As 2016 nears a close, companies are busy analyzing their plans for the next financial year. One question that most executives are asking their marketers is if there is a need for SEO. Optimizing websites for search has not particularly had a great reputation lately. Enterprises that have invested in SEO and not gained any ROI from it will, of course, be reluctant to put money into that “pitfall” again.
The influx of SEOs in today’s marketing world does not help much either what with some of them using dubious tactics to get sites to higher ranks. However, SEO still holds a critical piece of the advertising puzzle, and business owners have to understand why it is important. What justifies budgeting for SEO in your 2017 business calendar?
1. Search Engines are here to Stay
One motivation that should have you investing in SEO in 2017 is that search engines will gain more market share in the near future. As it stands, a high percentage of online users go to search engines when looking to find something. That number will get higher as more people get adequate access to the internet.
It means that having an online presence will be more crucial than ever. These applications are evolving to meet the shifting needs of users with features like voice and video search becoming a reality, which is making them almost indispensable to consumers. If these searchers cannot find your site in result pages, then you lose out.
2. Mobile is Taking Over
Predictions started coming in a few years ago about how mobile devices will overtake PC use, and it has happened. From smartphones to tablets, users across the world are on desktop less and less when they need to find something online. The issue, though is that entities are lagging behind when it comes to optimizing for mobile.
In 2017, SEO will matter because these mobile platforms are opening up opportunities for different types of marketing. Local search has particularly dominated mobile device use, and business owners can capitalize on that by optimizing websites to cater to this audience.
Of course, businesses have to consider how much ad spend they can afford when planning their digital marketing. SEO is one tactic that saves companies money on advertising. It is long term and if done right Compared to techniques like PPC, email marketing, social media marketing, and other lead purchasing options, search optimization is very affordable.
Startups and SMEs that cannot afford to invest a lot in their marketing benefit from using SEO for online exposure. Granted that each marketing strategy has its role to play, SEO allows you to promote your brand online without necessarily bankrupting your enterprise.
4. Complacency will Kill You
One thing all marketers, veterans, and novices alike can agree on is the fickle nature of SEO. The underlying concepts may remain, but the particulars of search optimization keep changing. Search engines have a norm of changing things up once in a while. Algorithms get new updates, and guidelines adjust all the time.
The search engine spiders responsible for detecting websites are always crawling for new content. Aspects such as keyword research and social media indicators have become fundamental for search engines.
Failing to invest in SEO means that you stop keeping up with all these modifications. Poor SEO tactics may not have altered your ranking in the past but not doing it at all is definitely one way to fail.
5. The Competition Will be Doing it
When doing business, it’s all about one-upping the competition. Be sure that one or more of your rivals has discovered what SEO can do and are putting money in it. When you are still contemplating if to do it, other website owners are ranking better on result pages, meaning they are getting more visibility than you.
Note that SEO takes time to manifest results, so the longer it takes to get started, the further you lag and the longer it is going to take to break into the market. Competitors will have better chances of claiming the opportunities that come up, meaning higher chances for generating leads and conversions.
6. It is Still Effective
Perhaps the biggest reason why SEO should be part of your digital marketing strategy in 2017 is that it still works. Just because your company got the short end of the SEO stick the first time you tried it does not mean this marketing tactic has stopped being effective. Good SEO needs the right person, or a quality SEO Agency to handle it, and more importantly, a solid plan.
Search engines have already become a huge part of the consumer’s journey. Before a shopper can settle on your product, Google, Bing, or any other engine becomes the first stop for reviews and other information. Due to this, organic search results continue to be the best avenue for generating traffic.
SEO is undoubtedly not where it used to be- it is more complex and takes more work to get good ROI. It may be the reason some marketers scoff at the thought of using it in their digital marketing strategies. However, search optimization has proven to be an effectual tactic in generating organic traffic. For this reason, it needs just as much attention as any other digital marketing plan you have for 2017.