Go to any blog, article, or whitepaper about digital marketing, and you will surely read about the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in marketing a business.
For those who haven’t heard about SEO, it is an elaborate process with multiple elements to take care of. Understanding the multiple factors of SEO and how they work is the code for understanding what is SEO and why is it important for your business.
The short answer to why SEO is important for business is that it helps your website be more visible on Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
This surge in visibility leads to more organic traffic on your website, which further leads to more conversion and thus more revenue.
Apart from that, SEO is also a viable tool to build your brand name, connect with your target audience, and get recognized as a subject matter expert in your field of business.
With that, let us talk more about what is SEO and its impact on your business.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization that is nothing but an assembly of processes that aim to optimize your website’s content for better SERP ranking organically.
SEO has two main objectives one is to help you understand user intent ie; knowing the type of search queries your target audience is searching for that help you create great content that connects with your audience.
Secondly, it empowers you to build an SEO friendly website, designed to make sure that search engines can easily find it, index it, and interpret the content in it.
The principles of SEO also encourage you to make your website more user-friendly, that is responsive, and works fast.
Why is SEO Important for businesses?
Unlike the popular myth, SEO is not some sort of magical solution to suddenly give a boost to your business.
It is a sustainable process of digital marketing that helps your business attract your target audience and attain high-quality leads.
According to Hubspot, SEO is the biggest source for gaining quality leads to 60% of marketers. With SEO, you can easily enhance the online visibility of your business, establish your brand name and business credibility, get more web traffic, and more.
Now that you know What is SEO and why SEO is important for business , let us talk about the crucial elements of SEO, without which the entire process is incomplete.
The Important Elements of SEO
SEO is a process that involves various elements that come together to drive your online marketing. Out of all of them, below are the most important components of SEO that you need to get right.
Not just SEO but understanding who your target audience is and their needs are the basis of any marketing strategy.
Undertaking an advanced audience analysis will give you the details of where and how to find the audience that is most likely to purchase your product or service.
Additionally, audience analysis will allow you to tell your target audience what they want to know while establishing your brand as the right source to find that information.
As a result, your brand name will be established as an authority figure in your industry.
As you understand who your target audience is, the next step is to conduct keyword research.
In SEO, knowing what your target audience is searching for on search engines, the solution to their problems, their exact search terms (these will be your keywords), and the types of content that people like to consume is essential.
Once you figure out the answers to these questions, i.e; find your focus and target keywords, you will be able to easily connect with your target audience and convert them into paying customers
If you want to learn how to search for keywords effectively, check out this step by step guide on Keyword Research
Finding the intent behind the search terms used by your target audience will help your SEO campaign immensely.
Supposedly, you run an eCommerce business for electronic home appliances and you want to run an SEO campaign specifically to sell more ceiling fans.
With basic keyword research, you are aware that your target audience usually searches for ‘affordable ceiling fans’ as their primary search term.
However, during a deeper research process, you find out that people are also searching for ‘difference between a ceiling fan and table fan’, ‘ best features of ceiling fans’, etc.
These search terms give you deeper insights into whether the search intent of your audience is to find information or a buying decision or anything else.
Knowing what users are looking for which will empower you to create content that answers the search intent query.
There is no SEO without content, I would go as far as to say that there is no marketing without it.
Content is the central part of anything related to online marketing and is used to connect with and engage target audiences.
Let’s take the example of our home appliance’s eCommerce site. Using content as a vehicle, you can create blogs about electric appliances such as best brands for ceiling fans, the most important features of a microwave oven, how to use certain appliances, home eco-tips, and more.
When a person researching for home appliances, looking for that information finds your blogs, you would be able to connect with prospects while answering their questions.
Once the time comes for them to make a purchasing decision, your website would be the first one that would matter.
Keep in mind that your content needs to be fresh, should be interesting, and must provide value to your audience.
The different types of content that you can create include, web content, blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, videos, images, infographics, and more.
On-page SEO’s main objective is to guide the search engine crawlers with correct signals which will help them understand the content and context behind it.
Bear in mind that as advanced as they are, search engines do not read or understand the content as a human being would, so they look for signals to figure out the meaning and content of the webpage.
At this point, you will deal with the layout of the website, keywords, optimizing headers and subheaders of the content, internal linking, SEO for images, and more.
Search Engine Bots crawl these signals to understand the meaning of the page, index the web page accordingly which ultimately leads to higher website ranking on SERPs.
In addition, following the On-Page SEO best practices, you can boost the user-friendliness of your website and improve your domain authority.
Learn more about what is on-page SEO and how you can implement in this detailed guide to on-page SEO
Off-Page SEO, also known and link building is another important way for you to improve your website rankings.
Google or any other search engines look at external links connecting to your website as a signal of trust and authority.
For example, if a well-known brand of ceiling fans (let us say Havells) hyperlinks your website as an official seller of their products.
This will not only legitimize your business as an official seller of Havells’ appliances but will improve your ranking every time someone searches for that brand name.
So, the more high-quality backlinks you have the better are your search engine ranking.
If your ranking is positively impacted when a well known or trusted site offers you a backlink, the opposite of it is true as well.
That means, your ranking will be adversely affected if you pay for the backlinks, the backlinks are from article directories or any other unethical sources.
Read this blog about what are backlinks in SEO and how to get more backlinks to learn more.
The Technical SEO, as the name suggests, has little to do with the actual content of your website. It is not associated with Off-page SEO either.
Technical SEO deals with the backend configurations of your website that makes it easier for search engines to do their job.
Some of the many elements of Technical SEO include maintaining site speed, integrating schema markups, post link formats, canonicalization of links, and more.
There are chances that once you set up the technical SEO elements, you might never have to look at them again.
However, if you don’t set up everything as to how it is supposed to be, it can impact your SEO rankings negatively.
Learn Technical SEO from this complete guide.
Did you know, 52.2% of the global website traffic comes from mobile phones and more than half of it has local intent.
Local SEO is a part of SEO that concentrates on optimizing the website that is easily found in local intent searches. The most important distinction between normal search and local searches is the inclusion of words such as ‘near me’, pharmacies in [city name], and more.
Local SEO is essentially a planning process that emphasizes informing the potential customers about the local brick-and-mortar businesses and inviting them over with customized content that focuses on local activities.
The elements of Local SEO are essentially not that different from normal SEO, you still have to conduct keyword research, create custom content, make the site user-friendly, etc, just focusing it on local.
Additionally, Local SEO best practices include local directory listing, location-specific website pages, registering to Google My Business, and more. Getting these important local SEO elements will empower you to outperform the competition in mobile SERPs.
Check out my Local SEO Guide for more details on what is local SEO and its importance..
SEO vs SEM
Search Engine Marketing, also known as SEM, attributes to the plan of paid marketing. The various categories that fall under SEM include native Ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, Google Shopping Ads, and more.
Basically, it is you paying search engines and social media to boost the process of reaching your target audience and getting them to your website.
To be fair, paid marketing will not be really considered as a part of SEO because SEO is for organic growth and SEM is inorganic.
However, both essentially are doing the job of helping you find and connect with the right target audience.
That being said, for any business that wants to be accessible online,
SEO is still of vital importance. So, all the hard work will eventually pay off.
Additionally, SEO can help your company achieve a variety of goals, including brand recognition, an increase in organic traffic, higher conversion rate, better user engagement, and more.
Thus, SEO has many benefits and that’s why SEO is important in digital marketing.