With how fast technological advancements are developing nowadays, a large variety of marketing strategies have emerged for businesses to take advantage of. But for years now, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has risen as one of the most influential, most sought-after tactics that businesses should utilize.
Whether you are a small business, a growing corporation, or a global brand, it is still essential, because organic search is perhaps the most valuable marketing channel nowadays. But because it involves a lot of legwork and effort, it’s hard to justify why you’d have to partition a significant portion of your marketing budget into this one strategy. Especially in this decade, when more and more technologies are allowing you to become more visible to your audience outside of search engines.
So, is SEO still relevant in 2018? Would your business survive even if you don’t necessarily put an effort in it?
Here are the seven reasons you should consider today:
- SEO is still the most significant driving force behind website traffic
- Statistics reported by MarketingProfs show that 43% of website traffic was driven by search rankings as of September 2017.
- Additionally, SEO is reported to be 85% more likely to bring traffic to a website than using the pay-per-click (PPC) model.
- Even if there are a lot of ways now on making your website known to your audiences, it remains that your most powerful avenue for accumulating website traffic. And a cohesive SEO strategy will strongly impact your chances of being discovered by a considerable portion of your target market.
- People are relying on searches more than ever to make decisions
- It’s not new information that Google has now become everyone’s default go-to for just about any query – accounting for over 79% of all global desktop searches – followed by Bing (7.27%), Baidu (6.55%), and Yahoo! (5.06%).
- Studies conducted on how consumer behavior is correlated to search engines showed that customers tend to research the products, services, and businesses they are thinking of purchasing/transacting with before deciding – with at least 79% of people taking appropriate action before a purchase.
- Moz adds that 15% of the millions of active US web users perform at least one or more search in a day, 45% searched in a week, and 68% completed one or more in a month.
- Meanwhile, daily searches on Google amount to 3.5 billion, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide as of January 2018.
- Local search behavior statistics also show that consumers use search engines to find local businesses near them, and location-related searches have increased in 2017. Numerous trend reports solidify the fact that this behavior will continue to rise in 2018.
- Organic results are clicked more than paid search results
- Organic results are highly reputable for consumers for one crucial reason: quality is the most significant factor that influences a web page’s ranking in their pages — higher the position, the better the quality that Google detected.
- Because Google places a lot of importance in the quality of the websites that appear as results in a set of keywords, consumers instantly put a lot of trust in the results that appear in the first page.
- According to MarketingProfs, organic results are 8.5 times more likely to be clicked on than paid search results. Search Engine Journal and BrightEdge report that organic search accounts for 51% of website traffic, while 10% is from paid search, 5% from social media, and 34% through other sources.
- Mobile advancements are making it easier to do searches
- Mobile phones are now essential in the daily lives of consumers and businesses, and that means companies must adjust accordingly.
- Not only does Google’s algorithm now take into consideration the mobile-friendliness of websites (mainly as search results for mobile users), but consumers themselves prefer a site less when it is not optimized for mobile use.
- Since 2015, more Google searches took place on mobile devices than on desktops in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.
- In 2017, mobile accounts for 50.3% of all web traffic generated worldwide, and it’s expected that this statistic will only continue to rise with the further advancements in mobile technology, especially with Artificial Intelligence integration and voice searches becoming more frequent.
- Marketers are becoming increasingly satisfied with SEO
- 81% of marketing influencers report being pleased with their SEO strategy and describe it as successful.
- Likewise, 82% say that SEO effectiveness is increasing, with 42% of them describing the increase as significant.
- Because of the success of inbound marketing and SEO, more marketers are dedicated to improving their over-all SEO results.
- In a comprehensive list of marketing statistics published by HubSpot, 61% of marketers are reported to have SEO improvement and growth of online presence as their top inbound marketing priority in 2017.
- Budget allocation for SEO is expected to grow until 2020
- Companies invested over $65 billion on SEO in 2016, and this year, this budget is expected to grow with the increase of competition online as more companies are looking to invest in their search engine optimization efforts.
- Impact BND predicts that the average firm will allocate about 41% of their marketing budget to their online efforts in 2018, and this rate will grow to up to 45% by 2020.
- This budget will be divided into the many different elements of digital marketing – with search engine marketing capturing the most significant share of online spend. Second to this will be online display elements, such as banner ads, online videos, etc.
- SEO functions strongly with other forms of digital marketing
- While SEO can certainly stand alone, it also works well when partnered with other digital marketing tactics, such as content marketing, social media marketing, PPC efforts, etc.
- Despite organic results being more preferred by consumers over pay-per-click links, SEO and PPC can work together to improve the overall SEO strategy by using PPC to target keywords that are not yet ranking organically, while SEO’s long-tail keywords can be used to expand PPC campaigns, among other tactics.
- Meanwhile, content marketing can provide interesting, relevant, and helpful content that not only will help you develop credibility and loyalty in your customers but also help you rank higher in SERPs.
- Social media marketing, on the other hand, can help with exposure. Providing links to your website through your social media profiles and in relevant posts will increase brand awareness, encourage external inbound links, grow your follower count, etc.
Despite being a strategy that may be difficult to accomplish, Search Engine Optimization remains as one of the top players among the multitude of digital marketing tactics that businesses can use to increase brand awareness, gather more leads, and ultimately, drive more sales. In 2018, SEO will continue to soar to new heights — and it’s high time your business come along for the ride.
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