How Important Is SEO, Really?
I pride myself in being a bit of a contrarian.
When the ‘masses’ start taking to an idea in large numbers, I start to get suspicious. More and more people are accepting search engine optimization (SEO) as a way of life in business. The phrase is thrown around with reckless abandon amongst business people and there are literally thousands of new articles about the topic emerging on the market every single day (this article being one of them).
But, what difference is SEO really going to make to your business? What kind of results has SEO produced for other businesses? How well does it work for small to medium-sized business?
Well, I decided to find out.
The Biggest Market Ever
The Internet is the biggest market of consumers there ever was.
There are currently two billion Internet users around the world and that number is projected to jump to 2.7 billion by 2015. That’s more people than any other media source and makes up 40% of the world’s population.
That’s a figure that could make even the most self-restrained marketer salivate. All you need is to get the attention 0.000001% of this market and you’re on a major gravy train, right? Well, not exactly. The perils of working in market that big far outweigh the benefits.
There are approximately 634 million websites on the Internet – 51 million of which were added in 2012 alone. How do you stand out with so much competition?
That’s where SEO comes in…
Don’t operate in a vacuum
If your business doesn’t have a website, it doesn’t exist. In 2013, if your business website isn’t search engine optimized, it doesn’t matter either way.
The first thing most people do before they buy anything, even if it’s offline, is search the Internet. Approximately 89% of consumers look to websites like Google, Bing and Yahoo before making a buying decision. Search engines are the number one source of traffic, beating social media by 300%. For these reasons businesses work very hard to make friends with the likes of Google.
But, it’s not enough to be ranked on Google, if you want to have any kind of impact you’ll need to be on the first page because, and although as much as 61% of people look for products online, only 25% ever go beyond the first page of results.
Give The People What They Want
There are two main reasons people use the internet: To check their emails and to get information.
Although email marketing and search engine optimization is linked, the former is a huge field of study in its own right. SEO is more concerned with the second reason – giving people the information that they’re looking for.
Most of your customers go on the Internet to search for information on a certain topic, which is related to your product or service. They aren’t looking for your business, they aren’t even necessarily looking for products and services like the one you offer. However, if you can be the one to give them the information they’re looking for you’ve instantly proven yourself knowledgeable and reliable, which can be a doorway to a very profitable long-term relationship.
To answer the original question I posed in this article – yes, it really is that important. A good SEO marketing plan can mean the difference between a massive business success and operating with a vacuum.
Need help with your SEO marketing plan? Try a few SEO services on Doublelinx.