers do the same. This is a common phenomenon known as ad blindness (or banner blindness). Not only that, but when I do actually pay attention to paid advertisements in SERPs and on websites, I find a lot of irrelevant ads in the results – which blows my mind considering how much money some companies must be wasting on paid ads via poor targeting.
A boatload of keywords, most of which are irrelevant is not the best strategy. Highly targeted keywords are best, and sometimes a lot fewer keywords - however, that's a discussion for another article.
Another reason why SEO is so important to do if you're a business owner, and that is the fact that you can get most of the pages on your website on the first page of Google This depends on though if you have a team of competent people who know what they're doing to get you there. Now if you wanted traffic to all of the pages on your website via a paid platform you're looking at a lot of ad budget (money) to do so.
Am I saying you shouldn't do paid marketing such as Google Adwords, Facebook, or something like AdRoll? Of course not, in fact, everyone who has a business should set aside some of their budget specifically for running ads on Google. Why? Well, there's a couple of reasons why:
The Best Traffic
Google has the best quality traffic hands down so if you're going to spend money on paid ads that's where it should be spent first before branching out to other paid platforms. You want to make every penny count.
It’s instant traffic to your website which equals business/money for your company. SEO can take time. How long? It depends on a number of factors; competition, how much work is being done on the SEO, how well your website is currently set up...etc. It can be weeks or several months.
Google Ads & Organic Rankings
There's a conspiracy theory that has been floating around the marketing world for as long as I can remember. The theory is that if you're doing paid ads on Google, essentially giving Google money, then they're going to rank you higher in their organic search results. Myth? Fact? Conspiracy Theory? Of course no one knows for sure, but Google adamantly denies the existence of such a conflict of interest. Either way, it doesn't hurt to drive quality traffic to your site in the early days when organic rankings aren't established for a site.
Why You Should Get Started ASAP With SEO If You're Not Already Doing It
SEO is like fine wine, the older it gets the better it gets. If you have a website that you rely on for people to contact your business, or if you sell a product off the site, then it's absolutely critical you start doing SEO as soon as possible.
If your site doesn't currently rank on the first page of Google's search engine results pages (SERPs), it doesn't draw the traffic necessary to sustain and grow a business.
Even though SEO may seem like a foreign language to some, it's best not to avoid it as you're potentially missing out on the majority of search engine traffic and prospective customers online.
If your competitors are doing SEO, and you're not, then you're going to be chasing them, not leading.
It's safe to assume almost everyone nowadays whips out their phone and does a Google search when they decide which business they're going to be giving their money to. If you're not on the first page of Google then you've just missed out on a lot of potential lifelong customers for your business.