Before you throw in the towel and declare that ‘SEO is dead’. Think again. Yes, it is harder to build referral traffic from Google and competition is indeed getting tougher now. However, a well-thought search engine optimisation (SEO) is still one of the most scalable and cost-effective investments for online marketing.

 Let us show you why.

SEO will boost your company’s credibility

A site that ranks high on search engine results pages (SERP) is considered high-quality and trustworthy by search engines. This, in turn, boosts the credibility of your business. Organic traffic represents 51% of all traffic to websites. This fact alone shows how important SEO is to your business.

 

SEO is free

It doesn’t cost you anything to invest in SEO organically, other than your time. To make the most of your efforts, review the content on higher ranking sites within your niche, and aim to craft content that’s better than theirs.

 

SEO complements content marketing

When original content and SEO work together by creating helpful content for your visitors including text, images, and videos, your site will rank better in search results. Make sure your content is high quality and optimised for keywords you want to rank for.

SEO maximises PPC campaigns

Pay-per-click (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 pages will boost your brand’s credibility. Use SEO to maximise 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 (CPC).

Helps You Reach More People

Many marketing campaigns tend to focus on a defined target audience, but SEO helps you to attract anyone with intent, 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 media advertising), you can attract more prospects who may be interested in doing business with you.

Gives You a Competitive Advantage

Your competitors will likely be investing in SEO, which means you should too. Sites that appear on the first page of a Google search get 90% of traffic, you cannot afford not to be there, especially if your competitors are. User experience also contributes to your SEO rankings, ensure that your site loads fast and is mobile-friendly.

SEO Helps You Rank Better in Local Searches

More people are doing searches on their mobile phones for “locations near me”. Nearly 80% of local searches done on mobile, lead to conversions. Local SEO strategies can help you attract these searchers who are often ready to buy. If you don’t have any local SEO strategy in place, start with a Google My Business account. Thereafter, get reviews from your clients and optimise your listings by ensuring that you have the correct company name, address, and phone number in place. If possible, optimise your listings for voice search (which means writing rich compelling content in a conversational tone). Include local keywords and create listings in local business directories.

SEO Improves Website Usability

SEO isn’t only about making your site search-engine friendly, but it can also improve the user experience. Factors that can improve website usability and search engine optimisation include a robust site structure and navigation, useful content, site responsiveness, and high-quality backlinks.

Measurable 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 the insights to adjust and improve your SEO strategy.

SEO Improves User Engagement Rates

When your website is optimised for SEO, you’ll most likely have a site with useful content that matches the searcher’s intent, they will likely spend more time browsing which can lead to more conversions and increased ROI. Customers who engage longer with a website tend to connect to the brand more, enabling customer advocacy and long-term revenue.

 

Google’s Algorithm Ranking Factors

Google does not reveal its top-ranking factors, so your guess is as good as mine when it comes to this. Having said that, here’s a list of the ranking factors that you can pay close attention to (according to SEO expert, Neil Patel):

Page speed: Google updates with page speed might affect you if your website is slow to load because slow websites offer a poor user experience.

Content relevance: Although you shouldn’t stuff your website with keywords, you should use some relevant keywords and create relevant content around those terms.

Site design: Your website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Link quality: If you want to rank on Google, then ensure you only link to informative, relevant content. Irrelevant links may be affected.

Mobile-friendliness: Google uses the mobile version of your website for ranking and indexing, which means “mobile-friendliness” is a ranking factor.

HTTPS status: Generally, Google prefers secure websites since they’re more trustworthy. HTTPS is more secure than HTTP, so having an SSL certificate can help your ranking.

User engagement: Finally, Google might affect websites with high bounce rates, and few return visitors because the pages may be low quality.

Another factor to consider alongside SEO is the on-page user experience as changes in Google’s algorithm are simply beyond our control. In May 2021, Google has rolled out a new set of signals called Core Web Vitals. What are they exactly?

They are a set of standardised metrics from Google that help developers understand how users experience a web page. While core web vitals are created for developers, these tools can be used by all site owners because they break down the user’s real-world experience on a page. These metrics fall under:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures loading performance – to provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.

First Input Delay (FID): Measures interactivity – pages should have FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability – pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.

Three Pillars of Core Web Vitals-90 Degrees Asia 

Source: SEMRUSH

Holistic SEO Approach

While there’s no need to track every single tweak Google makes to its algorithm, it’s crucial to track core updates, so you can adapt your SEO strategy accordingly. Here’s how you can do that: 

  1. Set up a Google alert for algorithm changes. With Google alerts, you’ll be notified whenever algorithm updates are mentioned online and start preparing for the changes as soon as possible.
  2. If you have a Twitter account, follow Google Search Liaison. This official account notifies followers of core algorithm updates. Google alerts don’t work on social media, so following this account gives you another way to track any mentions of algorithm changes.
  3. Use Google Analytics to help you spot changes to the algorithm. It can help you identify unusual fluctuations in traffic and conversions. You can assess if your site performance is affected in some way, by an algorithm change.

 

So Why Your Business Needs SEO?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all optimisation solution, every strategy for Google search varies. Google ranking factors are a vague outline of what you must keep in mind. Benchmark your business against your top competitors. See what works for them and what is the competitive edge of their strategy. 

  • Do they invest in an extensive FAQ section?
  • Do they post a new industry article of 1,500-plus words five times a week?
  • Do they have a huge social media following that brings them a lot of site traffic?
  • Do they often sponsor local events that get coverage in local news blogs?

Learn whatever their winning tactic may be and make it work for your campaigns. In a nutshell, SEO brings 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. If you’d like to know more about SEO planning for your business, feel free to contact our SEO specialist for a non-obligatory chat.

References:

https://neilpatel.com/blog/the-ultimate-google-algorithm-cheat-sheet/

https://twitter.com/searchliaison

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