Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore SEO
The most important part of your business is actually doing business well; that’s not up for debate. But all the good work in the world means nothing if you can’t get anyone to pay attention to you. Whether you’re selling things or providing services, you need to get in front of people, and one key to that is search engine optimization.
When people are looking for something specific, they go to Google to try and find it. You want to go where your customers are, so that’s the perfect place to meet them. Paid search ads are one important part of this, but SEO can be just as valuable for getting customers. Here are a few reasons you really cannot afford to ignore SEO.
Users don’t click on that many ads
Google is very specific about separating ads from the rest of its content. You probably do it yourself, skipping past the ads to look at the “real” search results. While paid ads will get you at or near the top right away, a lot of users will never consciously notice them. They will click on organic search results, so being at or near the top of those results is far more valuable than paid search advertising.
Organic traffic comes to you with a purpose
Like mentioned before, people coming to Google have a purpose in mind. They’re trying to find or get something, and you want to be in front of them when that happens. This is different from social media or other advertising, where you’re forcing your way in front of the customer. Both are valuable to have, but a potential customer with a purpose is much further down the funnel to being an actual customer.
You own your site
You already do a lot of marketing on social media, so why do you need a website? That’s a job in itself, so what’s the point of putting in all the extra effort to make a website and keep it at the cutting edge?
You don’t own Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any of those other platforms. You don’t even really own your page or profile with them. You do own your website, so if there are any large changes to one of those platforms, your website will be unaffected. You can still be affected by big changes to Google’s algorithms, but it’s diversifying your risk. SEO works as a hedge against something going wrong with your social media marketing.
Ads are getting a lot more expensive
Facebook has been limiting the number of ads they’re selling, and Google Adwords has long been almost saturated with people wanting to get their products in front of people. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use these methods of advertising since they still have a lot of value. The return on investment is just lower than it used to be as more and more people flock to them.
SEO costs less over time
There’s a lot of upfront cost to SEO. If you’re focusing on content marketing, you (or the people you hire) have to write a lot of articles, which doesn’t always come cheap. Then there’s development work, structuring your webpages in ways that Google can easily index. It’s a lot of hard work upfront with results that can be hard to see.
After you’ve put in that work, however, the costs start to look different. Ads cost money every time they’re shown, but if you’re on the first page of Google, you don’t have to pay to keep yourself there. Sure, you’ll need to refresh your content from time to time to make sure it doesn’t lose all of its relevance and fall off the first page, but it’s a lot less than paying for an ad every time someone makes the relevant search.
You’re telling your story
If someone searches for your business on Google, what are they going to find? If you’re not at the top, it’s probably going to be a review site. Are those reviews positive? Are people going to get the impression that you’re a good business worth buying from? If you ignore SEO and don’t take that top spot, you’re putting yourself at the mercy of others for telling your business’s story, which no one really wants.
SEO can be difficult and time-consuming – we’re not going to deny that. It’s still an incredibly important part of your business that you can’t afford to ignore. Next time you’re looking at how to best market your business, take a closer look at SEO and the benefits it can bring you. The bottom line is you can’t afford to ignore SEO.