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What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) And Why Is It Important?

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If you want to achieve your business goals on the internet, you must target brand visibility and patronage. If nobody knows about your business, you’ll find it difficult to excel. The first step to achieving brand visibility is digital marketing. You must employ the necessary digital marketing tools tool to push your brand out there. But to succeed in your digital marketing strategies, you must understand the importance of SEO to your marketing goals.

Many people already know about seo in a passing but haven’t paid attention to what it really offers.

Search engine optimization helps businesses to achieve many set goals around brand awareness, generation of traffic, conversions, good customer experience, etc. 

That’s why many companies who understand the need for proper SEO will give anything to get it right.

It is not enough to create a brand online or develop a website without making sure that people find it.

RELATED: LOW-COST MARKETING IDEAS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

If no one sees what you have to offer, how are you going to win them over?

This article will tell you everything you must know about search engine optimization and its importance to your business.

 Read on and learn more!

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization.

It encompasses all the processes that improve the visibility and high ranking of a website.

SEO is also the steps that website owners take to increase the quantity and quality of traffic that flows into their site through the search engines.

Search engine optimization practices involve people and search engines.

The first step to a good SEO practice is to understand the questions people are asking, the answers they seek, and the specific words they are using to express their needs.

Letters: "s", "e", "o" are on the table
Image by Firmbee from Pixabay

Once you can get all the answers to them, you can easily connect to those who need your solution.

Apart from the people who visit search engines looking for answers, you also need to give the search engine crawlers what they expect from your pages.

That way, they’ll present your site to the people who need what you offer.

The importance of SEO is the reason businesses spend so much money on it.

If you employ the best SEO strategies, it’ll be easy to expand your business because you can record more conversions to increase your customers.

Elements of SEO:

1.   On-site SEO

On-site seo has to do with every action you take on your website for the search engine crawlers locate it faster.

It involves improving your content in some specific ways so that each content’s purpose is easily identifiable.

Some of the on-site seo best practices include structuring your website well, using SEO keywords in your content, and adding internal links to your pages.

Also, using image alt attributes helps to optimize your content for a high ranking on Google.

When you carry out these actions on your website, it’ll be easy for search engines to better access and analyze your content.

 But what are the critical elements of on-site seo you should know?

· Content

Contents are the visual, write-up, or aural information that you share on your online sites.

It includes sounds, text, videos, animations, and images that people can access your site searching for solutions.

Your website contents are what will increase audience engagement and increased traffic.

For instance, if you run a home décor business, your contents will center around areas of home décor such as the elements of home décor, trendy home décor styles, home décor accessories, items, ideas, etc.  

You can write blogs on these topics or even use pictorial representations to increase audience engagement and retention.   

Why do this?

The content you share attracts unpaid traffic to your online platforms.

Whenever someone asks a question like “what are the best home décor items in 2020,” Google or any other search engine they’re using will bring up your blog page.

Now, if you achieved what we call “content depth” while writing the blog article, the visitor will find all the information he/she needs on your site.

That way, you can easily convert a prospective lead to a full customer.

To achieve content depth, you must make sure you cover every important detail around the topic you wrote.

Moreover, you must make your blogs so engaging and informational you’re your audience will willingly share them.

· Keywords

Keywords are those specific words or phrases that customers or web users type into the search engines for answers.

In years past, using important keywords was the number one SEO strategy for digital marketers.

Other techniques have joined, but keywords are still essential for on-site search engine optimization because they help your sites rank high.

To achieve your website visibility and to rank with keywords, you must conduct a diligent search to get the best keywords.

keywords letters
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

Every keyword worth targeting should offer low competition but high-volume.

There’re many keyword research tools on the internet, offering diverse functionalities and analytics.

Some of the keyword tools are free, while many come with a paid subscription.

The free tools are usually not as encompassing as the paid tools.

That’s why, if you mean business with your keyword search, we recommend you go for the premium tools.

2.   Off-Site SEO

 Just like the name implies, off-site SEO comprises every effort you make to improve your site visibility and rank externally.

You are not just tweaking your website and its content; you’re also making taking some steps outside to push your brand forward.

So, what is the major element of off-site seo?

The simple explanation is that backlinks are those links to your web pages from the top and high-ranking sites.

All the links they add to their pages that redirect their audience to your website are backlinks.

Backlinks are very important as it’s amongst the ranking factors for search engine optimization.

According to Google, your content and the links pointing from other websites to your pages improves your website’s ranking. 

The reason for including backlinks to seo ranking factors is that it shows the authority of your website on your niche.

It also shows the search engines that other websites in your niche or related niche trust your content.

Another important reason for making backlinks a part of ranking factors is that they show your web page or website’s popularity.

The more backlinks you get, the more convincing for search engine crawlers.

But we must point out that any attempt to employ black hat seo tactics to deceive search engines with bad links will impact your website negatively.

3.   Local SEO

Your seo efforts are not complete if you’re not harnessing the benefits of local seo for your website.

We can explain local SEO as those techniques you use to bring your business to the forefront of local search rankings.

It helps to bring local customers who search for your services online.

For instance, if someone is specifically looking for a pizza delivery service in Nigeria, he or she will type a phrase like “pizza delivery in Port Harcourt, Nigeria” on Google.

Once the search engine gets this query, it’ll automatically present all the websites that offer pizza delivery near the searcher.

Local SEO is crucial because it will help the people around you to identify and patronize faster than others who’re far away.

It may surprise you, but someone may search for your service on google and visit your office in the next 24 hours of locating you.

This is why you must also target local SEO in your efforts to improve your business reach.

Some of the ways to achieve that easily include creating business pages on Google Maps and Google My Business.

You can also claim your business directory listings to make your brand more visible to the search engines.

Importance of SEO: Why Use SEO Marketing?

If you’re still unsure of the purpose of seo, let’s consider some of the importance of seo, which every business must harness.

When we say “organic search,” it means search results that website owners cannot influence through paid advertisement.

Many websites depend on organic search for their website traffic.

Even though you can invest some money in paid ads, it’s not every site owner that pursues such a strategy for web traffic.

This is why you must improve your seo efforts to suit the web crawlers and the people who seek answers online.

One of the ways to analyze your website performance is through organic search.

It shows how relevant and educational your contents are to the answers people are looking for on Google and other search engines.

 Winning Google web crawlers over with highly-relevant content is the best thing you can do for your business.

Other search engines like Yandex, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Bing, etc., exist, but Google owns 90% of the search market.

So, if you can employ relevant SEO techniques to drive organic search to your website, you’ll be sure of unimaginable web traffic every day.  

2. SEO is Cost-effective

Search engine optimization is a cheaper strategy for your digital marketing efforts.

It’s not free, but you’ll spend less and achieve more if you do it correctly. SEO targets web users who’re searching for your services or products online.

It is an inbound marketing strategy that reduces business costs to the extent that outbound strategy cannot offer.

We regard SEO as a cost-effective approach to marketing because it generates qualified traffic that leads to more conversion.

People who visit your website through organic search are already in need of what you offer.

So, convincing them and closing a deal with them won’t be as hard as winning over a neutral bystander.  

We can’t rule out the results you may likely get from outbound strategies but bear in mind that the cost can be relatively higher than the results.

3. It increases website credibility and Users’ Trust

Search engine optimization improves your credibility ratings in search engines.

With good SEO techniques, your websites will always come up on search engine pages such as Bing, Google, etc.

This shows that your business is an authority in the industry you belong to or the niche you’re targeting. 

But when it comes to establishing authority on search engines like Google, you need to consider such things as optimized on-page content, quality backlinks, etc.

The more you appear, the higher your trust score.

When potential customers find your site whenever they search for a solution, they’ll believe that you have the relevant solution to their problems.

For instance, if someone is searching for “top 5 social media app reviews” on Google, they’ll first open the websites on the first page.

If your website ranks high for the keyword or phrases, you’re sure to appear on the front page of Google’s search results.

Image by Hebi B. from Pixabay

Once your site appears on the first page, the searchers will visit you to know if you have the answers to their search.

 This is why many companies try hard to appear on Google’s first page, as it means more trust for their business.

The higher the traffic that flows to your website through Google, the more you prove that your service or products are credible.

But always remember this; it takes time to build trust.

So, focus on improving your SEO efforts, the quality of your services and products.

4. Local SEO leads to more conversion

One of the elements of SEO you should consider very well is local seo.

We mentioned earlier that it involves all the efforts you make to appear before the local community where you’re operating.

Local SEO helps small & medium-sized businesses to achieve faster business reach, growth, and expansion.

It makes it possible for them to be a go-to business in their locality.

One amazing benefit of local seo is that it leads to faster conversion.

It may take you months to win a potential customer outside your locality, but it takes 24 hours to win a local customer.

Like we said earlier, someone in your community who searched for your product or service online can locate you the same day.

Another good thing about it is that the customer already needs the services or products nearby and will be happy to close a faster deal with you.

So, if you add local SEO strategies to your overall SEO marketing efforts, you’re positioned for larger conversions.

But to achieve all that, you need to add local backlinks and citations to your web content.

Don’t forget to add your business to local listings to show your industry and location.

Another important strategy is to earn positive reviews on customer review sites such as Home Advisor, Angie’s List, Yelp, etc.

If you’re able to get good reviews from people in your locality, you’re closer to your business growth more than you know.

5. It is a long-term growth strategy

Many people often debate about seo relevance to their online business.

You see, good SEO practices will go a long way to boost your website performance in years to come.

We’re sure that your efforts will pay off right from the first year.

But as the years go by, your efforts, your commitment, and your investment will continue to yield better results.

growth SEO strategy
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Once you establish your authority in a particular niche, and the search engines recognize it, your website will always be relevant.

For instance, there’re some questions you’ll ask on Google, and it will bring up content written some years back.

Sometimes you may wonder if no other website has improved or even added more relevance to the same topic.

It may be that the website is ranking high on that particular keyword, and no other content is beating it.

That’s why the importance of seo is so big because even as the years pass, you’ll continue to reap the benefits.

It will help you to stay ahead of your competitors in the industry all the time.

6. SEO helps you to understand the web better

It is not easy to follow all the changes that occur on the World Wide Web.

But if you’re following industrial seo practices regularly, you’ll easily know the trend of things.

One good thing about understanding the web is that it will help you position yourself better amongst your industry’s top leaders.

You will identify the practices or strategies that your competitors are using to achieve business growth and follow them too.

Another reason is that you’ll understand the changes in customer’s buying behavior and trends relevant in your industry.

For instance, keywords popularity changes regularly according to the changes in demand.

Many years back, keywords like “digital marketing” “SEO marketing” did not record high volume searches on Google.

But these days, these same keywords are so competitive that many people avoid them.

If you follow seo best practices closely, it’ll help you understand the web better for better conversion.

7. SEO affects customer buying circle

These days, we all carry out in-depth research before settling on particular goods or services.

Sometimes, online buyers go as far as visiting popular and reliable review sites to check what previous users say about a product.

The internet has made it simpler to avoid low-quality products and services, and you can also turn it into an advantage.

All you need is to employ seo techniques to present your offers, products, service in a way that’ll attract customers.

When you do that, you’ll achieve a lot because your solutions will be visible to those who need them.

If you add a little of local seo strategies to it, you’ll easily influence many people into patronizing your business.

Let’s say you use the right keywords to create content around your product, and someone searches for the keywords.

Google will push your content to its front page, and a potential customer will open it.

Once they visit your website and considers your relevant and profitable offers, they’ll be hooked to patronize your business.

The journey that started with employing the best seo practices has finally led to winning a customer.

8. Right seo strategies improve user experience

One of the surefire ways of getting organic ranking and brand visibility is by improving your platforms’ user experience.

Many people visit Google to get quick answers to almost every kind of question.

Google has improved user experience so much that they push out answers to users’ questions in a matter of seconds.

Have you noticed that sometimes, you may not need to open a website on Google before getting the answer you seek?

Once you type in a request, question, statement, or phrase on Google, you can get all the answers you want right on the first page without visiting any site.

The search engine understands the need for speed, accuracy, and reliability by users.

So they make sure to provide it.

If you want to improve the user experience for your visitors, employ the right seo strategies or techniques.

Please pay attention to image tags and headings as it helps users find what they need faster on your site.

Also, try to achieve content depth by creating more than 500 words with relevant information that covers a user’s question.

Don’t forget that page speed is also a seo ranking factor that improves user experience.

Finally, make sure that your web pages are mobile-friendly as more and more people are using mobile devices to access the web. 

These points and other good SEO practices can improve the user experience on your site.

Final Words

The purpose of SEO is to place the products or services of a business at the frontlines in its industry.

Without search engine optimization, any brand aiming to establish authority on the internet will fail.

SEO is necessary to attract the attention of search engines like Google, Bing, etc.

It’s also important to attract convertible leads for digital marketers.

A well-executed seo strategy is a surefire way of attaining brand visibility and recognition.

It increases trust and credibility and also leads to more conversion.

Without seo, search engines will not index your site, and it will not appear on their pages.

This is why we cannot overemphasize the seo function for business success.

So, if you’re still not employing the best seo practices to boost your digital marketing efforts, now is the right time to start.