Why SEO Is Important to Your Marketing Strategy

If you’re a business owner with an online presence, you’ve been told you need to include SEO in your digital marketing strategy. (If you’re a business owner without an online presence, congratulations on even finding this article!) You’ve probably heard that SEO increases your ranking in search results, boosts traffic and engagement to your site, and can generally perform marketing miracles. While all of this is, broadly, true, it doesn’t hit at the heart of why SEO is so important to marketing your business – after all, there are plenty of ways to try and boost traffic.

Fundamentally, SEO affects every aspect of the user journey from initial impression to site experience. By including quality SEO in your marketing strategy, you ensure that not only will your business be seen – you also make sure what’s there is worth seeing.

Most Customers Use Search Engines

When searching for a new product, service, or information, the vast majority of people turn to an internet search engine–usually, Google. Consider the following:

  • 81% of internet users from ages 16-64 have searched online for a product or service within the past month
  • Searchers averaged 3.4 distinct searches per day
  • 75% of global internet searches are on Google or its affiliated services (Google Images, Google Maps, YouTube, etc.)
  • Only around 2.8% of US users click on paid advertisements

Taken together, this data clearly shows that organic search results, especially on Google, are a major driving force in web traffic. By strengthening your SEO to boost your presence in search results, you meet customers while they are actively searching and motivated to convert.

The Fallibility of Search Engines

Clearly it’s important to appear, ranked highly, on search engine results. Getting there, however, is easier said than done–and is essentially impossible without a strong and adaptable SEO marketing strategy. For instance, Google’s site crawlers look for very specific qualities in a site when determining how it is indexed and ranked, and simple mistakes – having duplicate content, or non-optimized images and URLs – can tank your site’s performance regardless of the quality of your product or service. While Google’s tools have significantly improved in terms of recognizing and rewarding natural keyword variations, for instance, they can still get hung up on seemingly inconsequential oversights. Incorporating SEO at all levels of your site’s design and content strengthens its performance, which in turn can raise its ranking on search results, bringing in more organic traffic.

Long-Term Growth Vs. Short-Term Advertising

If creating and implementing a strong SEO marketing strategy seems like a lot of work, it’s because it is! However, unlike paid advertising that requires a continual stream of funding for short-term returns, great SEO lays a strong foundation that will return dividends far greater than its cost. By including SEO from the ground up with high-quality, relevant content and site optimization, you can continue to get traffic long after posting each article; and continuing to monitor and adjust your site for SEO will build increasing benefits over time.

Better SEO = Better User Experience

So much of the conversation around SEO gets bogged down in technical details that it can be easy to forget the ultimate goal: creating quality content that users will want to click on, and so they will want to stay on your site to learn more. Google is notoriously close-lipped on their exact policies and algorithms for ranking results, but they’re very clear that their main priority is positive user experience. Ultimately, the best and most effective SEO focuses on quality over quantity. You can include your target keywords a thousand times a page, but if your content isn’t providing anything useful, no one will want to read it! By prioritizing SEO in your marketing strategy, you are committing to providing high-quality, relevant content that will answer a user’s need, whether for information, a new product, or a specific service. In turn, this will make your content stand out, attract organic traffic, and lead to higher conversions.