Many people in the business world will often say that SEO is nearing the end and soon something else will take its spot. If your business wants to reach millions of people, SEO is the best way to do so, better than any other kind of marketing skill. Although video is coming into its own, the mass of the work is actually done by the day to day marketing using search engines. Think about it, if you want to find something you need to open up a web browser and use a search engine to be transported to all the options in the world. So it's inevitable that one day you will require SEO to push your business name up the list. If you don’t engage with it, you will never be near the top of search results, and thus customers will overlook you. Even if you have a better product and or service, without optimizing your position in the search results you can’t make the sales numbers you want. However, more and more search engines like Google are choosing what is presented first on their results pages. They might even get paid to put a business above yours. This has brought into question the effectiveness and importance of SEO for business?
Can’t beat them, join them
Search engines have turned their search results pages into another way to control what is seen by the general public. It's their platform so businesses can’t really achieve anything by complaining too hard. If you can't beat them then you should opt to join them. Many in fact think this is the future anyway as more and more money is to be made by curating search results. For example, if you search for a Mexican restaurant near you, there will be a few searches that pop up right at the top with pictures of the food served by the restaurants. Below them will be the normal links to the various top websites and things return to normal from then on.
How do you think this is happening? The restaurants in your area have contacted Google and opted to pay them to be featured right at the top of their results pages. Even though they may not be featured in the top results for the websites, their restaurant appears right at the top. This is bypassing the normal SEO practice and literally selling results for money. What the price is for this kind of advertising is kept close to the search engines and not much is known other than if you enquire. They will need to take your details, check your website to see if it matches their standards of public image, figure out if you’re worth it because they want to see a return on their actions and then they will disclose the cost to have this go ahead.
Get your fingers typing
Customers are yearning to know more about your business. As you can imagine the majority of people don’t work in business and they are driven wild by curiosity. What does a business look like on the inside? What kinds of questions do they ask about themselves in order to improve? What is the process of creating a product? These are just some of the questions that customers want answered in long form blogs. Once upon a time businesses were directed to begin writing business blogs but keep the posts short. This would generally mean that posts would be around 500 words or less. For customers and browsing consumers this was amazing to see that a CEO is writing about their daily life and the challenges they face. However now, that’s not enough. People want to read articles in the form of a blog post.
What kinds of topics and structures of writing could you create? Talk about the advancing of a product. What is the feedback you’re getting on the previous models of a product? Explain in detail the things that your business has considered improving and also talk about what are the good things and bad things your customers have told you about. One of the 5 reasons why SEO is still important is because search results show that longer posts around 1,600 words tend to boost your rating. This will help you to rise in the search results and appear before everyone else. You can read more here about the value of being first on search results pages. The top 3 search results will garner a total of 52% of the overall traffic from consumers. That is simplys staggering considering how many options are available.
For small and micro businesses the best marketing strategy that is going to be cost-effective is still SEO. It makes perfect sense, because it largely relies on being able to use keywords to their advantage. If your product is a porcelain vase then it make sense to have those two words in your product description and title. This then should appear in search results in the form of your website link which then instantly transfers customers to the page your product is on. The end goal of SEO isn’t to secure a purchase but to secure leads. This means that you need to get customers interested to the point that they are able to sign up to your website and give you their basic details. This can be in the way of signing up with an account before they can finalize a purchase. Why is this important? By having the contact details of customers you can work to make them recurring customers. The way it starts is by writing great long-form content and making sure your keywords are relevant and highly effective with general searches for the products you sell.
SEO is still relevant but it's going through a major change as search engines are just opting to be paid for top advertisements in their search result pages. This can be combated by simply joining them and offering to pay to have your business to appear at the top of the page. It's still the most cost-effective marketing strategy so if you’re a small business you should keep your SEO skills sharp.