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Is search engine optimization (SEO) still relevant? This is a question a lot of new businesses struggle with. If the same question were asked two years ago, it would have been a no-brainer. Today, there's so much hype surrounding social media marketing (SMM) that SEO is often pushed aside.
Don't fall for the hype. While it is true that SMM is extremely powerful and equally deserving of your attention, there is no denying that SEO is still the most dominant form of online marketing. It has the potential to drive huge amounts of targeted traffic to your website. In fact, it's only becoming more and more effective as the search process evolves. Social media sites may well never be the preferred method for finding products, prices, or information.
Opinions can always be argued, but there's no arguing with numbers. All statistics are in favor of search engine optimization. Imforza has provided a variety of useful statistics that outline the importance of SEO in this new age of digital marketing. For example, search engines are the number one source of traffic on the internet. Social media is growing in popularity, but is overshadowed by search by more than three times as much.
As a matter of fact, right around 93 percent of all online traffic originates from a search engine. Even if a million people were to visit your business site every day without the use of an SEO campaign, you're still missing out on more than 90 percent of your potential traffic. This number alone should be more than enough to start considering a serious SEO effort.
Around 70 percent of that traffic is controlled by Google alone. While every SEO campaign should target multiple search engines, ignoring Google is a terrible mistake. Google is the centerpiece of most SEO campaigns.
They implement organic and paid search results (paid listings are incorporated in SEM), but 70 percent of all links clicked on search engines are organic results. Most people completely ignore the paid results. Search engine marketing or PPC marketing in the paid listings isn't a bad idea, but the results won't ever compare to what's possible with organic SEO marketing.
Of course, the ranking of the organic results is extremely important. The goal of most campaigns is to climb this ranking ladder and reach the top. Most people do not browse beyond the first page of search results. Nearly 20 percent of organic clicks on Google are for the very first result. The third organic listing gets about seven percent of clicks. The number continues to dwindle the lower in the listings you go. Only 25 percent of users scroll beyond the first page.
Every business has their own specific goals when it comes to launching an SEO campaign. However, at their core, they want to generate leads and turn those into sales. There are many different online marketing methods to accomplish this. If you were to compare them based on their ROI alone, then SEO would reign supreme.
Other marketing methods cost money and the same could be said for SEO, but unlike those other marketing methods, SEO almost guarantees a significant return on every penny you spend. With other marketing techniques you could invest money, but not quite hit the mark and it results in money loss. It's very hard to actually lose money with SEO simply because of the huge volume of traffic that goes through the engine.
It could be possible to lose money by making a significant investment into keywords that don't generate traffic. However, this rarely happens for several reasons. If you're using a professional SEO firm, then they have the tools to know what keywords are trending and what words to avoid. You can download and use these same tools yourself to better judge where to spend your money.
The ROI for search engine optimization is greater than PPC, SMM, or email marketing. What's even better is that the number continues to climb the higher your site climbs in the rankings. Reaching the top three spots is usually the first milestone for most companies. That's when the conversions start to occur on a consistent basis. Climbing from third rank to second almost doubles the number of clicks and volume of incoming traffic. It increases once again if you reach the #1 spot.
If you don't have an existing SEO campaign, then your website traffic might seem pretty flat at times. Other marketing efforts can bring occasional spikes to your traffic, which is really great, but it's nothing around the clock. SEO delivers traffic 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Why? Because people are always turning to their phones or computers to search for information. They might be searching for products to accomplish a task, reviews to see what's best, information on a subject they care about, or even current events in the media. When they want to know something they turn to search engines like Google.
This is a phenomena observed all of the time around the entire globe. You might not have invested in SEO in six months or more, yet you're still going to get a constant supply of traffic as long as you remain on that front page of search results. With other marketing techniques, you tend to see boosts in traffic around the time of investment.
Chances are, you're selling a product or service that someone out there really wants. They might not know that you have it though because they have no idea who you are or what your business is about. If you want to be discovered and connected to these people, then you need to take advantage of a common medium between the two of you.
You need to find a place where they visit frequently and you can be waiting for them. Similar in theory to posting an advertisement on a billboard in the middle of a highly-populated city. That is exactly what a search engine does for you in a digital sense. Use SEO to place yourself right in front of your target audience without seeming “salesy”, pushy, or invasive.