Importance of SEO in Digital Marketing
Importance of SEO in Digital Marketing
SEO is one of the most discussed aspects of digital marketing. Now if you've heard about it, you may wonder; what does SEO mean in digital marketing? Let's get into that right away.
SEO which is an acronym for ‘Search Engine Optimization’ is a part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) that covers all activities aimed at improving a website’s online presence (visibility) such as search engine rankings.
In HubSpot’s ‘Introduction to SEO’ ebook,
search engine optimization (SEO)
refers to techniques that help a website rank higher in organic (natural) search results, thus making the website more visible to people who are looking for a product or service via search engines.
Moz also defines SEO as the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, and exposure to a brand, through non-paid (organic) search engine results. SEO is about giving your target audience what they want in a way that search engines can understand and locate.
SEO includes many searches such as image, local, video, and news. We can categorize into three broad strategies;
On-page SEO includes all SEO strategies done on the website. It includes keyword research, keyword usage, high-quality contents.
Off-page SEO includes all SEO strategies that occur off the website. It includes all external strategies that help build a website’s ranking and relationship with other websites such as back links.
Technical SEO includes indexing site architecture, crawlability, etc.
Often referred to as SERPs, search engine result pages contain SERP features; advertising and organic results. Organic SERP features that can be influenced by SEO are featured snippets and related questions (‘people also ask’).
Search engines use algorithms that consider multiple factors to determine what results should show in SERPs for a search query. These factors include searcher’s location, link quality, webpage content (keywords, tags, etc.), webpage backend code, the historical performance of a listing (bounce rate, traffic, etc.).
The more inbound links a website has, the more authority it has, and the higher the authority of the website your inbound link is coming, the higher your chances of better ranking on SERPs.
Do Small Businesses need SEO?
We cannot overemphasize the importance of SEO in digital marketing for small businesses.
Search engines want to help your potential customers find you because they are designed to do their jobs as best as possible by providing searchers with the most relevant content to their query. It is then necessary to help the search engines help you by fulfilling requirements such as uploading great quality content, improving your user experience; navigation, design, bounce rate, linking your website to/from other credible online resources and ensuring that your site loads as quickly as possible both on mobile and desktop.
It is paramount to optimize your website to ensure that it is user-friendly irrespective of the type of results. The website should give your users the best experience, whether they use mobiles or desktops to access it. You would also
need to avoid too many ads and high bounce rates. Search engines highly frown upon keyword stuffing so use the right keywords but only in moderation to rank highly on SERPs.
Optimizing the content on your website by including properly formatted title tags and meta descriptions is another great way to make the website and its content more relevant for the search engine.
To enjoy the benefits of SEO for small businesses, employ various strategies to improve your website ranking for particular topics and keywords.
Importance of SEO for Small Businesses
At about 3.5 billion searches daily and 1.2 trillion searchers journey worldwide on Google, it has become increasingly clear that search engines are a great place to advertise a business's products and services.
Every business’ website, especially that of small businesses needs to be listed on search engines. Search engines ‘search’ the internet for many contents and make out which of them best answers the searcher's inquiry. To do this, search engines locate and classify all available content uploaded on the internet such as images, videos, news, documents, using a process called ‘crawling and
indexing’ and then arrange the relevant content by how well it matches the search inquiry.
SEO is used to increase a business’s exposure to potential customers on search engines. It helps people that are looking for your business find you easily. Simply being located and displayed on a search engine is not enough for potential customers to find your business. For instance, you own a digital marketing agency in Ikeja and a potential customer starts an inquiry by typing
‘digital marketing agency in Ikeja’, the chances that the customer would find your business if it’s listing is not on the first or second page of SERPs are slim
to none. Since there are other companies and businesses listed on those first two pages, why search any further?
Although paid advertising, social media, etc. increases traffic to the website and can very well help your business appear on the search engine’s first page, SEO remains very important in digital marketing because search engines drive most online traffic. Organic search generates more clicks than paid advertisements. In his article on searchers' behaviour, Rand Fishkin after checking statistics mentioned SEO has 20 times more traffic opportunity than PPC (paid per click)on both mobile and desktop.
Ensuring that your website is optimized is a great way to deliver better information to search engines so that all of your business’ contents can be properly located, crawled, indexed and displayed within the search results.
There are many benefits of SEO in digital marketing. They include;
Implementing strong SEO strategies will boost traffic to your business' website, increasing brand awareness for both potential and old customers.
A tremendous increase in sales
The beauty of SEO is that it puts your business in front of people that are already searching for the product or service you provide. These potential customers are the ones who would make enquiries about your business hence, making sales would require less stress. SEO increases sales through inbound leads, unlike order marketing methods that generate outbound leads (cold calling, cold emailing, etc.).
Improved user experience
Website visitors are more likely to remain on a web page and revisit it if they had an enjoyable experience the first time. User experience is one requirement
Google uses to rank websites on search engines because they want their users to stay longer on the search engines, and the best way to do this is to provide them with high-quality content.
Your website should be both mobile and PC friendly in terms of design, layout, website speed, etc. The more appealing your website is to a user the lower your bounce rate would be and the higher your website can rank on SERPs.
There are basic SEO practices one can handle without being an expert. These little practices such as researching keywords beforehand, using the right meta description, etc. would increase a business’ ranking with search engines. As a beginner to SEO practices, a good place to start would be the Google Search
Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
To get the most from SEO practices, it is ideal to hire an SEO professional or consultant that can take your business to the next level. When picking a good SEO company, it is important to ensure that the best SEO techniques, practices, and strategies that obey search engine rules and provide maximum value based on quality and quantity are being practised. This way, a lot of time and money can be saved and your website would be free from the risk of being de-indexed.
A good SEO strategy when set up correctly would help position your website properly for search engines to locate. This type of search engine marketing can continue to generate traffic and leads over time if done correctly. Good content such as a well-written article with the right keywords and good keyword placement would help your website rank higher, thereby increasing your website traffic and reducing paid advertising needs.
HubSpot’s introduction to SEO eBook
Moz's Beginner's guide to SEO