If you think about it, running a business in this day and age is much like taking part in a marathon. With so many trends to come up with and the incredible amount of competition, business owners need to push hard just to become visible to their target audience. Though word of mouth does have its benefits, search engine giants like Google have revolutionized how people find your brand and trust your authority. With organic searches becoming highly popular among customers, businesses looked up to SEO or search engine optimization to solve their woes.

In layman terms, SEO is a technique which helps you get on the first few pages of Google, Bing and other such search engines, so it becomes easier for your target audience to find you. Even if you’ve created a beautifully designed website that has a perfect user interface, it will not be recognized unless you pay attention to SEO. Unfortunately, though almost everyone is aware of the importance of search engine optimization, there are lots of businesses who don’t engage in it. According to stats provided by Blue Corona, though 66% owners of small business say that finding new customers is their top priority and 43% consider customer experience and retention improvement their top priority, only 17% are investing their time, effort and money into SEO!

However, though a majority of marketers and owners have started to indulge in this marketing technique, most don’t know that SEO is more than just search engine rankings. Though the core value of search engine optimization is put on the position you’re able to score on Google, there are lots of other benefits that you may not be aware of.

The horizon of SEO

With 51% of all B2B and B2C website traffic coming from organic searches, we all know that rankings help in increased traffic for our website. Moreover, with statistics showing that Google accounted for more than 79% of all global desktop search traffic, we understand that it’s essential for you to work on your rankings. But is that all there is? Absolutely not!

Here are some of the advantages that are acquainted with improved rankings when you work on your SEO and make sure that it is top-notch.

Benefits your branding and visibility
The trend of searching for products and services has shifted. Instead of asking friends, family or acquaintances about their preferences, people are turning towards the internet for everything from reviews about brands and their products to suggestions about the hotel they should stay in when on tour. Again, while being on the first page will help your business significantly, most people don’t limit themselves to the first search engine results. On the contrary, they alter the keywords related to your business to find the best vendor.

If you’ve spent plenty of time with SEO and integrated the keywords linked to your business, then your brand will come up with every search and this will pique the interest of the researcher. Even if the user didn’t bother to pay attention to your website on the first go, he would want to know more once he sees it repeatedly.

Benefits you in understanding your customers
A business is nothing without its loyal customers that swear by the products and services which it has to offer. When you develop your SEO strategy, you have to think and research deeply about the target audience that your business wants to attract. You may spend days mulling over the customer personas and find out what they like and dislike. Once this research has ended, you have a profound understanding of your customer, and this is one of the most crucial things when it comes to customer acquisition and retention. With SEO, you won’t just be targeting your audience through search engines but will also make your website customer-centric so that you can provide your visitors with the best experience.

Benefits your credibility and authority
When your website keeps appearing on search engine results, it will make your potential customers trust your brand’s credibility. Customers know that only the best businesses can get on the top pages of search engines and so this will increase their level of awareness about your products. Though they may not realize it immediately, high search engine rankings will have a subconscious effect on them, and this will make it more likely for them to deal with your business and what you have to offer.

Benefits user convenience
Another great benefit of SEO is that it helps you build user-friendly websites and blogs. According to a Social Media Examiner research, 62% of B2B marketers and 51% of B2C marketers have optimized their websites and blogs to mobile devices so they can improve their SEO. Because search engines always prefer sites with the best user interface, you will be doing yourself and your customers a favor.

If according to the search engine algorithm, your website has what it takes to satisfy your visitors, you will be at the top of their page. However, you have to remember that it won’t be enough to optimize your website once in a year, but instead, you’ll need to stay updated about the trends and change your online presence accordingly.

Benefits in targeting the ‘right’ customers
You cannot generate money or profit from your website traffic unless they interact with your website and buy something you’re selling. Mindless traffic that isn’t targeted won’t do any good to your business, and this is why SEO aims to bring you the right type of customers.

Search engine optimization ensures that the traffic coming in has an interest in your brand or product so you can succeed in converting them. Targeted SEO will have a positive impact on your sales and make sure that you benefit from the visits your website is getting.

Benefits success measurement
One of the most significant advantages of SEO other than rankings is that it can be verified. There are tons of tools available for free that will help you track your SEO strategies success and measure the revenue and sales that the traffic is bringing in. Tools such as Google Analytics can give you a full picture of how your SEO is affecting your website traffic and maybe even point to a few things that you’re doing wrong. With these measuring tools, you can work towards improving your strategy so you can attract even more traffic.

Benefits in staying updated
With Google changing its algorithm every few weeks, it is vital for your business to stay updated if you don’t want your SEO strategy to go to waste. Optimization will help you stay in-sync with the latest developments on the market, so your business and website don’t fall behind. For instance, while Google focused on content filled with keywords a few years ago, trends have changed drastically, and keyword stuffing is highly discouraged.

Benefits in improving content marketing
SEO is all about content marketing. Whether it’s the blogs you create or the videos you upload, search engines are always focused on what you’re providing the customer and how you’re providing it. When you make your content optimized for search engines, you are inadvertently making it more attractive for the visitor. You aren’t just writing or uploading so your products can sell, but also doing it so the information can bring real value to the customer.

Moreover, when you use suitable keywords and meta tags and publish new content consistently, you set your posts up to be shared on social media platforms. This, of course, will bring you still more publicity because even if your target audience doesn’t search for you on search engines, they will hear about it from the people they trust. So, by paying attention to SEO, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Benefits in keeping track of competitors
We all know how critical competition is in today’s business strategies. Though rivalry can be fierce for any business, SEO helps you in keeping track of your opponents and even win the race. Because the keyword you search for and the different strategies you apply for SEO warrants for some information about your competitors, you get the chance to know more about their business, products, and customers. Moreover, if they are one of the businesses that haven’t yet started to invest in SEO, your company has a high chance of getting ahead and claiming more customers and sales.

Now that you know what SEO can offer other than rankings, let’s dive into a few of the sure-fire ways which will help you in iron cladding your optimization.

Improving your SEO

Much like Google’s algorithm, you also need to keep your SEO techniques updated if you want it to be useful to you in the long run. Though there are countless ways you can improve your search engine optimization, we’ll talk about the ones which you can apply now, in 2018.

Here’re a few of the things you can do to stay updated.

Follow the latest trends
Yes, backlinking, keywords and content quality have always been crucial for Google. But that’s not all that SEO is about. Recently, Google announced that RankBrain is their 3rd top signal and if you’re serious about SEO, you need to know how it works. Even though guidelines will remain more or less the same, information about the latest happenings in the world of SEO will help you and your business.

Look for unique keywords
Even though Google’s AdWords can help you considerably when it comes to finding keywords, you need to spread your search outside as well. Untapped resources like Reddit are a great way to discover keywords, especially long-tailed ones when you can’t find anything unique on other more rudimentary channels. When researched correctly, these websites can be a goldmine of information and can provide keywords you never thought could target your customers.

However, remember that AdWords and other such tools should be your first options otherwise you may not get to know about the keywords that your competitors are using.

Work on your content
We’re said it once, and we’ll say it again; you need to work on your content consistently. That doesn’t mean creating new posts but revamping old ones too so they can benefit you long after you wrote them.

A survey conducted by Backlinko showed that updating and republishing old blog posts alongside new images and content can increase traffic by approximately 111%! All you’ll need to do is to add new facts and figures to your old blog, so it is relevant to the reader, include images and voila, you’ll have created a brand-new post for your audience.

Don’t forget social media
Often, SEO strategists focus all their efforts on the rankings of their website and what that can give them and ignore to pay some attention to social media. This is possibly the worst mistake that you can make because social media platforms have become a part of our daily lives and this is why you need to ensure that you’re giving it enough time.

If you have an optimized website but don’t have a social media presence, then your brand won’t stand a chance against the competitors. For instance, while social shares may or may not affect your site’s ranking, your social profile will undoubtedly influence the content of the search results. For example, if you search for ‘Coca-Cola,’ the 2nd result will be of the company’s Twitter profile.

In Summary

With these facts and figures in hand, you shouldn’t hesitate or think twice about using search engine optimization and its many techniques. If you’re worried about spending your money, then don’t because this is something which is practically free when you consider the profitability it will make for your business.