There are few businesses that can survive in today’s economy without a website.
People want access to goods and information quickly, preferably with a few taps on their smart phones.
If you want to stay successful, you’ve got to make sure that you have a site that is useful and easy to find.
This means embracing SEO and all that it has to offer.
If you’re new to the online world or simply want to become more successful in the online space, it’s smart to start with an understanding of what SEO is and how it can benefit your business.
What is SEO?
Before you can start understanding why you need to embrace SEO, you need to understand what SEO actually is.
It’s a term that gets thrown around a bit too often in the world of business, one that’s quickly subsumed into a babble of corporate doublespeak and that leaves many small business owners with the vague impression that it just has something to do with computers.
In reality, SEO is remarkably easy to understand but somewhat difficult to implement.
SEO is search engine optimization – in short, making sure that your website is easy for people and search engines to find.
The process is one that requires understanding both what consumers look for in a website as well as how search engines like Google index web pages.
SEO is the process of not only making sure that a webpage is usable, but that it will rank highly in any search for a given set of key terms.
In the world of online commerce, it’s one of the few things that you can do to make sure that your webpage stays competitive in a constantly expanding and evolving market.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
The first thing that SEO can do for your business is help you to remain ahead of the online curve.
The way that search giants like Google help pair users with their desired information is through complex algorithms.
Those algorithms take a great deal of data into account, and every aspect of your web page must be set up to provide the necessary data points.
Unfortunately, those algorithms are in a constant state of flux, and what constitutes good SEO is a constantly changing beast.
To keep your page relevant, you have to be on the cutting edge of SEO at all times.
Good SEO helps a business to ride the fine line between having a website that is legitimately useful and usable to consumers and one that is designed around exploiting a search engine’s algorithms.
Too much of the former, and your business will have a well-designed page that simply cannot be found by visitors.
Too much of the latter, and your page will eventually fall prey to one of the numerous search engine algorithm updates that Google rolls out.
SEO, then, is a balancing act that is beneficial to your company and will help you to get the most out of the pages that are important.
SEO isn’t just about the internet – it’s about dominating the conceptual space when it comes to your area.
There are billions of keyword combinations, but those numbers drop precipitously when you start to narrow them down to specific locations.
If your business manufactures widgets, the odds are low that your will possess the page that turns up first in a search for widgets.
Good SEO will, however, help you to come in towards the top of the search page when it comes to widgets in your area.
Designing a strong local SEO campaign is every bit as important as a traditional media campaign.
If you have a properly designed site, your pages should come up higher in a search than those of your local competition.
Given that the vast majority of users tend to click on links that are in the first three to five search result slots, this means that a SEO can help to drive business towards your company instead of towards your closest local competitor.
SEO isn’t just something that you do to stay competitive in the electronic world – it’s something that is done to make sure that you stay competitive at home.
It would be disingenuous to say that SEO is only benefits brick and mortar locations, though.
Good SEO, with pages that are properly constructed and with content that is relevant, is absolutely vital to anyone who has an eCommerce site.
This includes both traditional and online businesses, and can make the difference between failure and success.
If you look at today’s market, it’s dominated by a very select number of sellers – it’s only when one searches for niche products, and particularly for niche keywords, that a smaller business can come out on top.
If you want your business in that position, you have to make sure that you design with search engine optimization online.
As with local SEO, more traditional SEO focuses on making sure that your business’ page occupies one of the top spots online.
It is also concerned with the usability of your page, though, because the response of consumers towards your page will dictate those rankings in the future.
Designing a responsive, functional eCommerce site will allow your rankings to rise, help more consumers to convert into customers, and give you the chance to stay ahead of your competition as you reach for greater sales.
SEO is a vital part of having a business today. Think of it as the design core of the online part of your business – vital not only for getting information out, but for making sure that new customers can find you.
SEO is to today’s world as the Yellow Pages were to the business world of the past – the best way to make sure that you will bring in new customers and more money.
If you haven’t already begun SEO work on your sites, it’s not too late – the only way to fail is to ignore SEO and insist that it doesn’t matter.