When I first hopped into the digital marketing world, I thought I would never be able to master SEO (search engine optimization). Initially, I used to think that SEO is done through coding.
But soon, as I excelled in the subject I realized that it is not as tough as I thought it would be. At the same time, I also came to know that without SEO building a website is futile. Every website needs SEO, no matter how new or old it is!
A survey done by UpCity revealed that 44% of businesses already have an SEO strategy in place to grow their business organically. While 34% of businesses are set to adopt a winning SEO master plan going forward in 2022.
This further simplifies that a decade ago business owners were not aware of the importance of SEO. Over time, businesses have started incorporating a dedicated plan for perking up their website optimization.
Almost two years, the world was hit by the terror of Covid-19. It was an extremely devastating situation across the globe. Many offline businesses were shut down during that phase. But the online businesses experienced the least impact, at least they were earning a little from the internet even then.
After getting the hit, the offline companies realized that irrespective of their location and industry, they too need to go online in this digital era. Due to the fear of getting wiped out, thousands of companies registered themselves post-pandemic in North America alone.
In this article, I will walk you through Search Engine Optimization and why it will be necessary for your business growth forever.
What is SEO?
The full form of SEO is Search Engine Optimization. To put it in simple words, SEO means to rank a website on a search engine for a particular keyword (s). Through, SEO the visibility of a website increases for specific keywords.
The entire concept of SEO is based on finding a relevant keyword (s) and optimizing the web pages for it. So, whenever a user searches that keyword on Google, Bing, or other SEs your website gets discovered.
SEO is a lengthy game and needs consistent efforts from digital marketers. On average, it takes at least 3 months to rank a website for keywords with less difficulty in comparison to competitive keywords which can take an average of 6 months to rank on the first three pages of Google.
There are many factors that influence the ranking of a website on search engines. If you take all those factors into consideration while writing content for your website, your website will anytime rank above your competitors.
How Does SEO Work?
So, you want to know how SEO works!
We will understand this by taking the example of Google as it is the largest SE out there. SEO is a universal technique and is applied on various other engines the same way it is done on Google.
Google uses its crawler known as Googlebot to read web pages. If a webpage (it could be an article or other form of web content) fulfills all the requirements which bots are looking for, the webpage gets indexed into Google’s library (database).
When a user searches a query in Google, the search engine try finding the right answer to it from its library. The final results are then displayed on the search engine. In the top result, there are websites that fulfill hundreds of Google’s requirements. The lower the rank of a website for a particular search query the lesser requirements it meets.
These requirements are nothing but Google’s guidelines which all the websites hosted over its platform need to follow religiously.
Likewise, Bing uses Binbot and Yahoo uses Slurpbot to read the content published on websites or web pages. The rest of the procedure is just the same with a few exceptions.
Why Is SEO Important for Businesses?
If you are running an online business you should have a website. But if you don’t have one it is better to get it ready at the earliest. Otherwise, you will lose business that might be coming your way.
Before doing SEO for your business it is important to understand why SEO is important for every business today and will remain the same for the years to come.
Reasons that explain the importance of SEO in 2022 and beyond are as follows:
Organic Search is the Ideal Source of Traffic
For most businesses, search engine optimization is the driving force. More than half of the traffic that companies garner is organic.
There are tons of websites competing for a single keyword. Websites that optimize their web content accurately are the ones that get the highest ranking on the search engines for different queries.
For a query, Google’s first page captures 71% of the total traffic which could even go up to 91%, some industry expert says. Following this, the second page only gets near about 10% of organic traffic on a search query.
Moreover, a well-researched report revealed that 25% of people click on the very first result that Google displays. Imagine the amount of traffic you can get if you are ranking on the first page for some of the most competitive keywords in your industry. It’s insane!
SEO is not just for today. It is a process that will keep you on the top of the table always, you just have to be consistent. By any means, if you stop optimizing your website as per Google’s SEO guidelines, your ranking will come down within a few days.
The more competitive the keywords are the more strong your SEO strategy should be. If you are loyal to SEO, the search engines will give you an enormous amount of traffic every single day, followed by leads, sales and revenue generation.
SEO Builds Trust & Credibility
SEO simply means optimizing the website according to search engine guidelines. And if your website is meeting all the search engine requirements, a good ranking is assured.
When your website is ranking among the top results, it automatically intrigues your customers to trust. They will not have any reason to not to trust you and whatever you are offering online.
SEO Improves User Experience
Every online marketer dreams to increase the user experience of the website visitors. The search engines like it when you treat your website visitors the way they should be treated. User experience is one of those factors that SEOs take care of for achieving a higher rank.
Hence, SEO automatically improves the UX. The experience of users is determined by website speed, mobile-friendly interface, visual and typographical hierarchies, proper navigation, visible fonts, and a clear CTA to name a few.
Google and other search engines value those websites which take care of the users. Therefore, if you want to make a user-friendly website then start following the SEO guidelines, it will surface on its own.
SEO Brings Endless Traffic, Engagement and Leads
Is there any website that doesn’t need traffic? No! We all know every website needs traffic to survive. The traffic brings a lot of perks along with it. From engagement to leads, the benefits of SEO are unlimited.
Even if you are a small-sized business and with solid SEO you manage to drive organic traffic to your website. It could bring you inbound leads which later can be converted into sales. The inbound leads are a thousand times better than the cold outreach (outbound marketing).
One-time lead generation is no business. To be able to do a profitable business you need leads single day and SEO can help you achieve this business objective. With SEO, you will never fall short of traffic, leads and sales.
SEO Builds Domain Authority
Whenever I make a new website and start publishing content on it, Google takes the time to trust me. Google ecosystem works similarly to our society. Do you entertain the new people in your neighborhood the same way you interact with people who have been living since near next to your house? No, we take time to create a bond with our new neighbors.
Likewise, when you just start a new SEO-driven website, Google and other search engines take time to recognize it. During the initial month, you can even face the problem of non-indexing.
But as time will pass and you will continue to impress Google with your SEO-optimized content.
After a certain point, your website will start ranking, at least for the less competitive keywords.
After a year of continuous optimization, the search engines will increase your domain authority.
An increased DA has its own benefits –
- You will get higher SERP positions
- You will get more engagement
- Advertisers will come to you
- You will generate more leads
- Your conversion rate will improve
SEO is Cheaper than Paid Marketing
One of the major problems that small and medium businesses face is the advertising budget. Running paid campaigns on Google and social media is a costly affair. A company that is short on funds cannot afford to run paid advertisements.
In such a case, search engine optimization is the best way to reach out to your customers. It is true that SEO won’t get you immediate results. But in the future, when you will start getting traction, the need to run ads will shrink away without even trying.
I would suggest you invest in SEO from the very start, 6 months down the line you will yield impressive results (if SEO is done perfectly).
SEO Builds Long-Term Brand Equity
Let us suppose, you are running a paid campaign for a month. You will spend heavily on it, the money is gone. People will remember you till they will see your ads. After the campaign ends, your audience is also gone. During this period, if you will be lucky enough, you will get some leads and only a few of them will actually convert.
However, on the other hand, search engine optimization can help your business generate hundreds of quality leads at a fraction of the cost that you have spent on an advertisement campaign.
Also, the organic lead generation campaign powered by SEO will not stop early. It will go on for months and even years to come. Search engine optimization is best if you want to build long-term brand equity for your business.
So, these were some reasons that make SEO an important affair for businesses. Whether new or old, small or big every business should practice SEO and the results will overcome all business-related fears. Trust me!
What are Different Types of SEO?
There are 3 types of SEO practices namely Technical SEO, On-Page SEO, and Off-Page SEO. All of them are important for your business website to rank on various search engines. All 3 types of search engine optimization practices are explained below:
As the name suggests, technical SEO is related to the technical aspects of a website. It majorly includes the crawling and indexing of the website or web pages. The main objective of technical SEO is to ensure that a website gets crawled and indexed by the search engine bots without any hassle.
Important Technical SEO Guidelines You Must Follow:
- Analyze and optimize robots.txt so that Google can index all the important pages & categories of your website.
- Submit and verify your website in Google Search Console.
- Create the XML sitemap of your website and submit it to Google Search Console
- Make sure that the structure of your site and URL are well optimized
- Make sure your website design is SEO-friendly
- Optimize the speed of your website for both desktop and mobile
On-page SEO is all about making your website accessible, and readable to the search engines and audience. It is the second most important type of SEO which if left untouched, the ranking will become a long-lost game. On-page optimization is done on page level basis. The better you will optimize each of your website’s pages (Homepage, Articles, FAQs, Services or Products) the better will be chances to rank at the top.
Important On-Page Guidelines You Must Follow:
- Optimize the Page Titles
- Optimize the H1 Tag
- Optimize the Subheadings (H2, H3, H4 Tags)
- Optimize the Images with Alt Text
- Make sure the page formatting is right. Google hates when you write, copy and paste on your website without proper formatting. The fonts should be well aligned and readable.
The off-page SEO comes last on the list. But that does not mean that it has less value. The off-page optimization actually means promoting your website on the internet. It is used to make the website popular. A popular website is more trusted and ranked well by Google and search engines.
Important SEO Guidelines You Must Follow:
- You must concentrate on building quality backlinks. Apart from ranking, it helps to improve website authority.
- Through guest posts and interacting with your target audience on popular forums you can actually promote your website and build a brand out of it.
Why Your Online Business Needs SEO Forever?
I hope by now you have understood why SEO is important for businesses in 2022 and how you can leverage it.
Now, we will discuss why your business needs SEO forever!
If you have started a business, I am sure it is not for the short term. Every business starts with the motive of continuing it forever. So is the case with you. Say that I am right!
Hence, your business website (s) needs to be optimized according to the search engine guidelines forever.
If you are not a fan of organic traffic, inbound marketing, organic leads and a system that generates revenue continuously. That’s the story of another universe!
But if you want all this to happen with you and your business day and night, all the time, SEO is a must for your business.
It does not matter what niche your business is into. If it is online, it simply needs to be optimized. You can still survive by skipping paid campaigns to promote your business. But if you are ignoring all three types of SEO practices that I have explained above, you are already on the wrong track!
Your website’s technical and on-page optimization should be perfect. The initial efforts for making your website worth visiting should be on these two aspects of SEO. The off-page optimization comes last when you have the other two aspects in place.
Search engine optimization is the driving force that makes a website stand out in the competitive market. Every business is trying their luck hard with SEO techniques, trying to get the first rank for the keywords that matters to their business.
If you are not taking SEO seriously, you will lack organic traffic, brand awareness, quality business leads, conversions and income. I guess you don’t want this to happen with your business at any point in time. Yes?
So, what you are waiting for?
Start implementing SEO practices to reach the ideal audience at the right time. And if you are already engaged in SEO, see what new things are happening in it and how you can apply to improve the rankings of all the pages on your website.