I work with a lot of SMEs, many of which have faced significant financial challenges in the last few years due to Covid and the increasing economic instability. SEO is an area that comes under scrutiny when deciding budgets as it’s not as easily measurable as some other channels which offer instant gratification.
Many forms of digital advertising offer the chance to ‘dial up’ leads in a fairly short space of time. Business owners may understandably therefore be wondering if newer channels such as Instagram or Tik Tok could offer a better return for their business. However, SEO is a long-term investment because a good SEO presence can have an everlasting effect on your business.
Here’s why I believe SEO is still highly relevant in 2023:
1. Increases Organic Traffic
Recent statistics show that SEO still drives over a thousand times more traffic than organic social media.1
Organic traffic from SEO is important because it’s targeted. Users visiting your website from a search engine’s organic results have a very specific query. If you provide the best answer in the eyes of the search engine, then you’re more likely to get noticed and attract traffic. If you don’t, then someone else will. Additionally, if you can provide users with a solution or answer to their question, they’ll be more likely to convert to a sale.
2. Offers Impressive ROI
Search engine leads offer an impressive close rate in comparison to traditional marketing.
Predicted return on investment for SEO in 2023 for industries such as financial services, is over 1000%2. Marketers and business owners should be aware, however, that there will be a time lag before SEO starts producing a return on investment. But, once it comes to fruition, their efforts will pay dividends.
If your website ranks outside of page one, leads will likely be non-existent. Remember, the first organic listing on Google receives a 33% share of all search traffic.3
3. Improves Credibility and Trust
When people search for relevant keywords and phrases, they should find your company at the top of the search results. A higher ranking can indicate you’re a credible resource. When users go on your website and find helpful material, it serves to build trust.
This is particularly relevant to companies operating in local markets who have the chance to make their mark in specific geographical areas, for example plumbers, builders, and tradespersons. And yet, a survey conducted in late 2022 showed that over half of small to medium sized business still don’t have an SEO strategy.4
4. Improves Brand Visibility
By increasing organic rankings and therefore traffic, SEO is essentially increasing the visibility of your brand. SEO contributes to your authoritative voice in your field. Authority then leads to brand trust, which ultimately leads to brand loyalty.
5. 24/7 Promotion
Once your ranking appears it will show all day and night even when you’re sleeping. That means your brand is on display and has the potential to generate leads round the clock, unlike paid channels that will disappear once your budget runs out.
6. Targets the Entire Marketing Funnel
A conversion funnel is a way of visualising the stages your prospects go through before they convert. At the top of the funnel, the customer has realised they have a problem and they’re searching for a solution. They may go on to make a purchase; they’re just not quite sure what they want to buy, or when – yet.
They’ll start to research which product is best and why and may be looking for comparisons, reviews, guides, and calculators to help them make an informed decision.
Around 89% of customer buying journeys start with a search engine5, so answering a customers’ queries at every single stage of the funnel is super important.
7. Improves Lead Generation
SEO can complement lead generation efforts by increasing awareness for the company through organic traffic to the website. The more often your website shows up on Google’s first page, the easier it is for your target customers to find you and learn more about what you do.
SEO is often better than other marketing strategies, including PPC for generating leads, however used holistically as part of a marketing strategy it supports other campaigns such as PPC, digital ads and retargeting as well as your offline campaigns.
8. Optimises User Experience
SEO targets search engines, and UX targets your website’s visitors. Both share a common goal of giving users the best experience. By ensuring best practice throughout the site such as quality headings, a good site structure and easy navigation, SEO performance will be improved but it will also enhance user experience along the way.
The two go hand-in-hand in creating a great experience for both your human visitors and search engines.
9. SEO Complements PPC
Integrating your PPC and SEO strategies will help give you valuable insight into your audience.
When running PPC take note of any short or long-tail keywords that are relevant to your site and include these keywords in your SEO campaign.
Optimising on page content with PPC data can also lead to a lower cost-per-click.
In my experience, a well-rounded strategy encompassing multiple channels which complement one another, gets the best results. A recent study showed that 90% of marketers still say that SEO makes their top three marketing channels and based on the results we generate for our clients, I have to agree with them6.
To learn more about how SEO can help your business grow, download our free guide ‘Everything You Need to Know About SEO for Small to Medium Sized Businesses.’ or contact email@example.com
1 - https://createitwebdesigns.com/seo-vs-social-media/ 2 - https://firstpagesage.com/seo-blog/seo-roi-statistics-fc/ 3 - https://www.rivalmind.com/what-are-the-benefits-of-seo 4 - https://www.caldiatech.com/more-than-half-of-small-businesses-have-no-seo-plan/ 5 - https://www.vividfish.co.uk/blog/89-of-customers-begin-their-buying-process-with-a-search-engine-source-fleishman-hillard 6 - https://komarketing.com/industry-news/90-of-marketers-now-cite-seo-as-a-top-marketing-channel-4822/