We live in an instant-gratification society. Want to see something everyone’s buzzing about on YouTube? Just pull it up on your phone in a matter of seconds. Someone recommended a great movie from 1994? It’s probably available immediately on Netflix Streaming or for a few bucks on Amazon Instant Video. Love that song on the radio? A single click on iTunes and it’s all yours.
When it comes to your business, though, you can’t just rely on instant gratification. You need to keep the long term in mind, and that means focusing on search engine optimization for your website and/or landing page.
You don’t get instant gratification from SEO, but it’s also not like something that takes years to pay off. When you improve your SEO, you see results in a couple of months, sometimes even in a couple of weeks. It’s not as immediate as a pay-per-click campaign, or as easy to track — which are two imperative reasons why PPC needs to be in your arsenal as well — but it does pay off, and pay off big, over the long term.
You already know that having good SEO for your site will improve your search engine rankings and generally make your site more attractive to visitors, because (when done properly) a site that’s SEO-optimized also tends to have lots of useful content, is easy to navigate, and is laid out in a way that’s easily understandable and usable. However, there just a few of the additional things SEO can do for you, such as:
Producing targeted traffic: In a universal sense, it’s better to get more clicks to your site than fewer clicks. (See, there’s the “sun rises every day” tip we promised you earlier.) But if you’re getting lots of clicks from poorly qualified or unqualified leads, those clicks aren’t doing you any good. Not all traffic is good traffic. Bad traffic burdens your resources while yielding little in new business. You don’t need to be spending time responding to emails, calls or form submissions from customers you can’t help (and who can’t help you). With proper SEO, you reduce untargeted traffic while increasing targeted traffic. Reducing useless traffic gives you more time to assist customers who actually need what you offer.
Extending your reach: Many business owners think they already know several keywords they need to rank for, and that might be the case. While these might turn out to be the best keywords to drive the most targeted traffic to your site, there are likely dozens (if not hundreds) of additional keywords that can drive traffic just as well.
When SEO optimizes your site for more keywords, it’s opening more doors to bring in targeted traffic. Studies have shown that these long-tail keywords can produce as much — if not more — traffic than the core phrases.
Improving brand recognition: Whenever your site ranks in a search, it’s a branding opportunity. The more keywords you are optimized and ranking for, the more branding you are actively doing. This is a big reason why so many sites do SEO and PPC simultaneously: The branding effect increases with dual exposure. When you multiply that over hundreds of searches performed with all different kinds of keywords, you’re broadcasting your brand in an organic way. The more you’re found in search results, the greater opportunity you have to brand your website with that searcher.