Why is SEO Important for Business in 2021?

By Paolo Tanjuatco

As we continue to navigate thru a pandemic, Year 2021 still poses a lot of challenges for businesses across the globe. There have been promising signs of economic recovery in some countries but with the emergence of new COVID 19 variants in 2021 business need to be creative to strive and survive.

A lot of businesses have had the need to accelerate their Digital Transformation, since 2015 the number of websites in the world has doubled which makes SEO (Search Engine Optimization) an important tool for business. Search Engine Optimization or SEO in short is the continuous process of improving and optimizing your website with the goal of driving traffic. A common misconception of business is that it enough to build a website and be present in social media to succeed in digital marketing. What they miss out is the importance of SEO in their digital marketing strategies, from small to medium enterprises to large global corporations outsourcing SEO or hiring SEO consulting services is a vital to their success in the digital world.

In marketing, it has long been a proven that the 1st step to grow one’s business is to get as much customers as possible and this is done thru brand awareness activities.  Digitally there are multiple ways to engage in brand awareness activities and these are done in different platforms such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok just to name a few. I often get asked by my students and clients, do I need a website for my business? I always tell them that it depends on your customers digital journey and your commitment to make your website searchable.

Having a website gives businesses credibility among its target customers. The website can act as the business digital brochure or profile. For e-commerce sites, it will act as their storefront where customers can buy and finish their transactions online. A major advantage of having your own website or e-commerce site compared to solely using other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok) is that you have the liberty to put all the information you want to convey to their viewers with no restrictions. This is what sets the website apart from other digital platforms. But it doesn’t end there, for a website to be successful in creating brand awareness it must be searchable thus the importance of SEO for businesses. To be successful in SEO the first step is to understand your customer’s digital journey. Understand their browsing habits for example is vital in developing a good SEO keyword research strategy. What are your target customers interests, hobbies? What websites do they visit? How much time do they spend online? An SEO keyword research strategy is understanding what keywords your target customers are typing in search engines such as Google. This can be done by knowing what keywords drive traffic to your competitor’s website and what are the frequently visited websites of your target customer. This will give you an idea on what keywords will drive traffic to your website thru SEO.

SEO does not end with keyword research, another important SEO strategy is content development.

magine going to a Starbucks only to find out that when you get there, they don’t serve any Frappuccino’s, that would be the feeling of going to a website that does not have enough relevant content to what one is searching for. Content development is a primary tool in digital marketing, content is what will drive one’s success in the digital world. As early as 1996 just on the onset of the digital age online Bill Gates said that “Content is King” and that holds true to this day and age. Without relevant and meaning content, one’s digital strategy would not be successful.  Website content specifically will be able to help search engines such as Google to index the website make it searchable. Web content is not all about keywords, the key to unlocking your websites content to be searchable in Google is making sure the content in your website is relevant to the searcher. In 2015, Google started using a new algorithm called Rankbrain. Rankbrain uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to better understand the search intent. However, you cannot SEO your website specifically to suit the Rankbrain algorithm but you can optimize with Rankbrain in mind by developing quality content that is relevant to the searcher. SEO web content can be in the form of blogs, case studies, video, infographics, and write-ups.

Once you have enough relevant content on your website you should also apply off-page SEO strategies to further boost your websites searchability. Off page SEO are actions done outside your website to boost your searchability. One technique used for off page SEO is link building. According to Moz.com “Inbound links, also known as backlinks or external links, are HTML hyperlinks that point from one website to another. Supposed you are on a holiday and ask the people in that town where to find the best coffee and they all point to a local café you would like to believe that café has the best coffee in town. This is what links thru link building activities do to the search engines. Social Media Marketing is another off-page SEO strategy that professional outsourcing SEO firms and SEO experts recommend. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter can also help extend the reach of the content of your website by tapping into their audience. Another strategy to boost your off page SEO is thru influencer marketing. By tapping into influencers, your link profile will improve as they can market your website and content to their followers.

When mapping out your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2022, SEO should be an integral part of it. Most companies can outsource SEO or have it in house but it is important for businesses to understand what needs to be done for their brand to be seen online. In FortifySEO we help our partners achieve their goals by understanding their industry and business by deep diving into critical data that can drive customers to your website.

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About the Author

Paolo Tanjuatco is a Brand and Marketing Strategist who has over 17 years of experience. Currently the head of FortifySEO with more than a decade of experience working in brand marketing for industry leading companies in the Philippines and multinationals.

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