“Why do SEO?” is a question you’ve probably pondered over plenty.
Why do it now? What will SEO do for your brand?
Before I answer one way or another, think about these facts:
- Search traffic – the number of people heading to Google and typing in a question, topic, concern, or pain point – has shot into the stratosphere over the last few years.
- I repeat: Search traffic has never been higher.
- Nearly 70% of all online experiences now start with a search.
- Organic search delivers the MOST traffic to websites (53.3%) out of all channels. (Compare that to social media, which delivers just 5% of all traffic, a stat that’s remained constant since 2014. 😮)
What does SEO have to do with it?
SEO is the means to nab your share of organic search traffic.
- More people than ever are searching for what they need online.
- SEO is how you get your web pages and content under their noses – and bring them to your brand.
And SEO begins and ends with your website.
Why Do SEO? It Draws Leads to Your Website… Your Ultimate Content House
Your website is your ultimate content house, the one place on the web that’s totally under your control.
It’s YOUR real estate. It doesn’t belong to Facebook. Or Squarespace. Or Twitter. Or Wix. Or any other platform where the bigwigs can pull the rug out from under you at any moment. Where all your content and your audience can disappear in a second.
Focusing on your website and bringing the majority of your audience base to its doors through SEO is thus a fool-proof, long-term strategy for building your brand.
Not to mention, it’s a free way to bring in interested leads – ones you can continually nurture through content so they become paying customers. Plus, focusing on your website means you don’t have to “keep up with the Joneses” on handfuls of social media accounts… Unless you want to.
Unbelievably, those aren’t the only reasons to do SEO, either.
There is even more to discuss, especially if you’re hedging about diving deep into search engine optimization.
So, strap on your scuba gear, because we’re headed straight for those depths. 🥽 (Worried that you don’t know enough SEO to dive in? Stop – you don’t have to be an expert to use SEO well!!)
First ☝, an SEO primer.
What Is SEO? How It Works, Broken Down
SEO is search engine optimization.
This is the process of creating, structuring, and tweaking web pages so search engines can more easily crawl, index, and, hopefully, rank them highly within their organic (non-paid) results.
This process relies heavily on understanding the intent of your target audience.
- What are they searching for online?
- What words are they using to search?
- What kinds of content are they looking for?
- What answers do they need?
The ultimate goal of SEO is to get your web page listed on the first page of Google’s results for a specific keyword, ideally in the #1 spot.
In most cases, nailing the #1 spot means you’ve also nailed what users need from content on that topic.
To Do SEO Right, Ranking Highly Matters
For brands, not just ranking, but ranking highly matters:
- A page ranking #1 in Google organically will get 10x more clicks than the #10 result.
- The #1 spot enjoys a CTR (click-through rate) of 31.7%. Compare that to the #10 spot with a measly CTR of 3.11%.
- Very few users take their search to the second page of Google for answers. As you’ll see in the graph below, clicks drop off a cliff beyond page one and the top 10 results.
Ranking well is a big deal – for better visibility, more traffic, more leads, more everything. And you can’t expect your website pages or content to rank without implementing SEO.
Putting the “O” in SEO: Optimization
The most important part, of course, is centered on the last word in the phrase – optimization. So much is wrapped up in this one word, including these actions:
- Finding keywords to target that are relevant to your products/services AND your audience
- Tying said keywords to topics your audience wants to read about
- Targeting those keywords correctly in your web page and blog content
- Fulfilling user search intent surrounding your topic and keywords – answering the questions they’re asking, providing the information they’re needing
- Targeting your keywords in additional places (meta description, alt tags, etc.) that give Google’s web crawlers extra clues and cues that your page is THE page on the topic
Yes, it’s a lot more work than simply writing whatever blog post topic pops into your head and publishing it the next day. It’s far harder to do than putting your brain dumps into a WordPress post and praying it attracts the right people.
Unfortunately, a lot of people prefer to take the easier route versus putting in steady work. They want shortcuts. They want to skip from point A to point D without bothering with B or C.
But doing SEO consistently and putting in the work is how you get consistent results and create profitable content.
With all of the above in mind, let’s return to the ultimate question at hand…
Why Do SEO? Does It Really Matter That Much?
You should be doing SEO. It matters.
Let’s take an even deeper look at why doing SEO is a big deal in our modern online climate.
Here are some of the top benefits.
1. SEO Drives Most of Today’s Online Traffic
How do most people usually begin a session of online browsing?
They head to a search engine like Google, type in what they’re looking for, and away they go. 💨
If your website pages and blogs don’t show up in Google, or show up on page 25 of the search engine results, you’re missing out on a giant piece of this free-for-all pie.
We have to return to this stat because it’s so important: 68% of all online experiences begin with a search.
To put that in context, 4.66 billion people worldwide (that’s 59.5% of Earth’s total population) use the internet. Over 2/3 of them are starting their browsing sessions with a search. Thanks to smartphones, most people engage in multiple – sometimes dozens of – browsing sessions per day.
You do the math. Search is the place on the online map where most users either begin or return. Why would you NOT want to show up there?
2. SEO Helps You Target the Right Leads with the Right Intent
SEO isn’t about drawing swathes of random traffic to your website.
It’s about drawing the right traffic – the people who need what you’re offering. The people with actual interest, who will engage with your content.
In other words, good SEO has everything to do with studying and understanding search intent.
This means you’re not just choosing keywords out of thin air because they sound good. Instead, you’re researching keyword data and studying those keywords’ relevancy to your audience and your brand.
You try to understand WHY people are typing those keywords into Google. What are they looking for, ultimately?
When you target those keywords, you try to give the people what they want. You attempt to fulfill the search intent.
What Happens When You Nail Search Intent?
If you can provide what users need in your content, from your headline down to the closing paragraph, they will be more likely to do a slew of actions that ultimately benefit you:
- Click on your link in the SERP (search engine results page)
- Read your content in its entirety – not just the headline or the first few paragraphs
- Feel satisfied after reading your content and getting great answers/solutions
- Look at your brand with more trust than they had previously
- Return to your brand and website when they have more questions related to your industry/expertise
- Subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on social, download your freebies
- Continue building trust through your other content (also optimized for search intent and user needs)
- Consider you an expert authority in your industry
- Eventually, make a purchase!
3. One Blog, Optimized Correctly, Can Earn Leads for YEARS
Content optimized correctly for every facet of SEO is money content.
Because that blog or web page will bring in leads on autopilot for YEARS after it’s published.
Two years is the current benchmark for the lifespan of blog content. Specifically, the average blog post will receive the majority of its total impressions from day 30 – 700 after its published.
On the internet, where news and culture seemingly move at the speed of light, two years is a long, long time. Especially for content longevity that doesn’t require constant funding (ads, I’m looking at you).
And, done right, SEO provides that.
4. Why Do SEO? People Trust Search Engines and Organic Search Results
Overwhelmingly, people trust the top 10 of Google. And, if your website appears there, that means you already have a head-start on building trust with your ideal customers.
Path Interactive did a Google search survey that sought to determine how users feel about the information they find in Google’s organic results. What they found was that, generally, most users trust Google enough to use it to make some of the most important decisions in their lives concerning medical, financial, and legal matters.
Another aspect of the survey looked at trust in search helpers like Featured Snippets and Knowledge Panels. Beyond a doubt, people trust the information found in these places.
And that trust, for the most part, isn’t misplaced.
5. Doing SEO Makes Your Website Better
Following the many rules and guidelines attached to SEO doesn’t just help you rank. It also makes your website better for everyone – clearer, easier to read and navigate, more helpful, more accessible.
That’s because the goal of search engines is to provide users with a great online experience. That means meeting their search needs; providing relevant, helpful results; and nailing their search intent as closely as possible, as quickly as possible.
Google doesn’t want its users to struggle to find what they’re looking for when they type in a search query. It doesn’t want people to have to comb through pages of results to find answers. It doesn’t want you to search for a keyword only to be faced with a mountain of links that are crappy, unhelpful, poorly-written, or worse.
At its core, SEO isn’t just about ranking. It’s about creating a better web experience for everyone. And following the rules and guidelines helps you do your part.
New to Doing SEO? 3 Key Concepts to Know
Now that you understand why SEO is important for business…
Here’s what you need to know about SEO if you’re just diving in.
1. First: You Don’t Need to Be an Expert to Do SEO!
If you find SEO intimidating, you’re not alone.
That doesn’t mean you have to be an expert to use SEO well and wisely. 💡
Instead, you just need to be able to harness it effectively.
- Ensuring you understand the basics of keyword research and search intent before diving in
- Ensuring you have a clear understanding of your ideal audience and their information needs
- Investing in the right tools (more on that in the next point)
- Understanding where you can effectively focus your SEO efforts, what you can DIY, and what is best left alone for now until you can enlist truly expert help
- Understanding how to optimize content from top to bottom
Don’t have any of these skills? Don’t be afraid to go out and get them. Learning is an adventure, and the more open you are to it, the better off you’ll be.
If you’re wondering where on earth you should start to get the skills you need to succeed with your online business, you’re in EXACTLY the right place.
I created The Content Transformation System with you – yes, YOU – in mind.
This coaching program will give you the skills, systems, and confidence to not only get your brand running, but also keep it running for the long haul. Submit your application today to get started.
2. Get Comfortable with SEO Research + Tools
Research, whether on keywords, topics, search intent, your audience, etc., is the backbone of good SEO.
There is no way to guess which words and phrases your audience is using to find topics in your industry of expertise. There’s no way to know what they need without digging in and researching to find the answers.
To do the research, you need the right SEO tools. That must include:
- A keyword research tool (such as Semrush or Ahrefs)
- Topic research tools (think BuzzSumo or Answer the Public)
- SEO checkers and/or web page analysis tools
(Pssst… We put together a guide on the best DIY SEO tools – everything you need is inside, including free tools if your budget is bootstrapped.)
3. Keep Up with SEO News & Updates
Search algorithms – the technology that sorts through billions upon billions of web pages to find the right one that best fits the search intent of whatever query you type into the search box – change rapidly. And by that, I mean almost daily. 🤯
Keeping abreast of changes that may affect your website and/or your content is therefore vital.
For this purpose, I recommend following trusted SEO experts who do the work of sifting through the news and updates and sharing what’s relevant to you, as well as tips to improve your SEO.
Why Do SEO? Your Business Growth Is Calling
The importance of SEO for not just digital marketing, but also business growth, can’t be overstated.
If you’re just starting your business, that goes doubly for you.
The data doesn’t lie.
Will social media marketing bring in as much traffic and leads to your website as solid SEO?
Can ads drum up the same type of deep interest and trust as SEO can?
Will building your presence on Facebook or Instagram give you the same kind of stability and longevity as building your brand on your website with SEO?
Not a chance.
Let’s put it this way. If you want to build a brand that lasts a year or two, don’t do SEO.
If you want to build a brand with staying power and legacy, do SEO. Focus on your website. Make your content incredible for your ideal customer. Then watch success follow.
The choice is yours.
But, if you’re struggling to put all the pieces together, there’s a way to learn every vital skill and step to complete your brand puzzle.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and build a business that lasts, I have the map to do it, including all the pieces you need to set up so you can take off. 🏃♀️💨
My Content Transformation System is a coaching program that takes you step by step through building a powerful digital business, including marketing and systems, in 90 days or less.