Before analyzing the benefits of search engine optimization (SEO), it is good to define it and know what it entails.
SEO refers to the specialized process of analyzing a website with the sole purpose of increasing the rankings of the site’s content in search engine results pages (SERPs). These rankings are improved or increased for specific search terms in the search engines. SEO can also involve the process of editing a website for the same purpose. This is known as on-page SEO.
Search engine optimization usually works by targeting particular key phrases that have a strong appeal to the target audience. In this way, a business that deals with online products or services can be found globally and regionally through SEO. Much research has been done that indicate search engine traffic is a major source of all Internet traffic, accounting for upwards of 70% of all traffic. That means that 7 out of 10 users find what they’re looking for through search engines.
SEO as an Affordable Advertising Option
An organization that wants to penetrate a market and reach out to new customers can do so on a global scale through search engines. Search engine marketing provides a cost-effective remedy to the concerns of small businesses, especially when that business is limited by geography or local competition. The boundaries of local advertising mediums are removed when small business chooses to focus on SEO and can dramatically increase their potential customer base nearly over night! Small businesses often run on tight budgets and are not likely to be able to afford huge sums of money for advertisements in order to let clients know more about its products and services. SEO is the ultimate cost-effective alternative to expensive offline marketing and can even be geo-targeted to a specific location just like offline methods.
SEO Is Focused
As alluded to above, SEO isn’t just a global thing. Search engine optimization can increase the visibility among the local audience you wish to target as well. SEO allows for any keyword phrase to be targeted. For example, if you’re a local landscaping company, you may not want to attract people searching simply for “landscaping”. It’s far too broad and won’t likely bring your site the targeted traffic you seek. Rather, more specific terms like “Florida landscape” or even more targeted like “Orlando landscaping company” would be far more cost-effect and appropriate. The best part is that most of these users are often ready to buy, so your conversion from website traffic to real-world customer is far more likely.
SEO Can Open Other Doors
At the core of any online presence is a company’s brand and identity. Brand recognition doesn’t happen overnight in any industry, but with the help of SEO, it can be achieved in time. Effective SEO can deliver content that is relevant to consumers, providing more exposure for your brand and more name recognition. What happens when that customer that found your company through search has a positive experience and decides to post a review online? Yep, you got it – more brand recognition. Search traffic can have a snowball effect on your bottom line because online exposure almost always translates to offline exposure as well.
Search engine optimization is often misunderstood as being too expensive for small business or ineffective for attracting local customers. This is simply not the case when an experienced SEO provider is chosen to assist you in formulating your SEO strategy.
Daniel Ruyter is an SEO expert and is co-founder of the Orlando SEO firm Alpha Tree Marketing.