What Is SEO and Why Does It Matter?

Wondering what SEO means and how it can help your business?

Worried you don’t have the skills or budget needed to get started?

SEO is affordable and effective, allowing you to reach new customers and increase sales.

Let’s dig deeper into SEO and how it can benefit your business.

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, means setting up your website and content to show up through online search results.

While many marketing tactics rely on you reaching out to your audience, SEO gives you the power to reach people when they are actively searching out information related to your products and services.

That’s why it’s no surprise that SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate, compared to the 1.7 percent close rate of leads from other channels like direct mail or print advertising.

SEO helps you improve your visibility within the organic (or natural) search results, not to be confused with the paid search results.
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Want see what SEO can do for your business? Join us for a FREE webinar: How to Show Up on the First Page of Google (And Get More Business from Your Website)

Why is SEO so important?

If you don’t optimize your website for search engines, you risk losing potential customers to your competitors because their websites appear higher in search engine results than yours.

Think of how many times you turn to Google each day to find out which local bakeries have gluten free options or where you can get new sandals at a good price.

When someone searches for information that relates to the products and services you offer, you want to show up.

And ideally, you want to show up prominently. Research shows that 60 percent of traffic from Google searches go to websites that appear in the first three search results.

How do search engines determine where your business ranks?

Search engines use algorithms to help provide people with relevant information.

To make sure your website appears on Page 1, rather than 27, you need to focus on building authority on key topics related to your business.

Your website’s authority is determined through onsite and offsite factors.

  • Onsite, search engines give higher rankings to websites that regularly publish fresh content on a specific topic. If you own a real estate agency, for example, publishing regular blog posts on home buying tips would start establishing your online authority.
  • Offsite, search engines like to see that websites other than your own are linking back to your webpages. When other websites link to your content or people share your content on social media, you have a better chance of being listed prominently in search results.

How can you get started with SEO?

Influencing search engines takes time, but it pays off when you start reaching a relevant audience. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to get really specific with your focus.

Rather than writing about general home buying tips, publish content on your website that answers specific questions related to your audience.

Going back to the real estate example, things like: When is the best time to buy a home in New England? Or What is the Boston housing market forecast in 2017?

And once you start writing content, start establishing some early authority by promoting it in your email newsletter and on your social media channels.

Ready to start using SEO for your business?

If you still feel like SEO is just another confusing marketing algorithm, that’s ok.

We’ll walk you through SEO, step by step, in our next webinar and help you turn your website into a trusted resource that benefits your business.

Join us to learn: How to Show Up on the First Page of Google (And Get More Business from Your Website) Can’t attend live? Register anyway and we’ll send you a recording!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2014 and has been updated for relevancy and accuracy. 

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