What are the benefits of SEO?
Why should you work with an SEO agency or consultant?
Every minute of every day, we use search engines to find information, from where to buy some new trainers to how to cook that recipe we saw on TV last night.
It is this scale of use that makes search marketing such an opportunity. If you have an audience, chances are they are using search engines to find products or services like yours.
Why SEO is important for business
Whether you are a startup, a local business or a global brand, if you operate online you want more traffic.
SEO is important because organic search traffic is one of the largest, and most valuable, marketing channels at your disposal. You want to be there whenever someone searches for the information you have to offer.
In fact, some studies show that despite the increase in paid and social traffic, plus long-time stalwarts such as email, organic search accounts for 51% of all website traffic.
Organic traffic is crucial for getting qualified (they searched for what you offer) leads to your site and keeping your sales funnel full of potential customers looking for just what you want to sell. SEO is an ‘inbound’ form of marketing, appealing to your audience only when they need you.
The majority of customers research product or service options online before making a decision. Getting in front of these potential customers as they search is vital for them to consider you.
Google shows results based on what it thinks will be the most helpful information for you, but in most cases, the sites don’t appear there by accident. They used SEO to help search engines know that they are a credible resource.
This ‘free’ traffic can also be one of the most profitable traffic sources available. Thanks to how SEO works, the better you start doing with some of your SEO targets, the easier it can then become to spread your footprint and target other searches.
There are dozens of statistics on the power of SEO, but some of the key benefits of SEO are:
- Over 1 billion people use Google search every month
- 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby will visit within a day
- SEO has 20x more traffic opportunity than PPC, with over 71% of searches resulting in a click on organic results
- SEO delivers long-term and (when done well) sustainable organic search traffic from the search engines. It also works in harmony with other channels, such as email, social media, digital PR and of course PPC
Get your SEO right, and your site can start earning more traffic and revenue than ever before.
Rather the paid-for pay-per-click (PPC) traffic, such as from Google Ads, organic traffic is ostensibly free and often the result of creating a helpful website with excellent content and usability. Sites optimised for SEO will load faster and have better content – and great user experience means higher conversion rates for any channel and increased brand loyalty.
Do we need SEO?
Working out where you need SEO help can be a daunting question.
It’s a multi-layered and cross-discipline approach, often with technical complexities, plus its internal jargon can make it seem impenetrable.
However, SEO shouldn’t be looked at with fear – and part of the sign of a good SEO is being able to translate those complexities into meaningful actions and results.
And when it comes to if you need SEO, it can be more straightforward.
If you want more traffic, in particular, organic traffic, you need SEO. Unless you want to leave it to the search engines, or your competitors, to decide how you perform. And they are looking to invest in SEO; Some forecasts predict that SEO-related marketing services spending in the US will be worth $80 billion by 2020.
Whether you don’t understand SEO, or simply don’t have the time to learn all it’s intricacies yourself, it is difficult to argue against the value SEO can bring to your website.
Should I hire an SEO company?
Is it worth hiring an SEO agency or consultant?
Even if you establish that SEO is a good opportunity for your site or business, you might not want to hire an external expert to help you.
One common question in those looking into SEO is “can I do it myself?”.
The answer is yes – you definitely can. There are thousands of excellent resources online to educate yourself, plus plenty of training courses from experts where you can learn how to optimise a site.
The question instead is “should I do SEO myself?”.
SEO can involve restructuring your site, creating new content, research your market and audience, editing code and adding markup, link building and PR plus coming up with a strategy to put all these together.
You should ask yourself:
- Do I have the capacity, or even the inclination, to learn all this?
- Is this the best use of my time, or would concentrating on doing what I do best and running my business or department generate more success?
If you lack the time and technical expertise to do the work yourself, you can either employ someone in-house or hire an experienced, reliable SEO consultant.
Hiring a new member of your team to look after SEO can be an excellent way to help your site. It comes with the usual advantages and disadvantages of expanding your team, and only you know if you are in a position to hire someone and provide them with the training and trust needed to make such a role a success.
Ultimately, every site should take responsibility for its SEO, and not rely on someone else to completely control their SEO fortunes.
However, if you are not in a position (yet!) to hire internally, hiring an external agency, consultant or freelancer can be a fantastic solution to getting you your SEO efforts up to scratch. In fact, many larger businesses successfully mix an internal team with an SEO agency to provide the capacity and/or expertise needed, giving both the knowledge and access of employees with the advantages of an external resource.