Advice for folks launching a second career as a solo entrepreneur
If you’re looking to create long-term brand awareness, expand your target audiences and earn more revenue, then search engine optimization is crucial. Let’s look at 10 significant benefits of SEO for your business, and how you can realize them.
1. It Boosts Your Credibility
A site that ranks high on search engine results pages is typically considered high-quality and trustworthy by search engines, and this, in turn, boosts the credibility of your business. Spend time improving and adding content to your site, increasing your site speed and researching keywords to help your site rank even higher.
2. It Doesn’t Have to Cost You Anything
Apart from time if you handle it yourself, SEO does not cost anything like other marketing strategies such as pay-per-click. Search engines crawl your site 24/7, promoting useful content and helping you find new customers organically. To make the most of your SEO efforts, allocate some of your time to reviewing the content on higher ranking sites within your niche, and aim to write content that’s better than theirs. Then, share your content on your social platforms.
3. It Supports Content Marketing
Original content and SEO work hand in hand; by creating helpful content for visitors, including text, images and videos, your site will rank better in search results. But SEO can support your content marketing efforts too. Make sure that your content is high quality and optimized for keywords you want to rank for, and since search engines like freshness, update your content regularly.
Unpaid (SEO) and paid marketing strategies (PPC) work fantastically well together. PPC helps your site appear at the top of paid search results, while SEO does the same thing organically. Having both results appear at the top of the search engine results page boosts your brand’s credibility and shows that you are not merely throwing money at advertising to be on top. You can use SEO to maximize your PPC campaigns — for example, a high-ranking page may do even better if you use it as part of PPC advertising, especially if the keyword has a low cost-per-click.
5. It Gives You a Competitive Advantage
Your competitors will likely be investing in SEO, which means you should too. Those who invest heavily in SEO often outrank the competition in search engine results and gain market share. If you consider that results on the first page of a Google search, get over 90% of traffic, you cannot afford not to be there, especially if your competitors are. Start by identifying your competitors, analysing their strengths and weaknesses, and creating and managing your online reputation. Then, ensure that your site loads fast and is mobile-friendly, make the best content possible, and focus on providing the best user experience.
6. It Can Help You Reach More People
While many marketing campaigns tend to focus on a defined target audience, SEO can help you attract anyone with intent at a given point in time, no matter what stage of the buying funnel they are in. If you target keywords rather than demographics as you might with PPC or social advertising, you can attract more prospects who may be interested in doing business with you.
Create a list of keywords you would like to rank for. Then, use keyword research tools to expand it. Finally, use competitive research to refine your list by identifying who your competitors are, what keywords they are ranking for and where they have backlinks, and use this information to create a better SEO strategy.
7. It Helps You Rank Better in Local Searches
Local searches such as “plumbers near me” are becoming more common. And nearly 80% of local searches on mobile lead to conversions. Local SEO strategies can help you attract these searchers who are often ready to buy. The first step to getting started with local SEO strategies is creating a Google My Business account. Then, start requesting reviews from your clients. Optimize your listings by ensuring that you have the correct name, address and phone number. Also be sure to optimize your listing for voice search, which means writing rich, compelling content in a conversational tone that answers most common queries and provides solutions to searchers’ problems. Some other steps include carefully considering your local keywords and creating listings in local business directories.
8. It Improves Website Usability
SEO is about making your site search engine-friendly, but it also can improve the experience a customer has when visiting your website. If you put the work in to generate useful and high-quality content, make your site faster and more responsive, add backlinks and enhance every page, you typically get an excellent website in addition to one that’s optimized for search engines. Factors that improve usability include a robust site structure and navigation, both of which are factors in how search engines rank a site.
9. You Get Quantifiable Results
With SEO, you can track changes in rankings, conversions and website traffic. Platforms like Google Analytics provide a comprehensive suite of information, allowing you to drill down to an incredibly granular level. For example, you can see every website user’s buying journey — including the pages they engaged with, the keywords they used to search and whether they completed specific actions. You can use these insights to adjust and improve your SEO strategy.
10. It Improves User Engagement Rates
An optimized site brings in quality traffic. If you have a site with useful content that matches the searcher’s intent, they will likely spend more time browsing, which ultimately can lead to more conversions and increased ROI. Customers who engage longer with a website tend to connect to the brand more — this can lead to customer advocacy and long-term revenue. To improve your user engagement rate, use one of the many online tools to audit your site, and then optimize things like your title and meta tags. Also, ensure that you’re providing a safe and mobile-friendly website.
SEO has major benefits for websites and can lead to long-term exponential growth. Brands that invest in SEO can build credibility and trust with audiences, making it a pivotal part of a digital marketing strategy.