It may help to think of search engines as a type of call list; the results at the top are essentially a “first call sheet”. Very rarely will an internet user click past the first page of search results, with roughly three quarters of users only looking at the first page. If your business isn’t listed in this first call sheet, the chance of a potential customer first finding, and then clicking through to your website, has decreased dramatically.

But the benefits of SEO are far more wide reaching than simply generating visits to your website:

 

SEO allows small business to compete with big business


Search Engine Optimisation helps your business website be found, and a good SEO strategy helps to level the playing field between small and large business. The technique doesn’t have to be expensive either, meaning that smaller organisations can use it to get ahead of larger competitors.

 

SEO helps to build brand recognition


Customers are more likely to trust a high ranking business, rather than one with little or no web presence. Ranking higher in search engines can give a voice to your brand that it otherwise may not be able to achieve.

 

SEO benefits your social media presence, and vice versa


As SEO technology has developed, a bi-directional relationship between SEO and social media has emerged. Popularity on social media accounts now helps with your search engine ranking, and pages with a higher ranking gain substantially more Likes, Re-Tweets or +1’s than lower ranking websites.

 

SEO helps you create a better user experience


In particular, Google’s latest SEO algorithm updates (algorithms being the equations through which the search engine uses to rank content) are searching for quality content and navigation. Enhancing your on-page SEO could greatly improve the user experience.

 

For more information on SEO explore:

Google’s Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide
Bing’s Webmaster tools
Yahoo’s Guide to getting higher rankings for your website
SEOmoz’s Beginners Guide to SEO

 
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