Why SEO Is Important for Business
In 2016, web users conducted over 1.2 trillion searches globally each month. Of the page results elicited from each search, users clicked on organic links 70 percent of the time. To take full advantage of relevant organic searches, search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessary marketing channel in which businesses should invest.
Without prioritizing search engine optimization, businesses may miss out on potential leads and sales opportunities. In fact, a study from Advanced Web Ranking indicated that on the first search result page, more than 67 percent of all clicks went to the top five results, meaning that if your website is not optimized, you may not even be considered by the majority of potential customers.
To further illustrate why SEO is important for businesses, here are three key value-based reasons to invest:
Long-term, increased ROI
A strong foundation in SEO built around the knowledge of your primary consumers will help set your brand up to see long-term gains. Although other marketing channels may garner results more quickly, inbound leads, including those from organic search, cost 61 percent less than outbound lead efforts. Specifically, SEO leads have a 14 percent close rate, which is more than eight times higher than the close rate of outbound leads, according to Search Engine Journal.
Interconnectivity with all marketing channels
SEO should not be siloed from other marketing efforts, since creating a comprehensive strategy helps your site reach overall business goals. Specifically, brands that launch a site redesign without consulting an SEO team on page migration are at risk of losing nearly 40 percent of organic traffic year-over-year within the first five months post-launch. However, collaboration between marketing channels can generate positive results across the board. When Rise’s paid search and SEO channels teamed up to optimize eight landing pages for a healthcare client, organic keywords experienced ranking increases of as many as 137 positions and Quality Scores for pages with improvements increased by 2.5 points on average.
Ability to shift priorities in an ever-changing search landscape
As Google continues to improve its algorithm, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to focus on providing a high-quality site experience for both desktop and mobile users. In the summer of 2016, Google reported that over 50 percent of global search queries were conducted from a mobile device. Shortly after, the search engine announced the roll-out of the mobile-first index. Although this “mobile-first mentality” impacts multiple marketing channels, businesses that are not prioritizing SEO could experience traffic decreases once the update is in full effect.
Other search engine algorithm updates include a continued focus on content that aligns with user intent. This approach will help Google associate your brand with relevant themes or keyword groups as well as increase the likelihood of conversion through improved user experience. When users have a positive experience interacting with your brand online or offline, they are more likely to recommend your products or services. In fact, a study by Esteban Kolsky’s thinkJar found that 72 percent of consumers will share a positive experience with at least six people.
Seeing Success with SEO
Recently, Rise partnered with an educational brand to redesign its website. By taking an SEO-first approach, Rise worked to create a more visually appealing site with a responsive framework that would increase the speed in which users found content, regardless of device.
Before beginning the website redesign, Rise inventoried all of the site’s existing pages and links and observed the organic health of all of those pages. Rise found that there were several links that were no longer functioning and leading to 404 errors. Searchers were finding these pages in search engines and ultimately landing on these dead pages. Stemming from this analysis, Rise was able to identify the following strategies to help improve the site:
- Content strategy - Creating a content strategy helped eliminate page competition and ensure all existing content served a unique purpose. This process was continued after launch to help increase rankings for high-priority keywords and improve user experience.
- Site restructure - In parallel with the consolidation of pages, the structure of the site was re-imagined so that content was categorized into easy-to-explore groups. This helped both users and crawlers understand the relationship among the pages and the site’s content, which increased visibility.
- Site navigation - Modernizing the architecture and design of the site navigation made it clearer and more intuitive for users while making it easier for search engines to crawl content and understand it.
Within eight months, organic traffic to the brand’s site increased by 727 percent. Continuous optimizations have led to further increases in organic traffic and rankings. In March 2017, traffic was up 336 percent year-over-year.
This brand’s success story demonstrates that having a dedicated team focused on improving your website’s SEO can help drive significant results and business opportunities. Keep these key considerations and areas for improvement in mind when making the case for investment.
To learn more about how our approach to search engine optimization can improve your site’s performance and benefit your business, reach out to Rise.