As you're allocating your marketing budget for 2015, are you reserving a chunk for SEO? Sure, SEO is oftentimes behind the scenes like the numerous animals in Taylor Swift's music video, but would Blank Space be the same without the horses and her cute cat Olivia Benson? No.
And so, it is my strong opinion that if you're running any online marketing efforts, SEO should also get a piece of the action. Not convinced by my Taylor Swift analogy? Okay, I could see how that may be the case; but maybe these points will.
5 Truly Convincing Reasons SEO is Going to be an Important Player in 2015
1 - Inbound Works... But only if you make it work
According to HubSpot's State of Inbound Marketing Report for 2014, "Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI." Though the Inbound Methodology is proving valuable for brands across a number of industries, it is by no means a cheap or quick alternative to traditional marketing strategies. When you're spending so much time and money on a campaign, it's detrimental to ignore such a huge part of making it successful. That would be like publishing a beautiful print ad in the New Yorker and forgetting to mention your brand.
The fact of the matter is, on average, organic search is the single most driving source of traffic to your website. Not to mention, it will also introduce your brand to a whole new set of people. In order to truly realize the most value from organic search, you must pay careful attention to your search engine optimization efforts. The research and implementation of SEO efforts will really set the stage for the visibility of your brand online.
2 - Your Competition is Doing It
We all know the timeless saying, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?" And of course, the natural reaction is to become marginally defensive and say, "noooo." Well, when it comes to SEO, you may want think twice before rolling your eyes and declaring indifference.
It takes time to build up SEO authority, so the sooner you ramp up your efforts the better off you'll be in the long run. If your competitor has a head start, it can be difficult to catch up; and unfortunately, there aren't many shortcuts to rank well in search engine results. Very few searchers make it past the first page of search engine results - if your competitor is on the first page, and you're on the second, who do you think will win the battle? Don't let your competitors knock you off the digital map.
3 - Mobile Search is Booming
Have you ever checked out GSMA's real-time tracker? It captures the data for mobile connections worldwide, and the numbers are pretty insane! In fact, there are now more mobile connections than there are human beings. And what's even more important, in the U.S., 61% of these mobile connections are also connected to the internet. When you take into consideration that 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop, you're looking at a lot of potential.
With the rise of mobile connectivity have come a few new developments in the search and marketing worlds. For example, local mobile search creates more personalized experiences for users by serving up results based off of GPS coordinates. You may not have been able to compete with Amazon before, but now that companies like Google are lending a helping hand to smaller, localized businesses, there's a far greater chance that your company will appear on page 1.
Plus, realizing the value in mobile usership, Google continues to adjust their algorithms, interface, and even products to better fit mobile browsing. By optimizing for mobile browsers, you're investing in your future viewers.
4 - Social Search is Important Too
Often times, when people think about search engine optimization they automatically assume Google (and maybe even Bing and Yahoo) results are the end-goal. But realizing the benefits of having users remain on their own platforms, social programs such as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook have become search engines in their own right.
As online social participation continues to mount, it's just as important to optimize for these platforms as it is traditional search engines. With companies such as Twitter indexing their entire history of public Tweets, (just think about how many times YOU Tweet in a day... now multiply that by 232 million users and then again by 9 years) there's a huge opportunity to spread your reach and meet potential customers where they spend their time.
5 - Rich Media is Content Too
It's a well known fact that there are many ways to optimize your copy for search engines; but what about your Images? Your videos? Perhaps even your services?
More and more, brands are turning to rich media such as videos to keep their audience interested and coming back for more. These marketing tools are very effective - and offer perfect opportunities to rank with eye-catching search results.
According to Search Engine Land, "Almost 41% of keyword search queries contained a result snippet derived from schema.org markup." But what's shocking is that "less than 1% of the domains researched had schema.org integrations present." Why wouldn't you want to increase the odds of ranking by using the appropriate Schema markup? This is the perfect opportunity to stay ahead of the curb and get your content out there!
So knowing all this, are you planning on focusing on SEO in 2015?
What's so fun about SEO for me, is that it's an ever-changing industry. But what that also means is that you have to stay on top of it. At New Breed, over 50% of our traffic comes from organic search; to maintain this, we need to remain strategic and continuously put ourselves in our personas' shoes to deliver to their needs.
As a result, we've seen an 83% increase in organic traffic over the past year, which is well worth the effort. We will certainly continue to focus on SEO in 2015, and encourage you to do the same!