I have actually been contemplating writing this post for about 3 weeks now. It all started with an argument about SEO that i had with the author of a post I came across on LinkedIn titled 10 critical mistakes bloggers make and how to avoid them.
For reasons of modesty I will not be mentioning the author’s name or blog in this post but I will be as elaborate as possible.
I agreed with some points the writer mentioned in the post and believe that he missed a very important mistake which bloggers make, especially newbies.
Ignoring search engine optimization (SEO)!
So I headed over to the comments section and included my thoughts on why bloggers who ignore SEO are making a critical mistake and missing out on juicy traffic from search engines.
Regrettably, the author disagreed by saying “Not practicing SEO is a choice and not a mistake. You can drive in a massive amount of traffic without applying SEO to your blog or its posts.”
Yes! The writer may have scored a point if he had said that you should make sure that search engine optimization is not your only inbound marketing channel.
But not doing SEO in the first instance is a critical mistake in the digital marketing space. I totally disagree with the idea of downgrading search engine optimization as a mere choice and so should you.
Search engine optimization is absolutely essential for the growth of a blog or website.
“SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.
There are many aspects to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to you on the web. Sometimes SEO is simply a matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand.”
Before we go on, let’s hear what the experts have to say about search engine optimization;
Since we have heard what the experts have said and already have a solid definition of what SEO is and what it does for us, here are seven (7) rock-hard reasons why it is absolutely important for the growth of your website or blog.
#1 SEO improves your search ranking
Your website is where your online audience go to when they want to look you up and should be regarded as an integral part of your overall marketing strategy.
Websites in this age have potentials to enhance a business’s reach beyond its physical geographic location, thanks to the internet. Your site can attract visitors, generate leads and possibly aid conversion to actual paying customers.
But does having a website alone guarantee that people will see and visit your website in a populated internet space that has over 900 million websites and over 2.9 billion internet users:?See four year statistics by internet live Stats below:
No! Deploying a website alone doesn’t mean that people will see or visit it. Considering the number of websites in the world, you will need to find ways to get your website noticed and get people to visit it.
And this is where search engine optimization comes in.
SEO enables you understand and address the intent of users when they type search queries in search engines, then helps you to gain the right searches from the right users.
#2 SEO helps you avoid Google penalties
Establishing your brand presence on the internet can really be a challenging task, more so if you are new in the digital space. You are not alone if you have been struggling at it.
Businesses of all sizes (big or small) have a hectic time establishing their online presence.
A critical success factor is search engine traffic (organic) and almighty Google or should we say Alphabet goes about policing the internet and doling out penalties to websites who err. Google penalties are the biggest threats to most website on the internet.
Ignoring search engine optimization may be likened to a false impression that Google penalties don’t matter or have no effect on your website’s traffic.
Many webmasters like the writer of the article I mentioned earlier on ignore SEO and inadvertently ignore Google as well. Unfortunately, when Google makes updates to their algorithm, they most often get penalized.
And as a result, they lose a lot of traffic.
This is where search engine optimization comes in to play and ensures that you are not breaking any rules that can get you penalized.
But then, how can you unknowingly break the rules?
#3 SEO enhances Conversion and Sales
The main reasons the search engines are important is because people go to them when they want to buy something, research a subject or find a location.
The beauty of search engine optimization is that it enables you also do keyword research for long tail keywords that people are likely to use as search queries.
Keyword research also enables you to find out the popularity and size of your niche. You get to find out how many people search for a particular keyword and possibly identify the intention behind the keyword searches.
With knowledge of the intent of keyword searches, a good search engine optimization strategy is to create relevant calls to action on your website that will address the intent of the keyword search.
When visitors come to your site, they are presented with the impression that you care for their need and can address it. At that point there move from being visitors in your conversion funnel to leads.
If your conversion strategy is right, you get to smile to the bank as there may end up becoming actual paying customers.
Rand Fishkin CEO of Moz gives very insightful tips on conversion and how it affects SEO in this podcast.
#4 SEO drives Organic Traffic your site
The powerful effect of search engine optimization is that it helps you determine how you are featured in search results through your title tags and Meta description.
If your website is displaying random text without proper keyword approach, you are probably missing out on a chance to get displayed in search results.
When we were set out initially at Nativedge, our ranking was better than most of our local competition but they were getting more organic traffic than we were. Thanks to the analysis tool on Quicksprout, we diagnosed the fault down to our relevant keywords not being in both our titles and Meta descriptions.
To achieve our objective of claiming leadership position in Nigeria, we had to redesign our website to better attract organic traffic. SEO helped us to understand that our site structure was hindering the overall organic display of our website.
Having applied the redesigned our website, we are better positioned to achieve our objective of claiming number one spot in Nigeria. I will be writing a post on the overall effect in about three weeks from now so stay tuned.
#5 SEO helps to Leverage social media marketing
The importance of social media in an effective digital marketing strategy cannot be over emphasized. ‘Content is king’ the experts say, but you will need social media to get your content to people.
When you or your users share content on social media, SEO plays its part there because what people see when content is published or their walls or handle is directly related to SEO parameters like title tags, image alt tags and meta description.
At Nativedge, we use a wordpress plugin Yoast to help us SEO fix parameters like the snippet preview, focus keyword, Meta description etc. to optimize our content.
#6 SEO Projects you as an Expert
When people search for a service or product, they either find you or find your competition. That’s a fact. Search engine optimization positions your website to get found in search results.
When people search for your relevant keywords and your website is displayed on top, it registers in the mind of the web visitor and if you keep coming up on top when such queries are used to search, the impression that naturally goes with it is that you are an expert in that field.
Search engine optimization helps you create Meta description and titles that complement the physiological effect of search ranking. This further drives your brand image and establishes you as a leader in your niche.
Imagine when people are having a friendly argument on a subject and someone says “Google it” as is the norm these days and your website comes right on top of SERP’s.
You are instantly given recognition as a thought leader in your niche.
#7 SEO drives offline sales
We live in a world were Google and SERP’s are key in business decision making. When you pitch a prospect about your service or product, the prospect is most likely to initiate a web search of you or your company before taking a decision to procure your service or product.
Search engine optimization therefore plays a major role in most offline sales drives and should not be ignored. Imagine been in a situation where you pitch a client on a service or product and he “Googles it” and there is nothing about you in the search results.
Give it a thought.
On the other hand, you can stay ahead of your competition and let them do the hard work of offline marketing, only to announce you in search results with their prospect Googles keywords relevant to your niche.
Your competition does your marketing for you right! Yes you got that.
Search engine optimization should not be ignored in any marketing initiative. A good SEO campaign increases search ranking but achieving ranking should not always be the objective but a means to an end.
Your priority as an entrepreneur in any search engine optimization campaign ought to be about driving traffic to your website and converting visitors into actual paying customers.
Let me know your thoughts.
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