Organic search is most often the primary source of website traffic. There are 3.5 billion searches on Google done per day or 40,000 searches per second.

Every second, companies compete for the ever so coveted top spots in search results as a site ranking on the first page receives 70% of clicks. Sites that fall on the second page have a 6% chance of capturing a user and lowers by each subsequent page. SEO is about preparing a website to be the best source of information at any given level of the buying process and by investing in SEO means building a steady source of traffic every second of the day.

SEO builds credibility

Google is in business to provide highly relevant information for every user searching to solve a problem or a question. It is the reason there are 40,000 searches per second and they are constantly improving to answer questions in light speed! An optimized site builds authority and authority builds trust among search users. A good SEO company must know how to find factors that prevent a website from appearing on top such as 404 errors, page load speeds, crawlability, duplicate content, and more! A great SEO company focuses on content that commands a subject and knows exactly which search terms people use to capture potential leads for a business.

SEO means good user experience

A well-designed site is only one piece of the puzzle. On-page or technical SEO is the bare minimum to make a site Google friendly and crawlable for indexing. By ensuring a site is free of broken links, inactive links are given redirects, images contain alt tags for the visually impaired, is fast, mobile friendly and more helps with a positive user experience that keep users on the site longer. Websites with users who bounce out quickly tells Google it must be irrelevant to a specific search term and will drop down in the rankings. An SEO agency will address these issues during the onboarding stage and provide a list of action items to boost the user friendliness of a website.

Local SEO means increased conversions

The rise in mobile since 2013 has given local SEO a new channel as 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches especially while on the go. As of 2018, 88% of local search are done so on their smart phones and by having the business information up to date across listing directories, it signals to search engines the business is relevant within a users’ proximity. Local searchers are ready to act as they visit a nearby location and complete a purchase within 24-hours. For longer sales cycles that are high ticketed products or services, this potentially puts the business on the short list of options during the decision-making phase.

SEO impacts buying cycle

Most companies focus on the discovery but forget about research and different decision levels. The discovery stage is when the consumer realizes there is an issue or problem and performs a search. Content addressing these problems along with educating the prospect on common issues associated with the topic keeps the user engaged on the site. Although a conversion might not happen on the first interaction, there must be content for the research and decision phases. The research phase that includes content rich with data, testimonials, examples, images, videos, etc. exudes authority on the subject. Content rich enough to educate the prospect by introducing the value of the product or service happens during the research phase. Although currently uncrawlable, video is becoming a more popular option to drive the message and differentiates a website from competitors who do not have the bandwidth to host videos.

Finally, the decision stage reiterates the value and must have content that is geared towards the well-informed prospect. At this stage, a prospective customer has done the research, knows the vocabulary and most likely have used these highly specific keywords to search for providers specializing to solve the specific problem. An SEO agency will create content that targets each stage of the conversion funnel and looking for influencers willing to amplify to gain credibility.

SEO is constantly evolving

A Google algorithm change can drop rankings overnight. Tactics such as keyword stuffing, private blog networks, cloaking, paid links, and other strategies meant to game Googles algorithm will incur a heavy penalty. Some of these tactics were okay to use years ago but if used today, it will definitely drop a sites rankings into oblivion! Investing in an SEO expert is more than just getting the job done but to also educate the business owner on the “why” certain strategies are no longer accepted.

SEO is virtually free

Not technically free because well, we charge a fee. However, it is free once a search term is associated with the brand and it can be left alone to pursue other efforts. A Google ad for example will stop showing the moment payment budget runs out. SEO efforts work as optimized keywords will always show in search results long after optimization stops. Of course, the keyword that ranks on the organic results will be below the paid ads section but those keywords did not cost a penny once it has dominated the search results. As SEO is a long-term strategy, the results last far longer than other advertising channels. Facebook / Instagram ads, display advertising, YouTube ads require fresh content weekly, monthly, or quarterly to avoid ad fatigue. SEO being a long-term strategy, infographics or a blog post can stay up much longer without the need for revisions or rewrites.

There are many SEO agencies that have a team of specialists to button up a website to outrank the competition. The main takeaways for a successful SEO strategy:

  1. Fix any site issues

  2. Create content targeting each level of the buying process

  3. Don’t get penalized by old tactics.

These are the basics of SEO and although simple to list, will take a team consisting of webmasters, content creators, and managers to make SEO work for any company.

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