The Importance of SEO for Your Florida Business
According to GE Capital Bank’s study of online shoppers, 81% of consumers research products online before they even head out to the store. Which is why you need to understand the importance of SEO for your Florida Business!
In other words, not only is online shopping growing, but going online has become a crucial step in brick-and-mortar shopping as well. A good digital storefront is the best way to bring people to your actual storefront.
The importance of SEO for businesses of all kinds is growing and will keep growing indefinitely. You cannot get away with ignoring your position in search engine rankings for much longer.
Search Results Drive Profit
If you expect the phone book or word-of-mouth to carry your business, you’re going to miss out on loads of potential customers. People need to be able to find you on Google, and effective digital marketing is the key.
Your position in search results correlates directly with the number of customers you can expect. Over a quarter of searchers (28.5%) click on the first link in the results. That drops to 15.7% for the second, 11% for the third, and falls precipitously from there.
The second page of results might as well not exist.
Likewise, local or “near me” searches have assumed even more prominence. Those searches have also become more specific as search engines move toward more natural language queries.
In total, more people every day search for things like “Florida restaurants near me”, trusting Google to provide the right results. With appropriate local SEO, you could be at the top of those lists.
The Local Importance of SEO: New Keywords
In the early days of search engine optimization, you could just jam keywords into your site. Pack in enough and you could expect to rank pretty highly.
Those days are gone now. Too many people are competing for the top keywords for local businesses to expect to take the top spots for the most common search terms. There’s a reason pizza.com sold for $2.6 million, and business.com for a whopping $350 million.
But local SEO opens up new opportunities. Picking specific keywords gives you a chance to compete for the top positions for terms your customers are more likely to search for.
The key is to think about your customer’s intent and what information they want. By anticipating their needs you can focus on keywords or search strings that are less generic and easier to target. Then you aren’t challenging the massive corporations.
Popular search terms may only make up a small percentage of all searches. In fact, about 25% of searches are specific enough that Google has never seen them before. It’s worthwhile to optimize for the long tail too.
Where you place those important keywords matters too. Search engines give greater weight to keywords in:
- Content headings
- Page title tags
- Navigation bars
- Anchor text
Conversely, search engines devalue keywords in the sidebars and footers of sites.
Traffic Type and Conversion Rates
The importance of SEO for your website cannot be overstated, but it’s important to understand the sort of customers SEO brings in. In other words, different SEO strategies will bring different kinds of traffic to your site.
There are three main types of traffic:
- Paid: people who click the pay-per-click (PPC) ads at the top of Google’s results
- Organic: people who click on the actual search results for keywords
- Direct: people who type in your company name or the URL and come directly to your site.
Organic traffic can be further broken down into branded and unbranded traffic. Branded traffic refers to people who type your company name or the name of your products into Google. Unbranded traffic is people who use generic search terms, like the “Florida restaurants” example above.
The type of traffic that comes to your website has a serious effect on your conversion rate.
For instance, PPC ads generally convert to sales at a lower rate than organic traffic. Likewise, branded organic traffic and direct traffic convert more than unbranded organic traffic.
Of course, these traffic types do not exist independently of each other.
A potential customer may first come to your site through a PPC ad or unbranded search. After browsing your content (more on that below) they may leave to think about it. Once they decide to buy, they may return to your site through direct or branded traffic.
An SEO strategy must embrace all types of traffic. Unbranded and PPC can help bring in new people, but may not convert as well. Branded and direct traffic won’t draw in as many new people but may lead to a better rate of sales.
Publish Great Content
The best advice for SEO is to create quality content that answers customers’ needs. Search engines make money by delivering content that people want. If you provide that content, you will rank higher.
In other words, the best way to get ranked by Google or other search engines is to create content that is rank-worthy. Think about what a potential customer might want instead of trying to game the system.
That content will improve your user interaction metrics. When search engines rank pages, they also include user behavior in the algorithms:
- Do users leave the page without clicking anything and pick a new result?
- How much time do people spend browsing the site on average?
- How many other pages do people visit when they stick around?
Posting quality content will decrease your bounce rate or the percentage of people who leave a site without clicking anything. Strong content will keep people on your site and, like traffic type, time-on-site is linked to more conversions.
Quality local content is even better since it will be the most relevant for people searching for you.
More Impressions Equals More Business
To make a sale, you first have to get a customer’s attention. That’s the opening gambit in the classic AIDA sales strategy. Once you understand how people shop now, the importance of SEO for grabbing that attention is obvious.
For specific steps, you can take to boost your search engine rankings, browse some of our other SEO blog posts.