Let’s be honest, you’ve probably heard a thousand times just how important search engine optimization (SEO) is for your business. If you want to gain higher page rankings on search engines like Google and drive more targeted traffic to your site, a winning search strategy is a must. Well, it turns out that there are a few additional unexpected benefits to SEO that should give you all the more reason to make it a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. Here are three unexpected benefits of SEO that will convince you to shift your focus towards an search-focused marketing strategy:
1. Deliver a Better User Experience (UX) – Gone are the days when your website could be just about you. No matter how laggy or slow-loading it was, people used to stick around. But in 2021, that’s just wishful thinking. The attention span of users has shrunk to six seconds on average. If you cannot capture their attention and direct them towards a worthwhile 1-2 minute second ride, they’ll be gone before you know it. Although search engine optimization and user experience strategies need to go hand-in-hand, SEO alone can contribute a fair share in enhancing the overall UX with:
- A clean and clutter-free reading experience. Optimized content removes all the clutter and makes it super-easy for the reader to consume and engage. Headings and subheadings that make hierarchical sense to the search engines also assure that readers don’t get lost on a page.
- An easy navigation and site structure. Not everyone will land directly on your home page. Easy navigation & site structure not only satisfy the Google crawlers, but also simplify the journey for the user as well.
- A mobile-friendly website. Optimizing your website for mobile devices is a great way to increase the retention rate. 74% of users are likely to return to a website if it’s mobile-friendly.
- A super-fast overall experience. Fast-loading and seamless website experience is always rewarded with return visits by users.
2. Build Brand Credibility – Imagine you are looking to buy a pair of sneakers, and you perform a quick web search. You’ll see a page full of results appearing in front of you in seconds, but chances are your next purchase comes from just one of the first five listings. Subconsciously, users are inclined towards taking the easy route and placing high trust in search engines. This means that the higher up you appear on that page of results, the better chance you have to earn the trust of the user. SEO will also help you establish credibility with search engines through high-quality backlinks, on-page optimization and user signals. Digital optimizations are just a small part of winning the search game and it’s best not to go it alone. Engage an SEO expert who will help put you on, and keep you on, the path to building brand credibility.
3. Gain Customer Insight and Intelligence – You learn a lot about your customers when you optimize your digital presence for the search engines. Search engines like Google and Bing are hyper-focused on providing value to the user. Therefore, effective search strategies require you to think specifically from the user’s point of view. By focusing on SEO, you are not only optimizing your website to fit the exact needs of the search engines & the users, but also gaining a much better understanding of your audience. Optimization tactics help you to learn what resonates with your audience. For example, the meta description and the title of your content are structured to connect with the users. Ultimately enticing them to click. You can know a lot about your audience just by examining the numbers that clicked through. You will also know more about what they are looking for. For instance, the primary & secondary keywords you target on your website are a product of what the user searches. And overall, you will gain a better understanding of online behavioral trends. Whenever any user lands on your website, you can track their activity to understand how they prefer to engage with your brand and the best ways to activate their intent to purchase. This kind of insight and intelligence about your customer can be priceless – giving you the actionable knowledge you need to get an edge on your competition.
SEO, if done well, rewards you with a clean, user-friendly website, increased digital & overall brand credibility, and exclusive access to customer data and insights that none of your competitors will have. But in the end, it all boils down to how well your search strategy is executed. Remember, you only have six seconds to give people a reason to care, a reason to engage and a reason to buy. But, if they can’t find you, or you’re buried on “page 2”, you won’t even get your six-seconds.