Why Is SEO Important?
I’m here to tell you SEO is important — not dead, not a waste of time. Important. A couple of years ago, a website I built began to rank on the first page of Google for the keyword, “small business SEO.”
Once we ranked on the first page, I started to receive calls from all over the world inquiring about our “company.” I got tired of telling people it was just me (I was a freelancer at the time). So, I decided to actually start a digital marketing company. In two years we’ve grown our team to 18 people and earned a “best place to work” award.
Our growth is all because of SEO.
So, why is SEO important for your business?
Sustainable and Predictable Growth
As a business owner, I crave words that end with “ility”: sustainability, reliability and predictability. Why? Because knowing what to expect from your business enables you to plan for the future with hiring needs, office space, cash flow and all the other curveballs thrown at a small business.
SEO covers the “ilities.” I know that by ranking for the term “small business SEO” which is searched 8,000+ times per month, we’ll get about three new customers per month. This monthly expectation of new customer acquisition allows me to plan.
For example, predicting hiring needs is a stressor for small business owners. With our SEO presence, we’ve been able to proactively address hiring needs by planning for a new marketing manager every 60 days. We’ve extended job offers up to six months in advance of a start date to accommodate for our growth. Knowing that we have a manager starting in April, June and August frees up a lot of time spent reactively recruiting.
Less stress is always a good thing. SEO helps relieve some of the stress involved in running a business.
Higher Customer Close Rates
People trust Google search results. If you appear on the first page of Google search results, people trust that your company can deliver on what they searched for.
How do you go about strategizing to appear on the first page of Google search?
- Select the right long-tail keywords with low competition and a high relevance to your business. Here’s seven solid tutorials on how to create a SEO content strategy with long-tail keywords.
- Add those keywords to the page title tags, meta descriptions, and on-page content. If you don’t have existing content targeting these keywords, create it with an informative blog post or dedicated landing page.
- Promote that content through internal linking, external linking, and sharing with your networks.
That’s the simplified process you can follow to help content appear on the first page of Google. Of course, it’s hard work and nothing is guaranteed. But if you’re successful, the end result is moving from the “initiator” of a conversation to the “responder.”
The proof of why this shift is important can be found in the customer close rates of inbound SEO leads versus outbound leads. We’ll close about 15 percent of all inbound SEO leads we receive, while our outbound efforts are much closer to 1-2 percent.
Always Working, 24/7
Call a typical office after office hours and you’ll be prompted to leave a message. Visit a website after office hours and you’ll be able to make a purchase, or at least leave your information to get more information about services. SEO works 24/7. Most sales teams work 9-5, 5 days a week.
SEO is both more cost and time efficient to close new business than sales teams because it’s always working. And, with the rise of sophisticated chatbots, websites will be able to close more business in the future than they are able to do today.
The key to marketing is focusing on what drives results. There are so many marketing tactics at your disposal. Your job is to find the tactic that works best for you and your business. Consider SEO. It’s worked for us, and it’s going to be increasingly important in the future.