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Consumer behaviour has shifted these past few years, with most relying on online information to discover, compare, and purchase products or avail of services. Figures vary, but it's said that as high as 81 per cent of consumers conduct online searches before buying something.
Such reliance on online platforms has made search engine optimisation (SEO) and digital marketing essential business activities. With these key practices, enterprises can increase online visibility, reach the right audience, and influence consumers' purchasing decisions.
Whether a small business, a startup, or an industry veteran, it pays to spend on search engine optimisation and digital marketing for further growth and success. Let's explore the most compelling reasons why they deserve attention and allocation in every business.
Online marketing is a multi-faceted discipline that involves reaching out to different audiences across all channels possible. Its primary goal is to expand an enterprise's customer base by attracting new buyers and retaining existing ones. Simply put, digital marketing helps draw in and keep customers, making it indispensable to all businesses.
Marketing online involves multiple techniques, including online advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and SEO.
SEO strategies ensure your business ranks high in search engine results, increasing your chances of getting discovered by potential customers. Different digital marketing practices can boost these efforts, resulting in the following benefits:
1 Enhancing brand awareness
A robust digital presence is a requirement for businesses, regardless of size, setup, and niche. Wide and repeated exposure builds brand awareness, making businesses more recognisable and memorable in consumers' minds.
Besides setting up a website, businesses can utilise several SEO techniques, whether in-house or with help from companies like Pursuit Digital SEO agency, to drive organic traffic and employ content marketing methods to expand their reach. This complementary approach is especially helpful for businesses working double time to catch up with their more established peers.
2 Establishing brand reputation
To succeed online and offline, businesses must show their expertise and credibility to establish trust. Building your reputation online can be done in multiple ways, the easiest of which is uploading high-quality and helpful content on your website.
Additionally, you can use SEO tools and tactics alongside various digital marketing channels to discover guest blogging opportunities, reach out to influencers, and explore other forms of collaboration that associate you with industry leaders. Doing so elevates your brand's reputation and increases authoritativeness in the eyes of humans and search engines, leading to more visibility and higher traffic.
3 Targeting relevant traffic and leads
SEO and digital marketing tactics can be tweaked according to specific business requirements, for instance, attracting highly targeted and relevant traffic to a website. Businesses can use data-driven targeting options to reach specific demographics. SEO strategies, such as keyword research and content optimisation, allow businesses to align their online presence with their target audiences.
With these elements, marketers can develop an effective strategy by studying and matching users' intent, search preferences and behaviour. Additionally, they can deliver tailored messages to the right audience at the right time, increasing the likelihood of converting visitors into leads and paying customers.
4 Increasing conversions
Conversion in marketing happens when a user performs and completes a desired action, whether submitting a web form with their details, signing up with their email for service or gated information, or purchasing a product. Understanding your audience's needs, preferences and behaviour is at the core of digital marketing.
Multiple factors affect a business's conversion rate. In SEO practice, a high conversion rate could result from publishing useful and relevant content and integrating a highly compelling call to action.
Knowing what appeals to your audience's emotions and providing relevant information lets businesses guide their site visitors at every funnel stage and toward conversion.
Estimates reveal the digital marketing sector value to reach USD$ 786.2 billion by 2026, indicating a stable and strong demand. That's likely because SEO and digital marketing are cost-effective and measurable, unlike traditional advertising methods.
SEO, for instance, focuses on getting free organic traffic, which means businesses don't have to pay for every site visitor, unlike paid search marketing, which bills every user impression or click. And while paid options are available in other forms of digital marketing, organisations can still get the best value for their money by targeting their audience accurately and setting caps on advertising costs.
6 Providing measurable results
One of the key advantages of SEO and digital marketing is that businesses can gather performance data and analyse them to determine campaign effectiveness. Almost all search engine and online marketing platforms have integrated reporting and analytics tools that gather metrics, such as new visitors, click-through rates, conversions, user behaviour and demographics, and more.
Tracking your digital marketing performance lets you understand your audience better, helping you arrive at sound decisions to optimise marketing strategies. Regular reviews also help identify areas for improvement and let you adjust quickly to changing market conditions and customer preferences.
7 Adapting to consumer trends and behaviour
Like SEO and digital marketing in general, consumer behaviour is likewise evolving continuously. Organisations must determine the emerging trends and adapt their marketing strategies appropriately to remain effective.
For instance, video marketing has exploded in popularity, and it's estimated that around 91% of businesses use them to promote their products. While most of these videos are product demonstrations, some businesses show their manufacturing or service processes to satisfy users' curiosity or address concerns. Regardless of how you envision your strategy, ensure it aligns with the information your target audience seeks, and you won't go wrong.
8 Enhancing user experience and engagement
Putting customers front and centre is paramount to every business, and online platforms play a significant role in gathering customer information. Businesses can use valuable insights from SEO and digital marketing data to improve site design, content, products, and workflows.
For instance, SEO ranking factors push owners to ensure their website is well-structured, loads quickly, contains valuable content and is mobile-friendly. Customer reviews and feedback lets them improve their processes while studying customer preferences, enabling them to send personalised email campaigns or publish engaging social media content.
Fulfilling these tasks establishes a deep connection with the audience, making customers feel more valued. It becomes easier for businesses to establish trust and loyalty.
9 Boosting customer retention
Businesses are often too obsessed with acquiring new customers; they tend to forget about their existing clients. While attracting new buyers is essential, estimates suggest customer retention costs less than customer acquisition.
Digital marketing provides businesses with various touchpoints to engage and nurture customer relationships, including websites, emails, and social media. Besides online messaging platforms, enterprises can email newsletters, engage with their followers on social media and site content, create online communities, and launch loyalty programs to stay connected with their audience and boost customer loyalty and retention.
10 Maintaining a competitive market edge
Staying up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and leveraging innovative digital marketing techniques enables businesses to stay ahead of their competitors and secure a larger market share. An optimised website with high search engine rankings and compelling digital marketing campaigns positions a business as an industry leader and primary online resource.
11 Strengthening local presence
Local searches, called 'near me' queries, often include locations and express higher purchasing intent. According to a curated list of local SEO statistics published on Hubspot, 88 per cent of consumers who use local search will visit or call a store on the same day. It also cited that around 46 per cent of all Google searches are about seeking local information.
Businesses must seize such opportunities by appearing high in local searches. Create a Google My Business Profile, fill out the details completely and accurately, and ask your customers to leave reviews and feedback. Have your business listed on trusted online directories to boost visibility and drive more website and foot traffic.
As a business owner, determining how much to spend on SEO and digital marketing depends on various factors. It's essential to analyse your business's specific needs and goals to determine a budget that aligns with your unique circumstances.
The right budget appropriation will require you to consider the following factors:
Many businesses allocate around five to 10 per cent of their overall revenue to marketing, while some enterprises allocate up to 20 per cent for more aggressive campaigns.
The most important rule is choosing the right marketing tack for your needs and requirements, as with any business automation tool or project. Start with a conservative and reasonable amount and scale it as you notice positive growth or if your business needs change. Additionally, monitor your performance and tweak your strategies to ensure optimal results.
Investing in SEO and digital marketing allows businesses to be present at every stage of the buying journey. From researching to finalising their purchase, businesses can strategically connect and engage with potential customers and enhance user experience, increasing the chances of conversion.
A well-executed SEO strategy and targeted digital marketing campaigns can significantly enhance a business's online visibility, attract relevant traffic, and build brand awareness. When done well, it provides businesses with measurable benefits that prove invaluable in terms of seeking sustainable growth and online success.