By: Dave Robinson who runs Red Evolution, a B2B digital marketing agency https://www.redevolution.com based in Scotland.
If they want to succeed, online businesses need website visitors. They can buy visitors using advertising, lure them using viral content or attract them from search engines using search engine optimisation of SEO.
Given the mind-boggling numbers of people who use Google every day, attracting some of them makes good business sense.
But SEO is, for many business owners, shrouded in mystery. However, it isn’t complicated or complex if you stop thinking about it as a technical challenge. If you think of it as helping potential customers whilst building your brand, it’s much easier.
There are two aspects to SEO, one technical the other content related. At one end of the spectrum, getting the technical side wrong can prevent Google from showing your web pages in search results, but this is rare. Most of the time, technical SEO is about eliminating minor errors and gaining small improvements. With content, it’s a different story, but more on that in a moment.
SEO Is Organic Revenue Generation
Most businesses pay to get in front of potential customers. Traditional methods like TV ads, radio ads, printed media and digital channels such as Google and Linkedin ads all provide excellent services.
But people know these channels are adverts and potentially distrust them. Even if you overcome the trust aspect, research shows people zone out and often don’t see adverts. This lack of ad visibility is why SEO is essential for every online business and why it’s not just SEO; it’s organic revenue generation.
Thinking about SEO as revenue generation and brand building is something most online business owners should grasp. Appearing in search results pages creates an opportunity to engage with the person searching, and some of those people might buy something. All this means getting found online, outside the advertising channels, is a powerful way to build your brand and generate revenue.
To achieve organic revenue generation, you need content. But what is “content” in this context, and why is it important?
The Importance Of Content
Every day millions of people ask Google questions, and Google returns answers. These are either rich snippets, the content you see right there on the search results page, or links to web pages, videos and PDF documents. So as a business, if it’s your content people find when they ask questions, there’s the potential to create an opportunity or even a sale.
But that sale or opportunity will only come if your content is helpful, educational, entertaining and credible. Your content might get you found, but it won’t do much more than that if it’s not very good.
So how do you create content that people will find helpful? How does content generate revenue? It’s pretty simple.
Understand Your Ideal Customers And Help Them
Most people use Google when researching a purchase. Whether it’s a new car, a pair of trainers or a service such as a tax expert, it usually starts with a search.
If you think about the last significant purchase you made, there’s a good chance it started at Google. This doesn’t necessarily mean you purchased from the business whose content helped you, but you might have.
It’s a reasonably safe bet that somewhere along the route from the first search to your purchase, you bought from a business you discovered during the process. It’s unlikely this was accidental.
The chances are the person you bought from provided information and help somewhere along the line, and they did this by design.
They will have started by understanding the people who buy from them and the questions they are likely to ask during the buying process. Next, they will have gathered data about the words and phrases commonly used in searches. From there, they will have mapped out a content plan and all designed to attract people to their website.
SEO, The Last Word
In summary, SEO is important for every online business, but it’s less a technical discipline and more about clear and concise communication. SEO is about understanding your customers and their problems and creating content that educates and provides answers. SEO is about helping people. SEO can help every online business thrive.
Some believe SEO is no longer important. They suggest there are more powerful ways to reach new customers, such as ad remarketing and influencer outreach. Perhaps they are right.
But the fact remains that Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day. Some of the people doing those searches need what you’re selling; if they don’t find you in the search results, they will see your customers, and you’ll miss out. That’s why SEO is important for every online business.