If you’re a marketer or business owner, you’ve likely been told that you should be using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) more than once or twice.
That’s because today, it’s an essential part of any successful marketing strategy.
But if you’re not familiar with this tactic, you might not be convinced that it’s worth your time or money.
And that’s why on this page, we’ll go over what is SEO in Marketing, the role it plays in marketing, and five key benefits it offers your business.
Do You Know Exactly What SEO is in Marketing?
For starters, SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the process of improving a website in ways that help it rank in search results when users search for specific words and phrases.
If you’re not sure why this matters, just think about how you normally find the information you need during your everyday life.
What would you do if you needed to replace your TV and weren’t sure which model to buy?
Where would you look if you were on vacation and needed to find a restaurant for dinner?
How would you go about researching your options for learning a new language?
If you’re like most people, you’d reach for your smartphone or sit down at your computer and type a simple phrase into Google.
You’d search “best 55 inch tv,” “restaurants near me,” or “how to learn Spanish.” Then, you’d scroll through the results and click the one that seemed best suited to your needs.
These results are based on what Google thinks will be the most helpful information to you, based on the keywords you entered.
But in many cases, the sites you see ranking on the first page didn’t get there by accident. They used SEO to help Google understand what their content is about.
They also likely did extensive research to determine how users like you phrase your searches for specific topics so that they could optimize their page accordingly.
And if you want your target audience to find your site, you need to do the same.
5 Benefits of SEO
So — SEO can help you improve your rankings in search engine results.
This has the potential to make a huge impact on your company’s most important goals, like increasing your leads and sales.
But if you’re not convinced, keep reading to learn five of the biggest benefits of optimizing your site for search.
1. SEO targets quality traffic
One of the biggest advantages of SEO is that it’s an inbound marketing strategy.
Unlike traditional “outbound” advertising channels, which involve reaching out to consumers whether they want to hear from you or not, inbound methods center on making it easy for your audience to find you when they want information.
These traditional methods, like cold calling, spam emails, and interruptive ads, are done solely with the advertiser’s goals in mind.
And many consumers find them downright annoying.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is much more customer-centric. Instead of interrupting consumers as they’re watching TV or listening to the radio, it involves creating helpful resources and making helpful information more easily accessible.
Then, when users are ready to spend some time researching your industry or learning more about their options for a specific type of product, they can find you on their own.
This is not only much more convenient for consumers but also results in more qualified leads for your business.
In fact, in HubSpot’s most recent State of Inbound report, 59% of marketers said that inbound practices provided the highest quality leads for their sales teams.
After all, who do you think is going to be more receptive to your marketing efforts: Someone who sees your ad on a billboard during their commute, or someone who comes across a list of tips you published while searching for help online?
The answer is clear.
When you focus on attracting users who are actively looking for information related to your industry, products, and services, you’ll be much more effective in reaching your target audience.
Plus, this gives you the opportunity to reach your audience while they’re already considering making a purchase or contracting a service — increasing the chances that your marketing messages will translate into sales and leads.
2. You don’t need to pay for ads in SEO
Google’s organic rankings are based entirely on what its algorithm determines to be the best results for any given query.
This means that once you’ve created a page that the search engine deems worthy of directing their users to, it can continue to attract traffic to your site for months (or even years) after you publish it.
Of course, researching and writing high-quality content requires an investment. That investment will either be in the form of time, if you choose to create it yourself, or money, if you choose to hire a digital marketing agency to create it for you.
But once you’ve made that initial investment, there’s no ongoing cost to keep attracting traffic to your content.
You might need to update the page every few months, depending on the nature of the topic. You also might need to add to and improve it if your competitors decide to target the same keyword.
But when it comes down to it, your valuable spot in search results is free of charge.
This is a major difference from PPC ads, which involve a cost every time a user clicks and visits a page.
To give you an idea of what just how big of an advantage this is, just consider that the average cost per click (CPC) across all industries is $2.32.
With SEO, you have the potential to avoid paying this amount and earn traffic to your site with no ongoing costs at all.
3. SEO gets more clicks than PPC
Although PPC ads appear above organic rankings, 71.33% of searches result in a click on an organic result on the first page.
It’s difficult to say why this is, though the most logical conclusion is that users trust Google’s algorithm. They know which spots advertisers are paying for, and they choose to instead visit the pages the search engine has determined to be the best.
Of course, this is just conjecture.
But regardless of the reasoning behind it, the fact is that the majority of the clicks for any given search go to an organic result.
4. SEO helps PR
Although SEO and PR may seem like entirely separate marketing strategies, you can use them together to maximize the results you see from each.
The biggest connection between the two lies in link building.
Earning links from reputable websites is a main component of any SEO strategy. This means that one of the biggest parts of an SEO professional’s job is to identify opportunities for placement or coverage on industry blogs, news publications, and other relevant sites.
And considering that a PR strategy revolves around getting prominent publications and influencers to talk about your company, this presents a huge opportunity.
When you use link building research to find new ways to get your brand in front of consumers, you’ll be much more effective in distributing content to potential customers and clients.
5. You can move ahead of the competition
Today, SEO is widely considered a staple of any marketing strategy.
In fact, 61% of marketers say that improving their SEO and improving their online presence is a top priority.
This means that your competitors are likely already taking steps to establish high rankings in search results.
And with an SEO strategy of your own, you can keep up with — and ideally, move ahead of — them to stay competitive within your industry.