Beauty & Brains in Branding & Web

Top 5 Benefits of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search Engine Market Share in Canada

Search Engine Market Share in Canada

Canadian search engine market share is dominated by Google—owning a staggering 88% of the pie. This proportion represents an 11% year-over-year increase leaving Bing with 7% of the market and Yahoo! a lowly 4%. Not many would argue that Google brought order to the internet with its search algorithms that value clean, quality content and relevancy to the inputs of searchers. And though the debate will rage over the outlook on Google’s dominance, there is no denying the power and significance of search for the 28 million (81.3%) Canadians on the internet.

The point is: people trust Google. People use Google and search engines to find what they are looking for, including products and services for which brands must earn the visibility, prominence and credibility afforded by Google… and the other players in the search game too.

Now, let’s tackle the concept of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is defined as “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.” Exciting, isn’t it?  Well, the benefits definitely are. A search engine-optimized site can translate into measurable success to be enjoyed by the studs within each market segment that recognize the value and power of the discipline. And, it is a discipline that can become fairly complex. The more competition in a market segment, the more savvy the competitors, the harder it is to get that elusive page 1 result. This doesn’t mean businesses shouldn’t invest the time, resources and effort to get there. Here are my top 5 reasons why:

  1. Developed Strategic Stance & Competitive Advantage
    As in most business contexts, there is something to be said about first-mover advantages. Those first-to-market tend to swallow-up more share and a protected market position. Those who fail to stake a claim wane and die. It is important for brands to carve out a presence online, battle for positioning, and SERP’s are arguably the most beneficial places to do so online.

  2. Increased Targeted Traffic
    It’s the age of inbound marketing when strategic targets exist in cyberspace looking to consume the information and offerings put forth by the most nimble and responsive marketers. The most successful ones are those who know their customers’ needs and search behaviour and who tailor their web presence and content to them accordingly. In a push versus pull debate, pull usually wins. Pre-qualified traffic translates into more warm leads and better conversion figures.

  3. Improved Branding & Marketing Positioning
    Solid performance in search engine results pages (SERP’s) translates into credibility and top-of-mind awareness for the successful SEO practitioner. Google’s a great place to build brand equity and position products and services within the marketplace. The better a brand can secure and defend a first-page organic search result under a targeted keyword or basket of keywords, the more people will trust it within the competitive space, and the more conversion can be expected.

  4. Measurable Control & Facilitated Responsiveness
    Analytics tools enable marketers to monitor their web properties’ performance under a number of important criteria. The information derived from key metrics can dictate the appropriate action for tinkering with items valued by search engines that improve page ranks and performance within SERP’s. Consistent monitoring, split testing and responsive action can reasonably predict, protect or improve the positioning of a brand within SERP’s. In times like these, it’s important to get scientific about initiatives and their associated spend.

  5. Better Return on Investment (ROI)
    The cost of SEO is whatever budgets allow it to be and could be negligible over a given period of time, especially when marketers earn a solid page rank and manage to protect it. A small investment could be enough to deliver significant impact, depending on the market and breadth of SEO efforts undertaken. Search engines do not charge to index websites. Efforts made to optimize a site for search up-front can have enduring benefits that can be sustained over the long haul at a marginal cost, or even for free.

In my opinion, any brand needs to have its web properties optimized for organic search. Searchers prefer organic search results to paid ones by a ratio of almost 16 to 1. There’s a lot that goes into search engine optimization and I’ll be discussing some key SEO strategies and tactics on this blog in the future. My intent with this post is to demonstrate SEO’s value to the strategists, marketing managers and decision makers who have yet to get their feet wet. SEO can create advantages, protect against competitive rivalry, drive performance and grow the success of your company. Want to go deeper?  There are a number of resources that guide a lot of our SEO work.  I’d suggest you check back here regularly, but in the meantime, here are some links you may find useful:

And as always, if you have a question or comment, let me know below!

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About Pat

Pat wears many hats as an Account Director at HTC. In addition to servicing his clients with poise and professionalism, you’ll often catch him doing thorough business analysis, strategizing sophisticated solutions, directing design and development, and helping-out his tightly-knit team, among other things. He is also our resident writer—responsible for the majority of our communications, copy and documentation. Pat holds a marketing degree (with distinction) from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. He lives in Montreal’s West Island and enjoys playing hockey and guitar, going to the gym, eating-out, traveling the world and making people laugh. Pat can be reached at pat[at]htc.ca

Comments

  1. Hey Pat! Nice post! I work in SEO and I so appreciate when the value of SEO is put forth. People mistake us for sneaky spammers due to the bad actions of some … common in many fields, not just this one of course. But the result is that people think SEO is nothing but a scam. So thank you for pointing out it’s importance 🙂 Here’s to quality SEO strategies taking the lead!

    • Hi Holly! I think people are coming around to see SEO as more valuable than sketchy. Black hat methods are increasingly being blocked, and people just have to actually create value and do things right to earn their positioning. What a concept! Thanks for the comment. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the blog.

  2. I was browsing some older articles to reference something I read about earlier today and came across this piece – great to be reminded of the basics and what the true value of what we do is.

    Can’t count the number of times that the value of SEO has gone unrecognized in my client’s minds and this article is a great resource for how to counter such arguments. Many thanks for the uplifting message!

    Rob Cairns

  3. Thank You so much for your great article on SEO, It is completely incredible and easy to understand the advantage of SEO to build an online business.

  4. Great post! I didn’t immidiately see that it was posted a few years ago, but I guess it still is relevant. 🙂

    Anyways, I learned a lot and really appreciate the links to the other SEO sources.

    I hopefully soon know enough to get my sites to page 1.

    Thanks,
    Thomas

  5. Awesome article Pat. A lot of people think SEO is nothing but a scam. I want to thank you for pointing out it’s importance for any business. Just shared it with a few clients.

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