In today’s digital world and heavily internet-assisted marketplace, there are plenty of ways to catch potential customers’ attention and lure them to your brand’s website. Some of the regularly trending ones in late 2023 include PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, social media activity, paid social media campaigns and influencer marketing, just to name a few.
So, with all these hot alternatives, is search engine optimization (SEO) — a tried-and-true digital tactic of years past — still important for today’s brands and businesses? The short and definitive answer: yes, and critically.
Many may still ask: Why does SEO matter? And we’ve got answers. Consider these seven solid reasons why SEO matters still today, and it may actually be as important as ever.
1. People still browse the internet via search engines — regularly
Think about it — when you’re looking for something on the internet, where do you start? For the vast majority of us, it all starts with a search engine query. And in 2023, Google alone handles more than 8.5 billion searches per day. That’s nearly 100,000 searches per second, and that’s just a single search engine (though Google clearly dominates the market, fielding over 90% of searches). However you slice it, though, that’s a lot of searches — and a lot of opportunity for businesses to catch consumers’ attention.
2. SEO is the sole source of organic traffic on your website
Sure, PPC ads and social media promotions can draw in consumers. But every time consumers click through on them, your marketing budget takes a hit — and if you rely solely upon them, the costs can add up. Organic traffic, on the other hand, carries no direct charges, and it typically draws in highly targeted traffic. After all, when consumers click through to your website from a search engine results page (SERP) in the wake of a search, it’s typically because they’re looking for what you’re selling. Further, with most consumers, there’s a heightened level of trust for organic search results over paid search ads, with many consumers even skipping over the paid search ads at the top of a SERP for the more trusted organic results that land just below them.
3. SEO makes your content visible to consumers, lending you added brand authority
When your brand creates high-quality content that informs consumers about your business offerings, delivers your knowledgeable takes on developments and events in your industry, answers their questions about topics related to your business segment, products and services, etc., you establish yourself as an expert in your field among those who view it. This, of course, can help boost your brand’s authority. But without effective SEO efforts, large numbers of consumers won’t be able to find and view your content, rendering it largely ineffective.
4. SEO can help you build consumer trust
The same content discussed above can also help you build added trust in your brand among consumers, helping to make you a go-to resource for these consumers. That is the case if they are able to find and view the content, which SEO can play an outsized role in achieving. Similarly, when your brand’s website and content appear high in consumers’ search results — another goal that SEO can help you achieve — it helps you build trust with them. And of course, consumers are more likely to convert into paying customers when they consider your brand to be authoritative and trustworthy.
5. SEO also boosts local customer acquisition
According to HubSpot, 80% of consumers look for local information using search engines, and more than 90% of consumers will choose businesses that land on the first page of their local search results. Further, nearly 30% of local searches result in purchases. For brands with brick-and-mortar stores that depend on foot traffic, this provides even more reason to focus on local SEO. Effective local SEO efforts can help your brand appear more prominently in consumers’ local search results, increasing the likelihood that they’ll visit your business locations in person after performing an internet search for the products and/or services you offer.
6. SEO improves the user experience on your website
Employing strong SEO tactics contributes to a high level of usability — and a better user experience — on your brand’s website. Simultaneously, a good user experience is one of the factors search engines use to determine a site’s ranking on a SERP, with sites that deliver positive user experiences typically achieving higher placement in search results. So putting a heavy focus on your SEO tactics is a win-win for your brand’s user experience and its search rankings.
7. Your competition is leveraging SEO
As a business, you always want to set yourself apart from the competition — but neglecting your SEO efforts is certainly not a winning way to do it. If your brand focuses solely on paid traffic, direct traffic and/or social traffic while your competitors are putting a heavy focus on organic traffic, then your rivals will be reeling in consumers. They will also bring in typically quality traffic with a high level of interest and high likelihood of converting that your brand simply won’t be able to reach. Let that happen for long enough, and unfortunately, you’re bound to fall behind.
Effective SEO is all about gaining exposure with new consumers and building more awareness of your brand — often at exactly the moment the audience is seeking out what you’re selling. It’s an ongoing process that takes time. But by doing it right, your brand can gain new customers while building trust, both among potential customers and the search engines they use to find you. While you don’t want to neglect other avenues to building brand awareness and gaining new customers such as social media, PPC and influencer marketing, it’s critical that SEO is a substantial part of your brand’s healthy marketing mix.
Brandon: Your SEO specialists
Could your brand benefit from some expert help to boost the effectiveness of its SEO efforts? At Brandon, our team of certified brand strategists and data-driven marketing professionals has a wealth of experience in boosting clients’ search engine rankings — and driving more potential customers to their websites. Further, Brandon’s fully integrated marketing firm can cover the entire spectrum of your brand’s marketing needs, including SEO, social media, email marketing, e-commerce, digital marketing, media, creative, analytics, public relations, brand strategy, web design and more. To get started with help ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.