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What Is SEO and How Can It Benefit Your Business in 2021?

What Is SEO

About 80% of users ignore online paid ads. Meanwhile, fewer customers are going out to shop. Instead, people are relying on online resources to find businesses and make purchases.

Are you struggling to reach customers this year? You’re not alone. In fact, about 61% of marketers are focusing on improving their website’s organic presence. Improving your visibility online with search engine optimization (SEO) could help you reach more customers. 

About 95% of all online activity starts on a search engine. With SEO, you can get in front of these customers, attract traffic to your site, and boost business.

What is SEO exactly, and how can it benefit your business in 2021?

Keep reading this SEO guide to find out! In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know—including why SEO is essential during the pandemic.

Get started with this SEO marketing guide today!

What is SEO?

Before we dig into the benefits of SEO, let’s answer the question that’s likely on your mind: what is SEO, exactly?

Search engine optimization is a digital marketing strategy that allows your website content to appear on search engines like Google. You can use keyword research to determine what phrases your customers use during an online search. Then, you can create a piece of content to appear for these search queries.

In order to appear on Google, you’ll need a combination of different strategies. For example, you’ll need to complete audience and keyword research first. Otherwise, you’ll fail to appear in searches that are relevant to your target audience.

Content marketing and web design can play a part, too. 

Google changes its search engine algorithm throughout the year. Neglecting to keep up with the latest SEO trends could impact your ranking. Some businesses unintentionally use black hat SEO tactics.

Google could penalize your website and remove it from search pages if you use black hat SEO.

Instead, you might want to consider working with an SEO agency. They can help you develop an effective strategy using white hat SEO. They can also audit your website to pinpoint any costly mistakes you’re making with your SEO marketing.

There are four main types of SEO you’ll need for an effective strategy: on-page, off-page, local, and technical. 

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves improving your blog content and website pages for search engines.

You can optimize your website content by giving each page and post its own target keyword. Include the focus keyword in the:

  • Page title
  • URL
  • Opening and closing paragraphs
  • Image alt text
  • A heading
  • Body text

It’s important to avoid stuffing your content with keywords (a black hat SEO tactic). Instead, make sure your keywords appear naturally within the next. Write with your customers in mind. 

Off-Page SEO

External factors can impact your SEO ranking, too. For example, you’ll need links from reputable resources to build your website’s authority. You can add links from studies, reference journals, and other high-authority websites.

Consider using guest blogging to improve your link-building strategy as well. 

Local SEO

About 97% of search engine users head online when they need to find a local business. You can build a local SEO strategy to appear in front of these customers.

First, you’ll need to update your Google My Business listing with relevant information. Ask your customers to post reviews on your listing, too. Happy reviews can build your authority and support your ranking. 

Technical SEO

Your website plays a big role in determining your search ranking. For example, Google uses mobile-first indexing to determine how websites rank. Google will look at the mobile version of your website first.

You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure you’re optimized for smaller screens.

Other technical SEO ranking factors include your security and load times. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test your speeds.

The Benefits of SEO

Now that we’ve answered the question “what is SEO,” let’s look into some of the ways it can benefit your business. Here are a few ways SEO marketing can put your company on top!

1. Boost Traffic to Your Website

Consumers won’t visit your website if they don’t know your company exists. With COVID-19 quarantines still underway, you need to reach customers online. If your website doesn’t appear at the top of a search page, consumers might never find you.

You can develop a strong SEO strategy to improve your ranking for a variety of keywords. As your ranking improves, you’ll get closer to the top of the page. In other words, consumers will see your website as one of the first results.

They’ll click on your website, allowing you to gain more traffic!

2. Appear in Front of High-Quality Leads

Almost 60% of B2B marketers say SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative. With SEO, you can choose which keywords you want your website to appear for. Choosing keywords based on customer behaviors is essential.

If you know which keywords your customers use, you can appear for those keywords. At the same time, you’re appearing in front of your ideal customers.

With a strong digital marketing strategy, you can appear in front of high-quality leads. You’ll no longer have to waste time on irrelevant queries. 

3. Improve the User Experience

In order to improve your technical SEO, you’ll need to keep the user experience in mind. User experience (UX) design trends ensure your website is easy to use. The easier your site is to use, the more likely people will stay and explore.

The longer people stay, the better for your dwell time. As they explore, your clickthrough rate can improve. These two metrics can improve your google ranking.

At the same time, you’re giving consumers a fast, easy experience. Improving your UX tells consumers you care. They’ll take notice and recognize your business is there to help. 

You could gain more leads and conversions as a result. 

4. Attract Local Foot Traffic

You can use local SEO to appear for more local searches. Using localized keywords can help you appear in front of nearby customers. They can also click on your Google My Business listing to get directions to your store.

By updating your local SEO marketing strategy, you could attract more people to your storefront. 

You can even use SEO to appear on Google’s 3-Pack. The 3-Pack takes up prominent space on the top of a search page. Even if your website doesn’t appear at the top, your business will!

5. Boost Leads and Conversions

Leads from search engines have close to a 15% close rate. Outbound strategies, on the other hand, have a 1.7% close rate. 

With SEO, your website will appear when consumers already have an interest in your business. Cold calling, however, is disruptive. You’re reaching out to consumers who likely weren’t thinking about your product at that moment.

SEO’s ability to grant you perfect timing can help you boost leads and conversions.

6. Generate Brand Awareness and Trust

Improving your web page ranking can tell consumers a lot about your business. Google only chooses businesses it thinks are relevant to the consumer’s search intent for the top slot. By reaching the top of a search page, you’re telling consumers you’re a credible resource within your industry.

As your ranking improves, more consumers will see your business. Your visibility will improve, allowing brand awareness to grow.

Your blog posts should provide consumers with helpful information and unique value. If they do, consumers will take notice. They’ll come back to learn more from your experience and expertise.

By adding credible links to your posts, they’ll also see you as an authority within your industry.

You can use EAT (expertise, authority, trustworthiness) within your posts to improve your ranking. Leverage your existing expertise. Use credible resources to build your authority.

In time, trust will grow. Brand trust is an effective method for developing loyal customers.

When loyal customers stick around, your retention rate will improve. Retaining long-term customers can help you boost your ROI. Then, you can expand your business!

7. Remain Competitive

Larger corporations have a huge marketing budget to work with. Thankfully, SEO isn’t expensive. You can use it to remain competitive with the giants in your industry.

Boosting your ranking will encourage customers to choose your business over the competition.

8. Improve Your ROI Long-Term

Once you improve your ranking, you’ll experience the benefits for a long time. You can even update old blog posts to strengthen their current ranking.

Since SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy, you can improve your ROI and set your business up for success. 

9. Strengthen Your Entire Digital Marketing Strategy

Improving your SEO ranking can support your overall digital marketing goals. 

For example, you’ll need to create fresh content to improve your rankings. Content marketing shows consumers you’re relevant and helps them learn about your business.

You can then share this content on social media and news platforms to boost brand awareness and credibility.

With SEO, you can unite your marketing strategy to reach more customers.

What is SEO?: Your Guide to Boosting Business in 2021

To recap, what is SEO? It’s your chance to reach more customers and boost business in 2021. With a strong SEO strategy, you can expand your reach, increase leads, and generate more sales!

Without it, however, consumers might struggle to find you online.

Want to know how your current SEO strategy is faring? We can help.

Request an SEO audit from our team to get started.