Whether you’re an in-house marketer, a consultant, or an executive, SEO is important for business.
Leveraging an SEO strategy can get your business noticed by the most important members of your audience by optimizing your web pages to improve search rankings and drive relevant, organic traffic to your site.
When creating a rank-able website or content for your business, it’s vital that your SEO efforts are up to speed. It’s important to know how to optimize your content for search engines to gain visibility.
What is SEO? You can’t fully appreciate the importance of SEO without an understanding of what it is. SEO stands for search engine optimization—the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
The ultimate goal of SEO for business is to generate organic traffic—searchers clicking through to your website from a search engine results page (SERP).
The vast majority of online experiences begin on a search engine, making search the most used digital tool. There’s been plenty of chatter about Google’s continually evolving algorithms and how to keep up with them, but it can be much more useful to understand their goal: providing the best experience for the searcher.
To understand SEO for business, it’s helpful to know how search engines work. Before your website can show up in search results, its pages must be crawled and indexed.
Every search engine has its own crawlers, or spiders, which scour the internet and find new web pages. The pages they find are then added to the search engine’s index, which is the record of all pages it has crawled.
When you type a query into the search bar – whether it’s everyday searches or you’re assessing the organic presence of your business – the search engine then goes through the pages in its index, identifies the ones most related to your query, and ranks them according to their relevance. These links are then served to the searcher on the results page.
Effective SEO isn’t about “gaming” Google or stuffing your content with questionably relevant keywords. SEO requires you to understand what your audience is searching for and create content that satisfies those needs. When you understand their intention—what they’re searching for and where they’re searching, you can match your content with the language customers use when they search and optimize it for search engines.
To understand how SEO helps your business, think about the last time you searched for something on Google. How many results pages did you click through? The average click rate for the top search result on Google is 31.7%, according to one study, and the top three search results on Google account for 75.1% of clicks. That doesn’t leave much traffic for pages that rank lower on SERPs.
A carefully designed SEO strategy help your content rank and become more visible, climbing higher on SERPs to drive qualified prospects to your content.
Understanding what it is and why SEO works makes it clear how SEO helps your business and the need for search engine optimization to rank higher on SERPs.
The importance of SEO for business, begins with making sure your site is discoverable by search engines. An SEO-optimized page takes both users and search engines into account to drive organic traffic by providing relevant content that meets the needs of those searching. That’s why SEO is a top priority for search marketers.
But why SEO is important goes much further than that. Appearing at the top of search engine rankings builds credibility for your content. Customers today turn to research instead of salespeople, and SEO can let them know about the best deals, brand-new products and services and the unique benefits you offer—all at the exact moment they’re searching for your solution. Putting that information in their hands when they need it can shorten the buying cycle, leading to increased revenue and greater ROI.
Given the importance of search and the SEO impact on business, it’s no wonder that SEO is playing a more prominent role in digital marketing.
As digital marketing has evolved, SEO has earned a significant role earlier in the planning stages of digital campaigns. Studies have proven that the companies that use SEO as the foundation of their digital marketing efforts see a greater all-around return on investment. The Forrester TEI Report found that SEO greatly enhanced paid search strategy and created more effective pay-per-click campaigns by driving down cost per click through better page rank and quality scores.
Your audience won’t be able to find the marketing content you create if you aren’t integrating SEO into your strategy. When you leverage SEO data as a key factor in your marketing strategies, your website will climb in both keyword and SERP rankings, ensuring your content reaches its intended audiences.
SEO isn’t just about your website’s backend architecture, or the way things are laid out on a page. The content of a given page is also a critical component of SEO and should speak directly to what users are searching for.
Search engines prioritize pages with high-quality content over those that are spammy or don’t provide valuable information. Google in particular looks for content that follows its E-A-T guidelines, which pertain to a page’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. This is especially the case for pages about medical, financial, and health topics.
The goal of search engines is to present content to searchers that is most likely to be helpful for their query. Keyword research can reveal topics that are of interest to your audience, while also helping you better understand their voice and what’s important to them.
One of the key benefits of SEO is that it’s an inbound marketing strategy that cultivates qualified leads. When a customer searches for your product or service, the likelihood is high that they’re already considering doing business with you or a competitor. If you can reach that customer through organic search, you’re reaching them before the competition does at a key moment in the buyer’s journey—and you’re doing it without spending precious ad dollars to deliver your marketing message.
Well-ranked content performs 10 times as well as its paid counterpart and gives you helpful insights into audience intent.
Competitive analysis in SEO is the process of identifying any website that outranks you for the keywords and topics relevant to your business. A proactive approach helps you understand:
Your business might have conducted a competitive analysis for everything from product development to marketing strategy, but it’s important to be aware that your main competitors may differ from those competing for rankings. That’s why an SEO analysis of the competitive landscape can help you identify which brands to pay attention to for your business SEO strategy.
Performing a competitive analysis of SEO for your business through a deep, continuous process gives you a competitive advantage in your SEO efforts. An advanced SEO technology platform like Conductor can be a weapon in your marketing technology arsenal and give you a distinct competitive advantage in your industry.
Check out our competitive SEO analysis platform to track your market share by category, device type, location, rank, and more. See your competitors’ most trafficked pages, the keywords they rank for, and other insights you can use for your own SEO strategy.
You need tools that can assist with SEO tasks for your business, be it an enterprise or startup. Look for features that help with the following:
SEO can drive growth and results for just about any type of business, and we have the SEO case studies and customer stories to prove it. From global leaders to innovate startups, we’ve seen businesses have success in all types of industries including:
Whether your company is small or large, has a storefront or is online, SEO is important for your business. SEO is constantly evolving, and every business looking to establish an online presence needs to focus on SEO at some level. While older techniques like keyword stuffing are now obsolete and even punishable, new ones have taken their place. What hasn’t changed is that high-quality content that offers value to the user can benefit from thoughtfully incorporated keywords.
Says Louis Cohen, Head of Search at Citi, “Your digital presence today is probably the most important thing you manage. Having that organic presence managed well is not easy… It gives you real advantage in the marketplace to have a platform as powerful as Conductor Searchlight in your arsenal.”
As search engines continue to update their algorithms and reward websites for following search guidelines, marketers need to adapt their SEO strategies to stay ahead of the competition.
Industry-specific research helps your business understand customer needs, making it easier to answer a searcher’s questions or create content that stands out from the competition. Many websites find SEO success by addressing and writing about problems specific to their audience. Others use insights into customer behavior to blend informative content with a tool that allows visitors to act on what they need.
Scott Messina, Director of Search and Design Strategy at Samsung, says, “It all boils down to, ‘What is the person searching for? What is it they actually wanted? And do we have answers for that?’”
Keyword research, a fundamental practice in SEO for business, is the process by which you research popular search terms people type into search engines. You then include these phrases strategically throughout your website so that your content appears higher in SERPs.
The keyword research step should underpin any SEO initiative for the best opportunity to rank well for the topics relevant to your business. Higher rankings generally equate to more organic traffic to your website.
The best keyword is a term or phrase that:
Keyword analysis is a science. Analyzing keywords enables your marketing team to prioritize and focus on using the phrases that will drive the best results. There are a number of factors to look at when determining the value of a given keyword:
To avoid missing out on new visitors, your team must understand there are variations, misspellings, and even different ways of saying the same thing. You can’t simply target an exact match of one keyword and be done.
Create a plan for the keywords you already rank for and those you want to rank for. An easy structure to follow is the PIE method, which we recommend to our customers at the beginning of our onboarding process.
PIE stands for Protect, Improve, and Expand.
A truly great SEO platform functions as a partner with brands to scale their organic marketing programs to create valuable content, ensure that it appears in search results and helps you measure results. Conductor earned the highest score in The Forrester Wave search Engine Optimization (SEO) Platforms, Q3 2020.
It’s not just the experts raving about Conductor. We’re also rated number one by customers on Trustradius and G2.