Here at Jumping Spider Media, we’re so entrenched in the world of search marketing that we can forget that not everyone is well versed in SEO (search engine optimisation), so it sometimes helps to go back to basics and remind ourselves of the basic drivers behind carrying out an SEO campaign. Why bother to carry out an SEO campaign at all?

Most people have at least heard of the term SEO by now and are aware that a search marketing industry has grown up around it. Search engine optimisation is the term used to refer to activities which are carried out in order to make a website visible to the search engines and get its pages indexed with the search engines in order to return them as high ranking results in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs) for certain keyterms. But what is the point of SEO – why is it so important to bother marketing your website in this way? Here are, in our opinion, the top 3 reasons why SEO is vital to the marketing success of any company:

1) A changing world. People no longer use the Yellow Pages or business directories to find businesses; they use search engines. And look at TV advertising: increasingly companies advertising on TV are not even telling their captive audience what their website is. They are simply relying on the fact that they know people will use search engines, saying, find us online by searching ‘vacuum cleaner’, ‘army jobs’ or whatever it is that they are promoting.

The first thing people do when looking for any product or service in this changing world is log on to Google and search for it. ‘Italian restaurant in Essex’; ‘sports therapist’; ‘plumbers in Manchester’; ‘SEO provider’; whatever it is they are looking for, overwhelmingly people are now heading straight to Google (et al) to find it. Simply having a website isn’t enough. If you’re a plumbing company in Manchester who isn’t carrying out an SEO campaign (or an SEO provider that isn’t, for that matter!) your website will not be returned in the SERPs. And if you’re not returned in the SERPs, not only will none of those searchers find you; they’ll find your local competitors that are carrying out an SEO campaign.

2) Targeted traffic. Now we’ve ascertained that in this changing world, any company wanting to reach out to customers must be visible in the search engines, let’s consider the second reason to SEO: the ability to reach out to the right customers. Car companies who pay millions for the best TV advertising slots would gladly pay even more if they could be ensured that the people viewing their advert were their target demographic and in the market to buy a new car. This is in effect what you do when you SEO – target those customers who are actively searching for your product or service by entering your website’s keywords into search engines. By bringing targeted traffic to your site, SEO is bringing paying customers to your door; and for a far lower investment than with pay per click advertising (PPC).

3) Reliability.The third reason why SEO is vital, and arguably more valuable than other forms of marketing such as PPC, is its reliability. Carrying out a paid search campaign, while having benefits such as instant traffic, is generally more expensive than carrying out an SEO campaign. Not only that, but both PPC and banner advertising only work until your (significant) allocated marketing budget depletes. With PPC, as soon as you have reached your budget your website disappears from the SERPs, whereas SEO your site in the right way and you’ll have long-term visibility. Many people choose to rely on SEO to help them gradually reduce their advertising budget on PPC, in the knowledge that there is more long-term reliability with SEO, and that research proves that more people click on the organic listings than the paid ads.

These are just three of the many reasons to SEO, but when you consider the ubiquity of a search marketing strategy in this changing world, choosing the strategy that will bring your website paying customers without costing the earth and one which ensures long-term, reliable results is surely something that every company would strive for.