Each year business budgets are realigned with digital marketing strategies that seem to be the “next big thing”, and many website owners question of the importance of SEO, or ponder the question, “Do I need SEO for my website?” in the upcoming year, or should I invest the money into another channel.
When given the proper attention and done correctly (without taking shortcuts) the organic marketing channel can be the most powerful strategy in your digital toolbox. So the quick answer is yes, you need SEO more this year than last year.
With that said there are still business owners who are on the fence about investing in best in class SEO, so how do you know if you need SEO?
The reasons you need SEO for your website include:
- Organic conversion rate is low
- Organic conversion rate is high
- Your website only ranks for branded keywords
- Your organic traffic levels are low
- Your not ranking in Google Local or Maps
- You have a high website bounce rate
- You’ve never invested in SEO
- Your traffic has dropped or plateaued
- You’ve run a premium SEO tool and got a score below 80/100.
Below are these nine scenarios (in more depth) outlining why you need to invest in some level of SEO for your business this year.
1. Conversion Rate Is Low for Organic Traffic
I’m sure your first question is, “what is the average conversion rate for SEO?”. This may seem like a straight forward question, and thus deserves a straight forward answer, but as we know this can vary by industry and product or service (much like email marketing conversion rate).
Because the number of variables that play into this calculation the focus should be on increase your conversion rate and less on the industry standard for SEO. Since we can’t give you an exact number for you website, we can give some insights into why your organic conversion rate would be lower than you would like it to be. They include:
- Your content is not optimized for the correct keywords.
- Your content does not speak to the specific needs and interests of that user.
- You’re not letting the user know what to do next, ie. delivering a CTA that is related to the content.
2. Conversion Rate Is High for Organic Traffic
If your conversion rate is high for organic traffic, getting more traffic for related keywords or high-converting keywords that are not in the top spots will help increase your websites total conversions.
Using data points such as paid search to identify highly converting keywords, or diving into Google Search Console to find valuable keywords that may not be ranking as well as you’d like, can be the first step towards optimizing web pages to earn more traffic that has the potential to convert users into leads or sales.
3. Only Ranking for Brand Terms
We often see this when working with brands that have not done SEO for their website. They do great ranking for brand related terms such as their name or their product name, but they miss out on reaching new markets with off-brand keywords.
External marketing campaigns drive brand related search, but, if you don’t have the deep pockets to drive those type search queries, then you’ll need to expand your reach into non-branded keywords to increase leads and market share.
4. Your Organic Traffic Levels Are Low
You may be driving a bunch of traffic with paid advertising or display ads, but are missing out on traffic from the organic channel. If you’re organic traffic levels are low, it’s usually due to a few key ranking factors:
- Lack of quality thought leadership content or content strategy
- Lack of website authority
- Poorly designed and organized website
5. You’re Not Ranking In Google’s Local Pack or Maps
Did you know that 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps. So if you are a local business, ranking in Google’s local pack or maps is key for driving traffic to your store. Not to mention:
- 18% of location-based mobile searches result in a sale within one day
- 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location
- 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase
There are many reasons you may be missing out on local traffic, learn more about these reasons here.
6. High Bounce Rate From SEO Traffic
Bounce rate means that a user came to your website from a search result and decided the page did not answer their question or solve their problem, and thus left your website.
You may not think this was an issue for SEO, but Google is using these and other user metrics when determining if your website deserves to be ranked for a specific search query.
If you’re websites bounce rate is high or if you have specific pages on your website that have a high bounce rate, you may need to:
- Rewrite the content for the pages which have the high bounce rate
- Redesign the pages to tell a better story
- Better organize the content on the pages
7. You’ve Not Invested In SEO
In 2014, there were 2.4 billion internet users, 3.4 billion by 2016, and 3.8 billion internet users in 2017 – This is a 42% increase in people using the internet in just three years!
Many companies still believe that with this explosion of internet users all they have to do is build a website and Google will just rank it and users will find it. Or worse they use a cheap SEO company that employs bad SEO tactics, or pay for performance company that not only hurts their SEO, but damages their business and brand.
What they forget is their website does not operate in a vacuum online, and the amount of content that is being produced each day to compete with is exploding as well. This makes investing in high-quality content and great SEO vitally important.
8. Your Traffic Has Dropped or Plateaued
Traffic plateauing is usually a sign that you are either not producing content, not earning links and value, or what you are creating is not valuable enough for Google to rank due to its quality or value.
9. You Run An SEO Audit and Score Low
SEO audits tools are great at identifying crawl issues with your website, but not always beneficial at providing the insights into other SEO factors such as website experience and value. With that said, scoring low on an SEO tool can be an indicator that you need to invest in foundational SEO to help Google better understand and crawl your website.
If you’ve scored low (below an 85/100 website health) when you ran your website through a premium SEO tool, the fist step you should take is finding an SEO professional who understand onsite optimization, foundational SEO, and technical SEO, and hiring them to build a strategy for fixing the data points that are a priority for your SEO success.