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Learn the essentials of SEO in under an hour banner


Why is SEO Important

SEO is the digital God.

I mean no offense. I just mean to recognize the almighty power of the Internet. When us mortals need spiritual answers, many seek a higher power. And for grappling with many of the challenges of our daily lives, we put our faith in search engines.

The search engine doesn’t come to us. Many forms of marketing do. Or at least they try to. They interrupt us. We generally make them go away. Or we go away. Or we simply ignore them.

Search is kind and sensitive. We summon it in our time of need. When we:

  • Want to learn
  • Want to buy
  • Want to be entertained

Search won’t let you down.

Search brings you buyers

The majority of web traffic is generated by search. Your visitors arrive by choice.

As much as you might perfect your other digital initiatives, search marketing is likely to generate higher conversion rates.

See, visitors from search have intent. They are looking for something.

SEO conversion

My friend Andy Crestondina, author of Content Chemistry, helped me make this point. When he compares conversion for search vs. social the evidence proves search converts by a factor of 10 over social.

SEO should represent you well

The Internet is a free-for-all. You can’t control what’s written about you, be it true or false. Kind or harmful.

With the power of SEO working for you, you can help readers understand your intentions. You can serve them messages that cast you in the best light.

You can be relevant. Helpful. Interesting. These are tenets of search marketing.

Search makes you a smarter marketer

SEO planning requires you to do keyword analysis, which is essentially market research. You’ll make discoveries about the size or your market and the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.

With some analysis and deductive reasoning you’ll come to learn more about your customers too:

  • How they search
  • How they navigate your site
  • The language they use
  • The technology they use
  • The region they live in
  • When they’re most active

Google gives you the gift of analytics. Much of the data you capture isn’t served on a silver platter. It may not answer every question you have. But there’s no question, your analytics delivers the intel you need to make smarter marketing decisions. 

SEO is kind to everyone

Search engines are easy to get to. They’re easy to use. If you don’t want to type to them, you’re welcome to talk. You can hop from device to device as you wish. Search remains ready and waiting on standby for the touch of your hand.

SEO makes friends easy too. Social media, branding and other marketing strategies complement SEO and vise-versa. They work together to forward your cause.

Sometimes marketers feel the need to compare marketing tactics. They choose some and leave others out. SEO discourages such nonsense. It longs to be a part of your plan.

Search extends your hours

Your successful SEO efforts drive prospects to your open-all-night-and-weekends-too place of business.

SEO builds credibility

Appearing high—and often—on search results builds your brand. Topping a SERP is bound to have a psychological effect on the searcher. Your ranking is a vote of confidence.

“Look at that. This company must lead the field.”

First listing on Google

Number one? Outranking Forbes and FastCompany? Little old me? With SEO knowledge comes marketing power. I wrote this content with a long tail search strategy in mind and it became a leading traffic generator for my website.

SEO is measurable

Every element of your SEO can be measured, analyzed and ultimately refined. The more committed you are to the process, the more you’ll gain from it.

SEO is marketing

“Your search strategy is your business strategy,” wrote Vanessa Fox in her book, Marketing in the Age of Google. I read that a few years back and it’s stuck with me.

SEO truly is a core marketing activity. It must be tied to your business goals. Succeeding with search forces you to carefully examine what your message is and whom it’s for.

SEO is cost-effective

SEO can be a highly cost-effective form of marketing. In fact, you can get into it and make progress with a modest degree of know-how and free tools.

Will you benefit from bringing in experts and employing some power tools? Sure. If your business is complex and highly competitive or you have a massive website, or multiple websites, you should consider enlisting help. Still, it’s simply time you’re paying for.

An expert consultant may help bring more focus to your business. You may find it wise to steer clear of markets that are too small or competition that’s insurmountable. The investment could pay for itself with this alone because you’ll avoid investing time where you shouldn’t and focus on getting potentially higher-converting traffic.

Guesswork is expensive. A solid SEO strategy can be golden.

SEO has staying power

Yes, search evolves perpetually. Yes, you can be on top today and invisible tomorrow. Yes, your competition covets the place you earned on page one of a search result.

But the truth is, search is a big, slow boat. Given some time, it may turn, but it’s not susceptible to the minor breezes that blow.

Another truth is search engines are unfathomably smart. Tricksters don’t fool it.

Cheaters pay the price. So a final truth is you have to earn a spot on page one of a search engine results page (SERP). When you do, you can reap rewards for a long time.

As far as I can tell, every other online marketing play has a far more fleeting effect.

If you don’t rank, your competitors will

Obvious, I know, but think about it. Potential buyers are sure to search for answers to their questions. They’re going to find them. Will those answers be yours or your competitor’s?

When you lose at search, you lose sales. Please say it with me. “When you lose at search, you lose sales.”

Amen. And praise Google.


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Search for “SEO simplified” and this is the first result you see.


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Besides using the obvious keyword tool, you can outmaneuver competitors with these tactics.

Understanding AdWords

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Search and content mastermind Andy Crestodina of Orbit Studios explains the secrets to getting your posts on page one.