10 Reasons Why You Need to Pay Attention to SEO for Your Business in 2022
Did you know by 2022 search advertising expenditure worldwide is expected to reach 137 billion USD?
We’re living in uncertain times. The last couple of years (and COVID in particular) turned everything upside down. Even the most traditional businesses realized that the only way to survive (and thrive) in these testing times was by building an online presence and accelerating digital marketing transformation.
Afterall, that’s where the potential customers are.
According to research, 16:06 hours a day are now being spent online by the average U.S. adult. Another survey reports that 70% of Britons now prefer shopping online and on mobile, up from less than half pre-pandemic.
And businesses are quick to catch on this fact. In 2020, e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide!
So it makes sense why businesses are rushing to build a strong online presence. And the first thing businesses need to do when shifting online is working on their website’s search engine optimization.
What is SEO
When you search for a query on Google, what happens?
Pages and pages of search results come up. Chances are you select the best option from the top 3 to 5 search results on the first page and go from there. You might not even need to click on a link to get your answer – with the recent shift towards featured snippets, Google has made searching an effortless process.
This is SEO.
The process of optimizing your website and web pages so they rank higher on search engines. The higher they rank, the more chances they’ll get clicked on by potential consumers and translate into website traffic. The more qualified leads you get, the higher the conversions.
So by investing in SEO, you improve not just the quantity of traffic but quality of traffic as well.
As Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc. aptly says, “SEO is effective because you sprinkle in special keywords in the written content on your site. Those keywords will in turn drive people to your site because they use the same exact keywords when searching for something on Google.”
Why businesses need to pay attention to SEO in 2022
From the ‘best restaurant to eat at’ to how to ‘use SEO to increase website conversions’, most people look at Google first and foremost to seek answers for all their queries.
After all, there are an estimated 3.5 billion searches on Google each day.
Chances are your consumers are also searching for solutions your business offers on Google. So if you’re not there present with a solution to your target audience’s queries, they’ll likely click on your competitors link.
And you don’t want that.
While that in itself is a big reason to invest in SEO in 2022, here are 10 more reasons why your business can’t afford to skip SEO.
Organic traffic is a primary source of traffic for your website
From paid and social, to organic traffic, there are several different sources of websites.
While all these different sources of traffic are worth investing time and money in, organic traffic trumps them all. It is the primary source of traffic for your website.
According to Search Engine Journal, 70% of the links search engine users click on are organic.
Organic traffic refers to people who land on your website after finding your website through a search engine. Since this traffic comes after searching for a specific query that your website holds answers to, it has a huge potential to convert or engage in some form with your business.
And while other search engines like Bing and Yahoo get good results too, Google owns the largest share of the search market at 91.66%.
So optimizing your website for Google especially is essential.
Builds authority, relevance and trust
One way to build a solid online presence is to build your website authority, relevance and trust via SEO. You want to be considered the go-to voice (or website) in the industry if you want to accelerate your digital growth.
For example, when a person searches for a query on a search engine, they’re looking for the best, most authoritative answer on the web. If they’re searching information about a medical query, they’ll want answers from verified medical journals, etc. This is the search engine’s responsibility, to direct users to the best pages for their query.
While there are hundreds of factors search engines like Google consider when evaluating the authority and relevance of web pages, we can condense them into two main factors that businesses should focus on in 2022,
- Links for improving your authority and perceived relevance
- Content for relevance
So if you’re looking to build your authority and relevance online and a relationship of trust with your audience, you need to start thinking seriously about SEO.
Improves user experience
How important is user experience?
- 88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience.
- People form 75% of their judgment on a website’s credibility purely on its aesthetics.
- And while nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site, 96% of consumers say they’ve encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices.
And, on the flip side, better UI could raise your website’s conversion rate by 200%, and better UX design could yield conversion rates of up to 400%!
SEO and user experience are intricately woven together. User experience is a major ranking factor for SEO and for all the right reasons. When a search engine is looking to provide the best sources of information for users it also looks into how well the website performs, how fast it is, and how easy it is to use on all devices.
As Randy Soderman rightly says, “If you want solid rankings for your website, you’re going to need positive UX to complement your SEO.”
Local SEO means increase in sales for local businesses
If you’re a local business looking to grow your presence online and increase sales, you can’t afford to miss out on local SEO. Like regular SEO, local SEO is a method of optimising your website and online listings for local search.
According to Google, 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day.
Local searches are increasing with every passing day. “Where to buy” + “near me” mobile queries have grown by over 200% from 2017–2019!
And people aren’t just looking for things near them, they’re actively purchasing too. Research shows a purchase follows 28% of all local searches.
You get quantifiable results
The best way to check if your efforts are seeing any results is tracking them. With Google analytics and other SEO tracking softwares available at your disposal, it’s very easy to track your results and tweak your SEO campaigns to ensure they’re giving maximum output.
How can you check if your SEO efforts are seeing any results?
- You’ll see an improvement in SERP rankings: When you’re focusing your SEO campaign around a set group of keywords, you’ll start ranking higher on search engines for those queries.
- You’ll see an overall increase in traffic: The easiest way to check if your SEO efforts are showing results? An increase in your website traffic. If you’re using Google Analytics to track your SEO results, you can track your website traffic at a global and a more granular level, both.
- You’ll see a measurable impact on your website’s revenue: While Google ranking and an increase in traffic is well and good, when you start tracking your SEO efforts you can also see if they’re resulting in an increase in conversions and sales, or not.
So if you’re looking to really amp up your website ranking, traffic, and most importantly increase conversions and sales, investing in SEO is essential.
You don’t need to pay for ads in SEO
Since social media became a ‘pay to play’ platform, brands (especially smaller brands with shoe-string budgets) have been struggling to find a way to market their businesses without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways to do that is through SEO.
Yes, you may need to pay for quality content initially (or invest in time to do the heavy work yourself), but once you’ve done that there’s no ongoing cost. Once you’ve established a strong SEO base for your website (and you keep updating content and tweaking target keywords), traffic will come consistently.
PPC ads, on the other hand, need a constant stream of investment. Stop the investment, and the ad (along it the conversions, traffic, etc) stops, as well.
- SEO usually gets better results than PPC
You’ve probably noticed that PPC ads usually appear above organic results on search engines. But did you know, 71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click?
Because SEO is an inbound strategy, which means that it’s more customer centric than other marketing tactics, and it results in more qualified leads.
HubSpot’s State of Inbound report shows that 59% of marketers said that inbound practices provided the highest quality leads for their sales teams.
While it’s always a great idea to invest in PPC ads as well, if you have to choose just one marketing strategy to invest your time and money in, you can’t go wrong with SEO.
SEO helps your PR strategy
You know the importance of PR for brands.
PR helps in brand recognition, establishing authority in the digital sphere, getting featured on third party sites, social proof, and so on.
By combining SEO with PR you’re massively increasing your brand visibility and reaching out to a massive target base.
Since they both revolve around link building – PR revolves around getting mentions from influential websites and SEO revolves around getting backlinks targeting key keywords – they work really well together. The more links you get, the higher you rank.
So if you’d like to ramp up your brand’s PR in 2022, you should consider investing in SEO.
If you’re not page 1, you’re really not in the game
SEO is no longer a matter of ‘should I even invest in it?’, it’s more ‘how soon can I start?’
Research shows that the first three organic search ranking positions result in over 50% of all click-throughs. And what happens to results on the other pages?
No clicks at all as 30% of all results on Page 1 and 2 don’t get clicked at all.
And with zero click SERPs on the rise, where the answer is displayed at the top of the page and users don’t have to click on any search result link to get an answer to their query, businesses need to bring their A game if they’d like to survive and thrive.
Afterall, in 2020, nearly 65% of Google searches ended without a click to another search query link (up from 50% in 2019)!
SEO is only going to grow in the coming years
Did you know, 81,000 searches were conducted per second in 2020, up from 63,000 searches in 2016? Which translates into a whopping 2.55 trillion searches per year in 2020, up from 2.00 trillion searches in 2016?
SEO is here to stay. And with that Google will continue to update their algorithm and features.
For example, after the launch of BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) in 2019, recently Google came out with the Multitask United Model, or MUM. This new algorithm update analyzes video, images and text from a plethora of languages that answer complicated search queries.
As Prabhakar Raghavan, Head of Search at Google, says, “Google’s new Natural Language Processing Model is “1,000 times more powerful [than BERT] and can multitask in order to unlock information in new ways.”
With new updates on the horizon, and search engines like Google constantly working to improve user experience through an answer-centric approach to content, businesses not working on their SEO will be left behind.
We’ve already established that SEO is here to stay. With businesses swiftly jumping on the digital bandwagon, the SEO place is only going to get more and more competitive with every passing day.
Afterall, businesses in the US are spending more than $80 billion on SEO services
If you’d like to get ahead of competition and establish your authority online, you need to start investing in SEO right away.