SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a relatively recent concept born in the late 90’s as a result of marketers leveraging the newborn internet to publish their own company websites. Over the past 20 years since, digital marketers have realized the potential of SEO as search engines themselves became the key ingredient for pursuit of common knowledge in everyday culture. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing have emerged as the leading influencers on things like where people decide to eat, where people decide to work, and most importantly… what products people decide to buy. Thus, SEO has become the key to effective digital marketing campaigns and an absolute must for EVERY company—and here’s why!
The Fall of Human Attention Spans
In 2000, the average human attention span was 12 seconds. This may already seem like a short amount of time, but the rise of technology led to a later recorded attention span of 8.25 seconds in 2015. Given that this data is from six years ago, it is only a matter of time before our attention spans continue to decrease even more, if they haven’t already. The important takeaway from this is what it means for digital marketers like us, who are competing with hundreds of other entities vying for consumers’ attention. We have to find a way to be the first company that comes to mind when a consumer needs something that we can provide.
This is where SEO comes into play. Let’s just say that the average human attention span is still 8.25 seconds. The next time that you search something on a search engine, count how many seconds it takes for you to legitimately read the titles of everything on the first page that comes up. Now try it just skimming through the titles. If it already takes a few seconds to skim and roughly 8-10 seconds to legitimately read, anything that is not on the first results page is highly likely to never be seen at all. If a potential consumer searches something about a service your company provides and you don’t show up on their first page of results, your company is highly likely to never be seen either. SEO utilizes keyword research to aggressively compete for your company to be at the top of search result pages and ensure that your company is being seen.
The Rise of Importance In Digital Presence
According to Forbes, 85% of all consumers conduct research prior to making a purchase online. In fact, 74% of channels utilized most for research purposes are websites. This means that the large majority of consumers conducting research are using search engines to find what they’re looking for. If they don’t see what they’re looking for in the first 8.25 seconds, they’re moving on to the next search. Across the world, there are 4.66 billion active internet users, 4.32 billion of which access the internet via mobile devices as recorded by statista.com. With nearly 60% of the global population actively using the internet, companies have come to realize that it is nearly impossible to survive without some form of digital presence to reach consumers.
The innovation of SEO was a product of the rapid development in digital technology allowing consumers to complete full transactions with companies without ever walking in the store. As a result, if your company has a strong digital presence when your type of service is being researched, you’re likely to be the company that the researching consumer contacts. SEO is one of the absolute best ways to get people noticing your company. However, SEO will not help you if the content that your searches lead consumers to is not optimized or appealing.
SEO Reflects and Rewards Hard Work
One of the great aspects of investing in SEO is that your hard work to make your content relevant and applicable to your customers will be reflected on search pages and rewarded with increased engagement. This is especially true for white hat SEO rather than black hat SEO. White hat SEO is focused on keeping links relevant, updating old content, using complete sentences with correct spelling, utilizing unique page titles that relate to your service(s), correctly labeled images, and HTML that complies with the current web standards. White hat SEO is a genuine effort to increase engagement with a focus on optimal service towards your customers.
Black hat SEO is a company-centered effort to increase engagement by duplicating content, using invisible text, redirecting users, and using links to irrelevant content just to artificially reach as high on the search results page as possible. If you utilize white hat SEO and work hard to create content to actually serve the user rather than take advantage of them, you will see much more positive results in your SEO. Although, since so many companies use white hat SEO, it is highly competitive and may require assistance from a digital marketing agency for the best competitive strategies.
Ultimately, SEO is an indisputable must for your company to invest in if you haven’t already. If not, you are not alone, and we are here to help. Contact us here to find the perfect keywords for your users today and get started climbing the search engine ladder!