Since the very first banner ad was posted on the internet in 1994, digital marketing has been growing quickly and steadily. Over time, more effective advertising strategies have been developed to make the most of the internet’s growing reach and the mountains of data continuously being gathered. Because of the pandemic, the need to stand out in the internet space has become more important now than ever. One of the best ways for small- and medium-sized businesses to get ahead is through search engine optimization or SEO.
What is SEO?
As the name implies, SEO is the process of tweaking certain aspects of a website to optimize it for search engines. Through this process, a website can rank higher based on the metrics that Google and other search engines set.
Ranking higher means that website will be placed higher on the search results. This is important because according to Forbes, the first page of search results can get as much as 92 percent of traffic compared to later pages.
The benefits of having more traffic towards a website are straightforward. The more people visiting and going through the pages, the higher the chances of converting them into sales and referrals.
How does SEO work?
The process of optimizing a website for search engines requires a combination of approaches that deal with the different aspects of the website.
The speed and overall usability of a website plays a big part here. If a website loads quickly and its user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate through, even for a first-time visitor, it can get points. This also means using generally acceptable buttons and icons that people almost instinctively recognize.
Website design also has a role here. The perfect combination of branding and aesthetics attracts more people, and therefore, the search engines. The use of colors, contrast, and typefaces leverages design to maximize the user experience – which is one of the main criteria set by the search engines.
Good content, of course, earns websites a lot of points. If the content is engaging and offers real value to the people visiting, they tend to stay longer and go through more pages. Keyword research also comes into play here. By learning which keywords have the best chance of attracting traffic, and incorporating them into the content, websites also get a higher chance of ranking in searches.
What makes SEO more important now?
It comes as no surprise that as the pandemic forced millions around the world to stay in their homes, these people turn to the internet. Now, people use the internet for remote work, entertainment, and shopping. In fact, according to Garden Center Mag, 53 percent of Americans say the internet has now become an essential tool during the outbreak.
For this reason, it’s also increasingly important that companies, especially small- to medium-sized businesses, focus their efforts on making sure they take advantage of this surge. The best way to do that right now is to employ search engine optimization.
What happens in the future?According to the New York Times, the pandemic has changed the way people use the internet on a more fundamental level. This means these changes will likely not go away even after the outbreak subsides. Investing in SEO sooner rather than later can mean the difference between succeeding in your industry and becoming obsolete.