So you’ve got a website, but there’s a problem. Maybe you’re not getting enough traffic. Nobody’s filling out contact forms. Purchases are lower than expected—or needed. You Google for answers and keep seeing the term “SEO.” What is it, what’s the big deal, and does your business need it? Read on to learn the answer—and how Swarm Digital can use SEO to elevate your web presence.
The Old Way
It’s thirty-ish years ago. The Internet isn’t around yet. You start a business. You have to do all kinds of weird stuff to get it in front of people: buy ads in the local newspaper, send mail-outs, maybe make low-budget commercials, and put them on local TV. Okay, basically what they do nowadays except without Google.
However, one marketing tool was an absolute necessity: you needed a listing in the Yellow Pages or the phone book. Back in the day, everyone in America had one. It was a massive tome listing phone numbers for every local product or service. They were arranged by category. If you needed to find your local guitar store, you opened the phone book, flipped to “G,” and found the one closest to you. Needed to order a pizza? Check under “P.”
If you wanted people to know your business existed, it had to be listed correctly in the Yellow Pages. Have the most phenomenal-looking store in the city? Not in the phone book? Nobody cares. You own the only watch shop in Tampa that carries Nomos timepieces? Euro-bling fans will never know.
Nowadays, the same is true for your business online. Having a website out there in the ether isn’t enough. There are practices that allow it to be more visible—easier to index—to Google and its buddies. It’s called SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
But wait—your site looks great, and it clearly explains what your business does and why it’s valuable. Isn’t that all you need? Great question. Let’s deep-dive.
Having a Great-Looking Website is Not Enough
Your website should be a tool to build your business. There are three primary elements that help to accomplish that goal.
Great design attracts. It should not be a cluttered mess. It should not remind viewers of a site from the 90s. It should instead be pleasing to the eye. A big part of our admiration for Apple, for instance, boils down to aesthetics: superb product design, great aesthetics, and clear and minimal design.
The flow of information on your site should also lead customers’ eyes in the right direction. This is called User Experience or UX. The graphics and text should engage and educate, directing a viewer’s eyes to the high points and benefits of what your business offers. Properly executed, viewers should then allow them to learn more, schedule a meeting, or outright purchase your product or service.
Once a customer’s on your site, design and flow can really help connect them to your business. But they have to get there. That’s where SEO comes in. It bridges your site to Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and its competitors. While design and flow speak to human website visitors, SEO speaks to search engines—often AIs—and how they work. It’s not as visual as user experience—it’s much more under the hood—but it’s a vital consideration.
Benefits of Search Engine Optimization
Just piping a site onto the web is no longer enough; SEO is expected. 93% of web experiences begin with a search engine. And if customers are searching for a product or service they need, you’re facing competition: it’s estimated that SEO-related business spending hit $80 billion two years ago and is on an upward trajectory.
More and Better Traffic
The best way to grow your business ‘in the real world’ is word of mouth. There’s a different term on the web that means the same thing: organic growth. Organic growth results when search engines find content that points the right humans to your site, i.e. when your site expresses what you do in a manner that search engines can index. Suppose you’re the best custom shoelace manufacturer in the United States. In that case, SEO ensures keywords and content are executed according to SEO best practices so that your laces are at the top of search results.
Helps You Understand Your Customers
SEO is often not a one-and-done task, though. It’s a process that requires constant adaptation and change. Why? Three main reasons: first, Google and their friends change how they do stuff all the time. Second, the way we interact with the web evolves, too. Remember when we didn’t use voice search? Remember when you never saw smartwatches on peoples’ wrists? Remember when people bought GPS devices for their cars rather than just throwing their iPhones on the dash? Number three, though, is the big one: competition. Google is not a neutral space; it’s a battleground. As you optimize your site and push your competitors down the search results page, they’re going to notice and push back if they’re savvy. If not, you win. But if you’re not, you’re setting yourself up to lose.
That’s a good thing. As search engines get more granular and—sometimes scarily—specific with search, so does an SEO professional’s ability to identify and reach the best potential customers for your business. Which keywords work? Which people are searching for those things that make your business different? What makes your site unique and ‘find-able?’ The answer begins with well-done search engine optimization.
Increases the Value of Your Ad Spend
Have you ever bought web ads and felt like you were throwing money on a bonfire? When you market online, targeting is vital. The process of search engine optimization and the info you can gather helps zero in on the right potential customers. The result? Increased confidence and efficiency in your ad spend.
SEO Done Right
Your business needs search engine optimization. More traffic means more customers, a bigger platform, and more efficient use of your marketing money. It increases the odds of connecting you to paying clients who need you the most.
SEO best practices change rapidly. Here’s what Roger Hurni said in Forbes recently: “Every SEO strategy is a bit of a moving target. No matter how good it is one day, the next day it may need to change because the algorithm it’s leveraging has changed without warning.”
It’s also worth doing right. If you want a group of SEO professionals with a proven record of success, call Swarm Digital.
- Cables Unlimited called us about increasing web traffic. Once we were done, they saw a 278% increase in leads per month with a redesigned site that looked great on mobile.
- Witkon Law’s web traffic increased 39% with an SEO-centric site design. They now average two phone call inquiries a day.
With more than two decades of combined experience, Swarm knows what works, keeps up with a rapidly changing industry, and cares deeply for clients’ success. Reach out now at +1 (855) 244-4407 or click here to get started.