For many entrepreneurs, 2020 was not a great year. It will be remembered as the year a virus caused a pandemic that shut down the world and changed the way we lived and worked.
Since 2014 there has been a steady shift toward Internet-based businesses that accommodated mobile technology. The events of 2020 accelerated the shift from 0 to 60.
Entrepreneurs that recognized this, have invested in strategies that will capitalize on opportunities on the Internet. And one of the investments that’s expected to pay big-time dividends in 2021 is SEO.
What Is SEO And Why Is It Important In 2021?
How did you find this article?
According to a study by BrightEdge, there’s a 53.3% chance that you found our blog after running a Google search. You probably ran the following search queries on Google:
- Invest SEO 2021
- SEO investment 2021
- Why invest SEO 2021
- SEO business investment 2021
- Why invest SEO business 2021
In comparison, paid ads and social media only accounted for 14% and 5% of all website traffic respectively.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of developing strategies that utilize various techniques and tactics with the goal of giving a website a boost up the organic search rankings.
“Optimization” in SEO means increasing the visibility of your content to the search engines. One technique that SEO practitioners use to optimize content is by embedding it with high-ranking keywords. By optimizing your content, web crawlers can find and index your pages.
When an Internet user launches a search query with the keywords you used to optimize your content, the search engine can pull your web page and include it in the search results page.
Over time and with consistency in your optimization strategies, your website may find itself in the top 3 spots on the first page of the search results page.
How important is it to rank in the top 3 of the SERP?
According to a landmark study by Digital Ad Agency Chitika, the top 3 URLs in the SERP accounts for 61.5% of all search traffic for that particular topic search.
The number one spot accounts for 32.5%!
You can read up more about SEO in our article “The Basics of SEO”.
Take note that the study of BrightEdge was done in 2019 – a full year away from the 2020 pandemic.
We’re sure that if BrightEdge updated their study to reflect consumer online behavior in 2020, the numbers would be much different.
A study by Skyword showed that organic search traffic dramatically increased last March 2020 when the world entered into lockdown.
In particular, the following industries experienced a massive surge in online traffic:
- Healthcare – 358%
- Consumer Goods and Services – 83%
- Consumer Media – 61%
- Business Services and Consulting – 47%
Does this mean that businesses that aren’t in these industries shouldn’t expect to reap dividends from their investments in SEO?
No, because overall Internet usage has increased by 70% since the lockdown. More consumers are going online to find products and services that address their needs.
The ballgame has changed. The playing field is now on the Internet. Are you ready to play digital ball? For sure your competition is.
SEO Vs. Paid Ads – Which One Is Better For Your Business In 2021?
Have you met with digital advertising agencies? For those who have, some of you may have noticed that when discussing a digital marketing strategy, the agency will tend to push for paid ads over SEO.
This is because paid ads generate quick results. If you want to drive traffic to your website immediately, PPC or Pay-Per-Click ads will do the job for you. Once someone clicks on your ad, he will find himself on your landing page.
In contrast, SEO strategies take time because it focuses on organic or natural growth.
Think of your content as a seed that’s planted on various locations on the Internet – website, social media, newsletters, and guest blogs. Optimization strategies will help the content take root while your content branches out to people who will recognize and appreciate the fruits it bears.
Meanwhile, there are many reasons why a person might click on your PPC ad:
- Attracted by the Design
Compared to a blog, a video, or an infographic, the information that can be fitted on a PPC ad is very limited. He might visit your website but eventually be disinterested and just opt to log out.
Therefore, while paid ads may generate quick results these results may not be sustainable or represent your desired outcome.
With SEO, you’re building relationships with your audience. As you become more consistent in creating and distributing optimized content, in time, you will develop a strong reputation and encourage more consumers to trust your brand.
While the results take time, the results are sustainable and reflect your desired outcome.
Research firm, Conductor, performed a study on how various digital channels drove traffic to websites. The results showed that when it comes to driving inbound traffic, SEO is king.
- Organic Search – 64%
- Referral Visits – 15%
- Direct Visits – 12%
- Paid Ads – 6%
- Social Visits – 2%
Now, let’s factor in cost.
Cost Variables in Paid Advertising
What does a paid ad campaign look like in the age of digital?
A typical digital ad campaign will include the following strategies and processes:
- PPC ads
- Guest posts
- Blogs and vlogs by micro-influencers
- Endorsement arrangements with macro-influencers
The cost of the PPC ad will depend on the keywords you are bidding on. Although you pay only when someone clicks on the ad, in order to generate better results, and improve positioning, you’ll have to pay more and run the campaign longer.
Micro-influencers are individuals with social media platforms that have followers in the upper hundreds of thousands or millions. Macro-influencers are celebrities who are willing to endorse products or services.
Arrangements with influencers can be very expensive but if you land a deal with a reputable influencer and carry out an effective campaign, then you could end up with a windfall.
The reported ROI on influencer marketing is US$5.20 for every US$1 invested.
Conversely, land a bad arrangement, and your business could be in big trouble!
Likewise, your consumers could be sensitive to your influencers. For the reason that the arrangement is paid, the endorsement might not be perceived as sincere. The question for you is to figure out if the cost – and risk – is worth it.
The Cost Variables of SEO/Organic Search Campaign
The cost of running an organic search campaign is generally lower and more manageable. To streamline costs, you can write your own blogs and utilize free online channels such as social media and search directories to distribute content.
The objective of content marketing is to drive traffic to your website so you can capture leads, and potentially convert interest into future sales.
The generated leads will be used for your email marketing campaign. Every month, you’ll send at least one newsletter to your subscribers. The content of these newsletters should have great value to the recipient.
You have to factor in the cost of the email marketing service provider and of course, the cost of your giveaways to get the website visitor to surrender his email address.
The ROI for email marketing is even higher than influencer marketing at a reported US$44 for every US$1 spent.
That’s 4,400% ROI!
For your organic search strategies to succeed and deliver the targeted results, you must consistently create high-quality, well-researched, and properly optimized content.
To achieve this, you may have to hire the services of experienced content creators. Even if you have the experience and required training for optimized content writing, we advise you to outsource the task so you can allocate more time to managing the core functions of your business.
If you consider that organic search strategies are more affordable and generate better results than the more expensive and less sustainable paid ads, then investing in SEO is the smarter move in 2021.
If you’re willing to grind it out, SEO will be one of your best investments – if not the best digital marketing investment in 2021.
Many businesses want short-term results and allocate more resources to paid advertising. They want an immediate return and hear the cash registers ringing. That’s to be expected and understood.
However, the results might not be sustainable, and in the long-run, you’ll end up spending more while experiencing diminishing returns.
As a business, you want your short-term goals to support your long-term objective. SEO can do this for you by building strong relationships with your audience and customers.
Be patient. Remain persistent. Keep pushing!
The results will soon come!
If you’re serious about growing your business organically, give us a call. The prestigious B2B website, UpCity has recognized some of our blogs as the best in Digital Marketing and small business marketing.
Let us do the same for you!
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