Most marketers and business owners know that SEO is a critical factor for driving website traffic. If your site and content aren’t properly optimized, both for desktop and mobile users, you’ll have a very difficult time attracting traffic from organic searches.

What most of us don’t realize is that there are many benefits of SEO, excluding increased traffic. Let’s look at some other important benefits that stem from having a properly SEO-optimized website.

  • Proper optimization not only means better rankings, it means a better user experience – User experience is now a significant ranking factor. Search engines like Google want to see a mobile-friendly design, good user signals (high time on site, low bounce rate) and good integration of relevant photos and videos. By optimizing your site for SEO, you’re automatically also improving your user experience. And a great user experience means higher conversion rates, more trust, and increased brand loyalty.
  • Organic search accounts for over 60 % of all website visits- A study of over 310 million visits to 30 different websites showed that organic search accounted for 64% of all referral traffic. While some research seems to indicate that social media has now overtaken search slightly in terms of referrals, there’s no question that search remains a critical source of traffic for most businesses.
  • SEO leads tend to have higher close rates than outbound leads – It makes sense that searchers who are looking for specific products or services are more likely to make a purchase from businesses who they seek out through search, rather than those who attempt to attract them using outbound marketing strategies (i.e. cold leads).
  • Inbound marketing methods like SEO result in more leads than outbound or paid media – Research shows that among marketing professionals, SEO had become the number 1 source of leads over the previous 6 month period. One question to ask yourself is: if you’re not generating leads through search, who is capturing these valuable leads?
  • Ranking in local search directory leads to increased visits and sales – Optimizing your site for local search is absolutely critical. As most of us want to attract the overseas visitors who bring the dollars, pounds and euros, we need to keep in mind that out local market is our bread and butter and can often carry us through off season times when tourists are few and far between.
  • Marketers rank SEO as one of their most effective digital marketing strategies – Marketers who are using SEO as part of their marketing strategy achieved better results and found their efforts more effective than those who weren’t.
  • SEO leads to increased credibility for your brand – Ranking highly in the search results signals to searchers that you’re a key player in your industry. Conversely, ranking on the 2nd or 3rd page may lead to unwanted assumptions: that you’re a new business, that you’re not as well known or that you don’t have the budget (and thus sales) to afford to boost your rankings.
  • SEO can be a less hands-on strategy than other inbound techniques – Social media and email marketing are both highly effective channels for generating leads, but both require some degree of continual effort. To remain top of mind for your customers and prospects, you have to be continually pushing out new content to your list and social media followers. However, once a page is SEO-optimized, you can often sit back, relax, and let it climb the rankings on its own merit. This, of course, largely depends on certain factors such as the competitiveness of the keywords you’re targeting, and the quality of the content on the page, among others. But in general, once you lay the foundation of proper SEO-optimization for any given page, most of the hard work is already done.
  • Being on anything beyond the 2nd page means literally no search visibility – Some business owners forgo any formal SEO efforts because they believe that being in the search results is “good enough”. However, research shows that over 70 % of clicks happen on page 1. Properly optimizing your site and content are key to achieving top rankings; and therefore any degree of search visibility.
  • The vast majority of consumers research online before booking – Research shows that more than 80 % of potential guests research and compare establishments and pricing online before making a purchase. Achieving first page rankings for your business is critical if you want consumers who are actively searching for your establishment type to find you!

In closing, it’s all very well and good to have a website, but if it hasn’t been optimized properly, it’s almost a pointless exercise. SEO is key to having a website that works for you!