It may strike you as an inappropriate time to begin to think about overhauling your website or online presence and indeed some of your working practice when it comes to your web management, in the midst of a global health and economic crisis the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
However, with Covid-19 having such a monumental impact on the way we behave, our mobility, the way we search and of course consumer behaviour, SEO is actually even more important, in fact a recent study from the respected Forrester Group research company reported that businesses who invested in SEO and in particular user experience (which is a huge part of SEO) saw their revenues (read this blog post on how to calculate revenue) increase by 400%.
Much of our consumption and a huge amount of purchases are now made online and people have more time on their hands to do their research when it comes to brands, content and the overall feel of the way companies offer their wares than ever before. With most of us having more time on our hands than we know what to with what better time could there be to dedicate some of that pent up energy into getting to know the intricate details, flaws and potential for improvements on your website.
With people avoiding crowded places (the research is unanimous) and behaviour adjusting to shopping around online even more than before, now is the perfect time to open your business up to customers who up until now didn’t know you existed. To highlight that what this article is saying about SEO being more important than ever in the light of the current global situation is true is the fact that search terms including “SEO” are featuring highly in Google trends. As such it is imperative, now more than ever, that your business not only ranks highly in the results of search engines, but also – even more importantly – that the content users will find matches or even exceeds their expectations.
Fortunately, the fundamental best practice of SEO is, these days, tied inextricably with user experience as the algorithms of search engines that were once rigid and designed to give reward to those sites that ticked some rather simple boxes, are now fluid, complex and designed to maximise the experiences of end users over anything else. Content must be informative, up-to-date, accurate and relevant and pages must be well laid out, not duplicated and easy to navigate for laptop/desktop and mobile users.
SEO is vital for helping you, as a business, to solidify what it is that you wish to project. What do you want your customers to think about your business? What do you want to be known for? You also need to begin by forging a concrete profile of your target audience. There is absolutely no point in increasing your visibility to an audience who would rather be blind to your presence. You need to pop up in relation to the right searches and using SEO tools like Google Analytics is a vital weapon in your SEO armoury in clarifying what makes your potential leads special. What are they searching for before arriving at your site? What unique problems can you address in top quality content and how can you integrate this content most effectively on your blog or website, with well-placed CTAs (Calls to Action) and purchase links, offers and advertising to grab the attention of the people most likely to make a purchase? These are all questions that can be answered by going through the process of overhauling your SEO.
Some of you will look at this article and instead of a balanced argument, you will be looking for a TL;DR precis. A snappy headline to tip you over the edge and convince you to embark on your SEO journey. Well, here it is…
Statistics reveal that around ¾ of all searchers NEVER look past page ONE of Google’s search results.
Still not convinced? Okay.
Around a third of searchers only click on the FIRST listing!
Maybe you still need a bit of a nudge? Well consider this. Browsing via mobiles is year on year more important in terms of market share. Add to this the fact that the percentage of people who research products and services prior to committing or even leaving the house, or office on their mobiles, is also dramatically increasing then you have an enormous incentive to ensure you maximise your web presence and search ranking. Finally, of these mobile searchers, 50% visit a local shop or premises after completing their search. Now, you should be 100% committed to investing your time in an SEO overhaul.