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SEO is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot. You’ve probably heard one of the many marketing gurus rave on about how it should be put above all else when it comes to online marketing. If not, you may have read about it in an article or someone you know may have mentioned it in passing.

 

However SEO was brought to your attention doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that it has been. The process of optimizing a site for the search engines can be the difference between web success and web failure. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what it is, and just why it should be one of your top marketing priorities.

 

What is SEO?:

 

The word SEO is an acronym for the phrase Search Engine Optimization. It describes the process of making a website appealing to web-crawlers responsible for ranking sites based on their value to users.

 

SEO is an umbrella term that includes within it various techniques for ensuring a web page ranks highly. These techniques can vary from the simple, to the highly complex.

 

The Advantages:

 

To say that SEO is one of the most important marketing strategies around wouldn’t be an overstatement. Properly performed optimization campaigns can be the difference between making a huge profit and going under.

 

Some of the advantages of SEO include:

 

  • More web traffic, specifically organic, targeted web traffic
  • More public interest in a certain brand, product or cause
  • Reduced advertising costs
  • Increased sales, higher conversion rates and more leads
  • More exposure on social media
  • A better business reputation

 

How Important is it?:

 

While the advantages of optimizing a site for the major search engines are clearly attractive, as you can see above, you may be wondering whether the process is worth it for smaller businesses, ones without access to huge budgets and marketing teams.

 

The answer to that question is still yes. As a marketer, you’ll be well aware that the success of a venture does sometimes depend on the amount of money invested into it, but when it comes to SEO, even small changes can work wonders.

 

Benefits You’re Likely to See:

 

It’s great talking about the benefits some sites see from running a search engine optimization campaign, but that doesn’t help you, and it certainly doesn’t put money into your pocket. You’re probably wondering what benefits you’re likely to see yourself, and how soon you’re likely to see them, before you think about investing time into the optimization project.

 

How do these sound?

 

  • An easier to use site, resulting in a reduced bounce-rate
  • More traffic to your site or blog
  • More links to your site from other businesses
  • More attention on social media
  • Less need for paid ads
  • A noticeable increase in revenue

 

You will of course see the above benefits begin slowly, but over time, they’ll compound. SEO will soon become one of, if not your main, marketing strategy.

 

Getting Started With Your SEO Campaign:

 

Getting started isn’t as difficult as you may think. Usually, the best place to begin is with your own website. Fixing old or outdated code is one way to begin your journey, as is analyzing your site’s meta-data.

 

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive approach, having your site audited by a professional is likely to reveal many pointers on how you can improve it for the better. Some think of SEO only in terms of backlinks and blackhat techniques. While these have their place, search engines value site usability just as highly as popularity.

 

Such professionals will also be able to help manage your campaign for you. Though, through listening to podcasts, watching videos and reading articles, some choose to run theirs alone.