The Benefits of SEO

Benefits of SEO

What are the benefits of SEO? Isn't it easier to just pay for ads on Google? Or to build up an audience on Facebook? This article looks at the benefits of SEO and why I believe its the most effective form of inbound marketing.

You may be asking, what is SEO? SEO (which stands for search engine optimisation) refers to the process of driving free traffic to your website from Google and other search engines. As over 50% of the global internet population search the internet everyday, this is a highly effective form of online marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation provides numerous benefits over paid search (or PPC) advertising. Some of these benefits include a lower cost of ownership, more potential real estate on Google's search engine results page and a higher trust factor, which results in improved click through rates. Sustainability is also a long term strategic advantage of search engine optimisation.

Lets look at all the benefits of SEO in more detail:

1. Lower cost of ownership

While SEO is neither cheap nor easy, it is more cost-effective than all other marketing tactics for delivering brand awareness and relevant traffic to your website. Whilst you'll need to get either someone in-house or an SEO specialist to develop and implement your SEO strategy, once you're listed on page one there are no further costs involved. There are no clicks to pay for and your pages won't disappear from Google when your advertising budget runs out. The benefits of SEO are long lasting.

With pay per click advertising, the highest position goes to the highest bidder. This approach can drain your budget quickly with low conversion rates to boot.

Getting consistent, free traffic from organic results eliminates the need for paid advertising and will significantly reduce market expenditure.

For companies on a budget (and who isn't nowadays), SEO can make all the difference, providing long term benefits for all to see.

2. More real estate on Google's search engine results page

In all search results pages, the organic results occupy the majority of the screen real estate. The average search results page contains 2 advertisements or sponsored results and 10 natural search results. More popular keywords have more sponsored links and less popular keywords less or no sponsored links.

Depending on the type of search, the resulting organic links are usually mixed in with blended search results. From an SEO perspective, this is not a good thing as you want your links to stand out. However, by targetting less popular keywords there are many times when no sponsored links are present. This results in 100% natural search results as no one is bidding on your keywords. Also, targetting niche keywords generally leads to better conversion rates.

3. Higher trust factor

Google is very particular about how sites are ranked and people know this. They trust that the first listing on the natural search results is a reputable source. The majority of users click on organic search results as opposed to paid results (this is especially true for users with more internet experience). Conversely, searchers also believe (rightly or wrongly) that the further down you are in the natural search results, the less trustworthy you are.

Attaining a position in the top five results for a keyword indicates that your content is high quality. It means that Google has validated the fact that your site is the top result for a particular topic and this validation gives your site and brand credibility.

If you can achieve position zero, the featured snippet at the very top of the natural search results, it means that you're the defacto choice for the search phrase entered. It doesn't take an SEO expert to work this one out!

The benefits of having a SEO friendly website are vast; a huge advantage is the building of brand awareness.

By practising search engine optimization, you can take charge of your own brand awareness and, consequently, the credibility of your brand.

SEO is more credible than advertising. SEO results are digital PR.

4. Better ROI than advertising

The general consensus is that advertising on Google's pay per click costs money and it brings immediate results, while SEO is free, but takes time. Over the long term, SEO has a better return on investment than PPC. But even in the short term (measured in months) SEO has a better return.

Here are some reasons why:

  • A hit from a Google natural search result is much more beneficial than a hit from an ad. When you buy 1000 visitors from a paid ad, 2% of those visitors might convert into a sale. When you get 1000 clicks from SEO, 4% of those visitors will convert into a sale, leading to a better return on investment.
  • Depending on the competition for a keyword and industry, to outbid by increasing PPC spend can get pretty costly.
  • You can get up to 15x the amount of clicks from SEO that you would get if you were using paid search.
  • Improved click-through rate (CTR) from SEO. A higher percentage of users click on the organic results.
  • Ads can be mis-clicked but you will still pay for them.

SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. When you have the right system in place, you can step back and watch those customers come in!

5. Stand out from your competitors

More people are starting to realize that the benefits of SEO are extremely high. This means that your competitors are likely already taking steps to establish high rankings in search results. With an SEO strategy of your own, you can keep up with - and ideally, move ahead of - them to stay competitive within your industry.

Visibility in search engines for your targeted keywords puts your business in front of potential customers in much the same way as if you were to advertise, and it drives brand awareness.

6. Increase in traffic

Top positions on the search engine result pages receive a majority of the impressions and clicks, so ranking in these top positions can result in significant traffic increases for your website.

Investing in onsite, technical SEO pays dividends in this regard. Spending time creating informative and keyword relevant title tags and meta descriptions which show up in the result pages is invaluable for good SEO.Having optimised tags and descriptions helps to increase the click-through rate, which also promotes increases in qualified web traffic.

7. Increase in usability

Investing in SEO means investing in usability. Google wants to position highly usable and useful sites in its top positions. Google knows how to interpret a favorable or unfavorable user experience, and a positive user experience has become a pivotal element to a website’s success.

By choosing an SEO specialist to optimise your web pages during website construction for best results for specific key words and key phrases relating to your website, you can be assured that your website and it's web pages will enjoy all the benefits of high search engine ranking ranking and subsequent high website traffic.

Applying the basic tenets of search engine optimisation results in better navigation and indexing for search engines and better navigation and overall usability for everyone. Understanding and improving your site's architecture and making the information on your site easy to find and navigate is benficial to both humans and Google.

8. Measurability and accountabilty

In marketing, there is an increasing emphasis on accountability and measurable results. Online marketing is much more measurable than any other types of marketing and search marketing is the most measurable of all.

Brands want to know and understand where they were, where they are, and where they’re going in terms of digital performance. Providing the proper tracking and analytics are put in place, anything can be measured and reported on.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Assigning monetary values to organic search traffic
  • Working out how cost-effective your digital marketing strategy is
  • Determining whether or not you’re targeting the right keywords
  • Understanding how effective your link building strategies are
  • Establishing click through rates (CTR)
  • Identifying slow loading page times

SEO yields tangible, measurable KPIs.

9. Helps understand your market and your customers

Time spent performing keyword research of your's and your competitor's keywords will give you a great understanding of what your customers are searching for. Tied in with the data that you're collecting from your customers as they browse your site, you can explore what people are searching for. With this information, you can discover new products and services to bring to market or change your own promotional tactics.

With research and analysis comes understanding.

Finding a high search volume keyword with low competitiveness has the potential to bring in thousands of sales per month to your website. Customer and market data is very valuable in online marketing and, providing you have the right tools in place, is not that hard to come by.

Putting this data to use for your SEO efforts can be extremely beneficial to your brand, helping boost your organic rankings and getting more customers to visit your website.

10. Permanent results

Unlike advertisements the affects of SEO are permanent. They don’t suddenly stop if you stop paying for them. With PPC, you can quickly get booted out of first or second place if someone chooses to bid higher for a particular keyword. This is not the case for SEO.

When the money runs out for advertisments, your natural search results will still be there. It is a long term investment, rather like buying stocks and shares. You take the time, put the effort in upfront and then sit back and watch the results come in.

Providing that your content is fresh and the usability of your site is good, SEO is long lasting. For companies on a budget, SEO can make all the difference. Investing some time in early website setup can make a big impact on the future growth and visibility of your website.

Additional benefits of SEO

In addition to the above benefits of SEO, there are many other results you can achieve by optimising and promoting your website by the means of organic search. These include:

  • Using SEO to promote your site to a local audience. The right search engine optimisation encourages local users to visit the physical store after the search. Businesses that learn how to build a local SEO strategy will see the ripples of success throughout their business.

  • Creating fresh, relevant content. This offers a variety of benefits, both in terms of SEO and for business growth.

  • Ensuring the mobile-friendliness of your website. As Google moves further onwards with "mobile-first indexing", the importance of making your website mobile friendly cannot be ignored.

  • Creating synergy for all online marketing activities. All of your marketing strategies conducted online will contribute to the success of your search engine optimisation efforts.

  • Increasing your followers on Social Media. Your site visitors are more likely to click on your social media icons and eventually follow you.

  • Improving website speed. Speed is important to improve customer satisfaction and to promote better user experience.

As you can see, SEO has lots of advantages that can bring awareness to your business and bring a higher impact on your marketing goals. Driving traffic to your website can be easier once you’ve gained a high position of Google due to a well-managed SEO strategy.

Final Words

SEO is not a one-time thing. Often, search engine optimisation comes as an afterthought, and not everyone is always fully aware of its long-term benefits. Once a company adopts SEO as part of its online strategy, everything becomes easier. Web designers, developers, web server administrators, and marketers now carry the same vision, with SEO being the norm.

SEO is a long-term commitment that offers long-term results. If you do it properly, search engine optimisation isn't going to take a few days and you won't see huge results in weeks. SEO takes months, but the benefits of SEO last for years.

SEO Consultant

This article was written by Gaz Hall, a UK based SEO Consultant on 28th August 2020.

Gaz has 20 years experience working on SEO projects large and small, locally and globally across a range of sectors.

If you need any SEO advice or would like him to look at your next project then get in touch to arrange a free consultation.