Anyone with an online business knows how valuable traffic is. Without traffic, it’s impossible for a website to grow or be successful. There are many ways to obtain traffic, most of them being costly and ineffective. For instance, website owner can place ads on Google or other websites, have a social media page, or try and direct traffic with articles. These all work to an extent, but to have long term traffic, SEO should be a significant factor. Here are four reasons why search engine optimization or SEO is a critical factor in your online business.
Advertisements are not cheap. The cost per click from Google can be in excess of a few dollars, depending on the industry. Other ads may be cheaper, but they are usually not effective. In contrast, SEO requires spending money in the short term, but will pay off in the long term for little cost. A properly executed SEO plan will get better results dollar for dollar than any other method.
People wouldn’t use a search engine if they didn’t trust the results. When your website appears in the top results, people will notice. Most people invariably go to websites that come up highly in search results. When a user trusts a site, this will result in higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates. Ads and other forms are not trusted as much (just think about it – which would you trust more?). Study after study has shown that being in the top 5 search results increases conversion rates through the roof.
The Long Term
A long-term SEO strategy will pay off for years to come. Guest posts, advertisements, and social media all help, but are short term traffic sources. If SEO is done correctly, a site owner should enjoy visitors to their site for years to come. Anyone should keep in mind that while SEO efforts will pay off in the long term, the results can and often will take a while to materialize.
Think of SEO as the groundwork to your marketing plan. If you work hard now, then down the road, you can easily branch out and seek other forms of traffic as icing on the cake. Since your work cementing a loyal audience is done, you can spend your resources on improving the inner workings of your business or the features of your website (and thanks to SEO, you’ll probably have the means to do so). With other traffic sources, bloggers are forced to always be putting their time and resources into obtaining visitors.
Any website owner needs to take SEO efforts seriously. Organic visitors have a high click through rate, a high conversion rate and are usually more serious customers. With more people than ever spending money on online marketing, a high ranking in the search engines is key to success. Remember, in SEO, start slowly and build up – it’ll definitely be worth it!
Jacqulyn Rodriguez writes about online marketing and digital communications. Her best work is about cheap information technology degrees.