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What is SEO and how to know if you need it for your business.

SEO or search engine optimization is one of those topics that everyone feels like they know something about, but few are really clear on what it is and why we even need to consider it. 

The fact is, for some businesses SEO is not essential for growth or hitting critical KPIs. For others, skipping this step in your online strategy is an anchor to your growth. In this blog, we will discuss what SEO is, who needs it (and who doesn’t), and how you can use it to grow your findability online.

What is SEO?

Wikipedia defines SEO (search engine optimization) as “the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. “

In real people talk, this means that SEO is a series of steps you take to make your website content findable by search engines like Google. 

“Having Google see your content radically increases the likelihood that your human customer will see it too”

Search engines use an algorithm to determine what your content piece is about (think your blog) if it is valuable to someone searching for answers on the search engine and if you are a credible source for those answers.

This is called E.A.T:

  1. Expertise

  2. Authority

  3. Trustworthiness

The goal of SEO is to achieve high rankings on search engines’ search results. This is important as over 80% of buyers say that they go online to search for solutions to their needs before buying – whether they buy online or not. 

And if that weren’t reason enough – according to Moz, 75% of searchers never click past the first page of results.

SEO is all about findability. If you don’t need to be found – you might not need an SEO strategy.

You need to consider an SEO strategy in your content marketing if you have a business that:

  1. Is growing

  2. Needs customers to see them online

I know, that feels like a list that includes pretty much every business in America in 2022. 

But some businesses won’t benefit as much from spending time and resources on this type of strategy. For example, we have a client who works with large, Fortune500 companies. She helps them in HR and can only handle 4 or 5 contracts at a time with her current business model.

She is happy with her business at the size it is and is not seeking growth.

That said, she does want to stay relevant in her industry and wants to have a pipeline ready when clients turn over.

She doesn’t need SEO as much as others because she finds her clients at very small, very specific industry events. Of course, an SEO strategy could help her get to the top of search results where her clients could find her online if they happen to search there.

Since she only needs to add a very small number of businesses and they come from industry events, she is likely going to get a better ROI on investing in ads at those events rather than online.

If you want your customers to find you online, a solid SEO strategy is for you!

SEO can help your business find you when they are searching for solutions to the problems you solve.

Not that long ago, you could write blogs or post to social media, and your potential buyers were likely to see your information. You could even spend time selling to them, and it actually worked.

Then, as the world began to move more and more online, it became essential that you stopped selling and began sharing information and “value” so that your buyer could learn to know, like, and trust you.

In 2020 everything accelerated as the COVID pandemic took over the world. Suddenly everything was online, and companies scrambled to create digital brands that could replace traditional offline ones.

That meant that there was much, much more information flowing to all of us in the form of ads, blogs, social media, television, and more.  

According to this article, we process as much as 34 GB of information PER DAY!

SEO can help your business rise to the top of what your potential buyer sees online.

Using tools like these you can increase the likelihood that your content will rise to the top of search results:

  1. Keywords and phrases

  2. Question words

  3. Header formatting

  4. Adding ALT text to your images

  5. Answer oriented content

Getting to the top means that 75% of people seeking answers to questions that your offer answers are more likely to see – and buy from – your business.

In summary

You need an SEO strategy if your business is:

  1. Growing

  2. Online

It will increase the likelihood that your customers will find you organically if you:

  1. Use SEO tools to tell search engines about your content

  2. Are consistent in creating content and copywriting

  3. Offer valuable information that answers queries

Find out if hiring a marketing agency or building an internal team is the right fit for your next SEO campaign.

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