SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of getting your website pages ranked higher in organic (not paid) search results. It’s important for business because 70-80% of search engine users only focus on the organic results, and of those, 75% of people never scroll past the first page. If you’re not at the top of search results, you’re losing business to your competitors.
So, does SEO really work? The answer is yes. In fact, improving SEO and growing their company’s organic presence is the top inbound marketing priority for 61% of marketers. But understanding the importance of search engine optimization, and knowing how to use it effectively are two entirely different things. Many either don’t comprehend what’s involved, or find that SEO is harder than they thought.
Understanding how people search the internet, engage in social media, and shop is challenging in itself. Then factor in understanding how search engines evaluate and rank results, and you add a whole new level of complexity and difficulty. Therefore, SEO has secured a place in business as an essential—but often hated—marketing tactic.
Here are seven reasons why SEO is the marketing tactic you love to hate.
1. You’re at the Mercy of Search Engines
When we say search engines, we know that’s primarily Google, since it holds almost 93% of the global search engine market share. And Google doesn’t make it easy. There are hundreds of different ranking factors, and they aren’t public about what those ranking factors are.
Unfortunately, that means the rest of us are left making our best educated guess when it comes to SEO. And then when Google modifies their algorithm, those guesses may no longer work like they used to. Google has also taken steps to catch those who are gaming the system, so now people find they have to work harder to get the same results as before.
2. The SEO Landscape Is Always Changing
Anyone in the SEO industry will tell you that SEO isn’t anything like it was 10 years ago—or even five years ago. And in a few years it will probably be quite different from today. Search engines are in business to provide the best online search experience for their users, which includes predicting what searchers want. As a result, Google regularly evaluates and modifies its algorithm to meet its own goals.
SEO requires both knowledge and a steady dedication to keep up with an industry that is constantly evolving and shows no signs of slowing down.