It seems like every time I’m browsing the latest marketing news, there’s some trend or fad that’s “the next big thing” for marketers. With this being a staple headline each and every week, it’s obvious they can’t all be the next big thing. And who even has the time to give them all an honest look? How are you supposed to know which fads to follow and which to ignore?
Maybe the real question is why you’re looking for “the next big thing” at all? With the endless lineup of marketing platforms and tactics available, maybe the next big thing is actually just the revival of an old thing? Maybe your big move is dusting off something old you’ve been neglecting? Something that’s been around for years. Something that’s supported lead generation. Something that’s fueled visibility and brand recognition.
I’m talking about SEO. And it’s just as important as ever. Here’s why:
It has a long term outlook
SEO may be an upfront investment of resources, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving. While paid tactics like pay-per-click campaigns can give you immediate results, SEO takes time, building results over the coming weeks, months, and years. In fact, the average top 10 ranking page is over 2 years old. Plus, it snowballs: the better your content keyword-optimization, the better your page and domain authority, the more traffic you get, the more you move up in rankings, and so on. While Google’s ranking factors are updated regularly, the tools and tactics for strong SEO have remained relatively unchanged. This means you can be sure of the time investment. It will pay off.
I know what you’re thinking—why spend time building a good SEO strategy that won’t show immediate results when I can just pay for traffic with an always-on search campaign? As we’ve seen with COVID and its ripple effects, marketing budgets are never a sure thing and that “always-on” campaign may not live up to its name. We’ve seen this issue with a lot of clients and companies. They’ve had to turn off their paid promotion tactics to conserve cash, and *poof* there goes lead generation.
With SEO, you may have to invest some time and love into writing meta descriptions, creating content, and generating backlinks, but once it’s done, you’ll reap the benefits without shelling out a dime.
It’s one of the most cost-effective strategies
Speaking of saving cash, SEO is one of the most cost-effective strategies that marketers can use to bring in new business. While you may believe that time is money, it isn’t. Time is time, money is money, and SEO only requires an investment in the former. Compare that to retargeting, social media ads, and display campaigns, where you’ll spend time on strategy and money on execution.
Not only is SEO cost-effective, but it also provides trackable and quantifiable results. With great (free) tools at your disposal like Google Analytics, you can drill down to a granular level to see who’s interacting with your website and why. From there, you can get a strong idea of ROI and use your findings to influence the strategy behind other campaigns, like which keywords to include in blogs, ad copy, etc.
Search will always be there
Do you have any idea how many Google searches are made each day? Back in 2012, the number was over 3.3 billion. Stretch that to a year and it’s over 1 trillion! That number is going to continue to grow as more people are spending more time online. Consumers will always have needs, and in this digital age, our number one go-to is searching the internet before making a purchase decision. With the first five organic results accounting for over 67% of all clicks, getting strong search listings should be a priority.
It’s always changing
Google is constantly updating its search engine algorithm to improve the user experience. With all of these changes to how Google ranks your website, marketers need to stay on top of their SEO to ensure the rankings they’ve worked so hard for don’t slip. What worked for your SEO strategy in 2016 may not be as successful in 2021. Like other aspects of marketing, SEO will make the greatest impact when it’s the subject of frequent optimizations. You shouldn’t just prioritize it in 2021, you should prioritize it in 2022, 2023, and beyond.
The search landscape is changing, and so are consumer behaviours and perceptions. Our customers are being bombarded by thousands of advertisements each day. Not only are we getting banner blindness, but many consumers are also becoming increasingly skeptical of advertising. According to a study by AdAge, 96% of consumers don’t trust it. With tech-savvy consumers learning to skip over the bogus paid ads, ranking as high as possible organically has become more important than ever.
So now what?
It should be clear by now why SEO should have a permanent place on your list of priorities. SEO may be old, but it’s still valuable. Get started by adapting to the latest trends, such as voice search, optimizing for topics instead of keywords, visual search, optimizing for SERPs, and more. Want some help or advice on getting your SEO strategy started? Let’s talk!