Internet usage is growing rapidly across the world. In January 2021, it was estimated that almost 60% of the world’s population actively used the internet, which equates to approximately 4.6 billion people. And this number is only expected to continue increasing over the coming years.
This means that it’s essential for businesses to build a strong digital presence if they want to succeed in the future.
Of course, this starts with getting active on social media, developing a website, and hiring an expert copywriting team to create engaging content for you. But it’s not quite that simple.
One thing that many businesses neglect is search engine optimization (SEO). Doing this makes it seriously hard to achieve a good search engine rank, which in turn makes it nearly impossible for people to find you via an internet search.
But this isn’t the only problem that you will run into. In this article, we look at seven clear ways that your business will lose if you neglect SEO, outlining the seriously negative effects that it could be having on your income and productivity.
7 Reasons Why You Need to Focus on SEO
Fewer people will visit your website
This one’s probably pretty self-explanatory, but if people can’t find you when they search for relevant keywords, you just won’t be getting as many visitors. A huge percentage of people click through to one of the top few search engine results, so even ranking on the second page isn’t good enough.
Fortunately, it’s not all that difficult to improve your search engine ranking. Spend some time developing a clear SEO strategy, create high-quality content that’s in line with user intent, and consider hiring a professional SEO firm to help you out if required.
If you have had issues trusting an agency to do the work for you, you can hire a freelancer. With a more personable approach, you won’t need to wait for days to get an answer. You can be a part of your own campaign.
Your reputation will suffer
Without a strong online presence, it can be difficult to maintain a decent reputation. This is all because many potential customers will head to Google to see what they can find out about your company before purchasing from you or using your services.
Fixing this can be as simple as building a decent local SEO presence. Ask existing customers or clients to add honest reviews on Google and other review sites, and aim to build your reputation over time. It’s extremely important for your business to have a strong reputation in today’s age.
Local customers won’t find you
If you run a small business that depends upon on local customers, SEO has never been more important. When potential clients can’t find you, the chances of them using your services are virtually zero.
Let’s take an example of a small-town plumbing business. Very few people use things like phone books anymore. When they have a problem with their plumbing, they’re likely to head straight to their smartphone or computer and search for specialists in their area.
Now, to take advantage of local SEO, you basically need to ensure your website ranks for keywords/phrases such as “plumber in location X”, where location X is your service area. This is easier to do than you might expect, and anyone with even basic SEO knowledge should be able to help you out.
Missing out on mobile customers
Past generations of internet users generally had their favorite websites that they bookmarked and navigated to over and over again. However, internet use has changed over the last decade or so, and this doesn’t happen nearly as much anymore.
Instead, the vast majority of people simply pick up their smartphone or other mobile device and complete a quick internet search when they want to know something. If you’ve ignored SEO, your business site won’t be visible, and people simply won’t be able to find you.
Now, if you aren’t optimizing for mobile, you’re missing out on the lion’s share. Your site must be mobile optimized; otherwise, you’re going to have potential customers bounce to your competitor’s site.
Business growth may stall
Let’s face it; there’s only so much growth that can be achieved through word of mouth and traditional marketing methods. While things like newspaper ads and flyer drops may have worked in the past, they are becoming less effective all the time.
Because of this, you will likely find that your business’s growth will stall if you’re not using the appropriate SEO methods.
Once again, this comes back to the same old problem. If people can’t find you online, a vast majority of them simply won’t know that you exist. And it goes without saying, people aren’t going to visit your business if they don’t know you exist.
Being stuck on page 2 is a death sentence. No one will ever know you exist; you may as well not even be on the SERPs. That’s why in today’s ever competing markets, SEO is vital for your business to be noticed.
Search Engine updates get affected
Now, in some cases, businesses can actually manage to achieve a decent search engine ranking without actively working on their SEO. This generally occurs in areas where keyword competition is low, but it’s not a strategy to be relied on.
Every so often, the major search engines will update their ranking algorithms. When this happens, sites that aren’t following SEO best practices tend to suffer the most, and some are penalized or even blacklisted.
To avoid this happening to you, it’s a good idea to start thinking about SEO today, even if you already have a decent search engine ranking. It also takes time for SEO to work, and the longer you delay the inevitable, the longer you’ll be away from making a return on your investment.
Spending time on other marketing streams
If you haven’t done enough SEO work, your website won’t perform well on the search engine results pages, right?
Unfortunately, many businesses will turn to other marketing channels if they aren’t getting enough organic traffic. PPC search engine marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing all work, but they can be expensive.
Rather than spending a small fortune on short-term marketing strategies in an attempt to gather more clients, consider funneling at least a portion of this spend into developing a strong SEO strategy.
You’ll also be able to enjoy a more “hands-off” approach when you invest in SEO. Unlike social media and PPC, you don’t always need to be maintaining your campaigns. SEO is a “set it and forget it” investment that can pay off dividends for years.
SEO is something that every single business that seriously wants to succeed should be thinking about. Even if you’re performing okay without it, the chances are that this will change in the future.
Your business will be suffering without SEO. It could be that you’re losing potential customers, are spending too much on other marketing streams, or simply aren’t experiencing the growth that you could be.
If you’re not already, we’d highly recommend speaking with an experienced SEO team to ensure you’re following industry best practices.