Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Important for Businesses?

An illustration of SEO with different post-it notes with on-page, off-page, backlinks, traffic, content, indexing keywords and site architecture
An illustration of SEO

Do you know that SEO is still relevant in today’s age? Unfortunately, many business owners have yet to understand SEO’s full importance. Research shows that only approximately 36 % of small businesses deploy an SEO strategy from time to time.

SEO is important for businesses because it helps them to build trust, generates quality leads, improves SEO scores, rank high on major search engines, and boosts the ROI (Return On Investment). Because of this, many businesses invest heavily in SEO. In addition, some businesses consult SEO agencies to help develop an SEO strategy that works for their business or digital marketing in general.

This article will cover the importance of SEO to businesses. We will learn about SEO, how it works, and several ways to improve SEO ranking.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization is the act of combining multiple strategies, best practices, and actions to improve your site’s position in major search engines.

How SEO works

SEO works in two different ways: On-page and Off-page.

On-page SEO comprises everything you can control on your site to boost your rankings. This includes keyword presence, website speed, header text, etc.

On the other hand, off-page SEO has to do with anything performed on other sites – primarily within your niche – that considerably influences your rankings on search results pages. In most cases, off-page SEO refers to links.

Optimizing your blog/website for high rankings on search result pages takes time and requires in-depth knowledge and successful deployment of on-page and off-page SEO strategies.

However, you will rank number one on search results pages only if the collective power of your website or a particular web page’s SEO is much more powerful than every other one within your niche.

Tip: The website with the most web pages, links, or visitors does not always rank number one on search engine result pages. Instead, the overall performance of different SEO strategies determines the site that comes out on top for your targeted keywords.

Why SEO is important for businesses

It is Google’s (and other search engines) way of determining the most deserving website

Magnifying glass on Google's logo
Magnifying glass on Google’s logo

Google is the largest search engine, dominating the global search market and determining the rules of engagement on the internet. According to a report by Statista, Google occupied almost 85% of the search engine market as of January 2023. Microsoft’s Bing came second with 8.85%, and Yahoo with 2.29%.

Search engine optimization is Google’s way of determining the website that deserves to rank high for every query a user enters in its search engine.

Without Google’s strict SEO policies, manipulating search engine results will be incredibly easy. People would be able to rank #1 on major search engines by using software to generate the most web pages or links.

SEO ensures search results are fair

SEO is vital for businesses since it helps ensure search results remain consistently fair. In addition, it significantly minimizes the ability to manipulate search engine results to a feasible extent. This means websites that appear for every search are only there because they rightly deserve to be there.

According to Wikipedia, Google modifies its algorithm over 500 times per year. This ensures that search results are fair. 

A website that appeals to the wants or needs of visitors – plus hard work – will conform to high search engine rankings.

Users trust search engines

Most users trust major search engines. The higher your website/blog ranks in search results pages, the more traffic and clicks your website will generate. According to statistics, 28% of local searches about businesses lead to a purchase.

A pen pointed at the overview of sources of traffic for a website
Overview of sources of traffic for a website

Search engine optimization also enhances the user experience. This makes it highly likely for visitors to become customers and customers to be repeat buyers.

Organizations across various industries spend whopping amounts of money on paid website traffic. But not every organization or business has that kind of money to spend on paid ads.

According to a report by Infolinks, 85% of people ignore ads on search results. This implies that ranking organically is still beneficial compared to paid ads.

Moreover, SEO is highly cost-effective. Therefore, if you operate on a tight financial budget, SEO is an excellent way of organically driving highly-qualified and targeted traffic to your website without paying a dime. Research by ironpaper shows that search engines drive 300% more traffic to content sites than social media.

SEO makes it easier to find information online

SEO helps internet users find products/services, information, or whatever they want via search engines within seconds. This is crucial as there would be no ‘natural order’ to anything online without SEO. Internet live stats reveal that 20% of searches on Google have never been done before. 

According to Google, 75% of customers use search engines to find relevant local information such as local stores, locations, and events on their phones, tablets, and computers.

Ways to improve SEO

Some ways to improve SEO include writing for humans first before search engines, utilizing SEO plugins, incorporating ALT tags in images, improving the UX of a website, keeping tabs on Google’s algorithm changes, avoiding duplicate content issues, placing keywords naturally and utilizing effective permalinks, titles, and meta-descriptions.

Here are in-depth tips to improve SEO:

Write for humans first before SEO engines

The big question most people ask is: Is readability important for SEO?

A man wearing a suit reading an ebook on his tablet
A man reading an ebook

Google constantly updates its algorithm to improve readability. Search engines highly regard content that provides valuable information to users. This implies that you will do more harm than good to your site if you prioritize search engines over humans.

With the increasing availability of AI content-writing tools, some website owners discard human-written content for AI-generated content to save costs and time. Because of this, some writers are worried that AI will take over their jobs.

Nevertheless, Google’s stance on AI-generated content is somewhat complicated. If you must use AI content writing tools, edit it until it resonates well with readers. 

Utilize SEO Plugins

SEO plugins such as Yeast SEO and Surfer SEO provide insights about your site’s performance on search engines. Some plugins are free, affordable, or expensive. Go for the one that meets your budget and needs.

Plugins recommend SEO marketing tips that will improve your site’s SEO ranking score. With it, you can easily create sitemaps that help SEO search engine bots to crawl your pages. Alternatively, you can use a sitemap generator to create an XML sitemap.

Plugins ensure that your keyword placement, image tagging, and readability rating follow the best practices in the SEO marketing industry.

According to research by BrightEdge, 68% of online experiences start with search engines. 

Incorporate ALT tags in your images

Although images help enhance your customer’s experience, adding ALT tags allows Google to index your images. Ensure the title of your photos is rich in keywords to improve your SEO score.

Google algorithms only read what is available; therefore, try to give the best description of your pictures in ALT tags. Findings show that 92.99% of global traffic originates from Google Search, Google Images, and Google Maps.

Besides the SEO benefits, ALT tags help blind or visually impaired users to read information about your images. This adds a positive impact on society.

Work on the user experience (UX) of your site

UX website design plan for SEO
UX website design plan for SEO

The user experience of any site is vital to the success of its SEO strategies. Search engines consider this factor when indexing sites. An accessible and easy UX helps search engine bots quickly scan your site’s content.

Moreover, 88% of online users say they will never return to a website if they experience a terrible user experience. 44% will inform their friends about a bad online experience. In addition, 40% of users will leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. This shows the importance of UX to online customers. 

Stay up to date with Google algorithm changes

Google and other search engines constantly update their algorithms to close exploitable loopholes. The updates and changes are consistent and often done out of the blue. Some sites benefit or are penalized based on how they follow the new core update guidelines. 

Therefore, you should always keep an open ear towards these changes and ensure you adhere to them.

Avoid duplicate content

Review your site to ensure every content URL has a unique link to avoid penalties from the Search engine police. Google and other search engines frown at websites with duplicate content and will not rank such sites. Statistics show that 29% of sites are facing duplicate content issues. Therefore, be mindful of it.

Avoid using the same descriptions for different content on your site.

Desist from keyword stuffing

Strings of business management related keywords
Strings of business management-related keywords

keyword stuffing involve adding several awkward keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engines and rank high.

Google warns against it in its quality guidelines. Your website won’t rank high if you fail to add keywords naturally in your posts or if the keywords don’t add value to the content. Therefore, add SEO keywords in the right places. 

Permalinks should be short (probably five words or less) and in lowercase letters. Avoid adding numbers in your permalink to improve your SEO score. 

When writing titles and meta tags, ensure they are rich in keywords. You can use an SEO tool if you can’t do it yourself. SEO keyword-rich titles and meta tags (meta description) help SEO engines to index your pages.

What happens if there was no SEO?

Have you tried to imagine what life would be like if no search engine existed or there was no SEO?

No one knows how internet users will be able to find businesses, quality information, or websites. People would manipulate search engine results even if search engines existed, but there was no SEO.

This means you will spend a long time and face difficulty locating valuable websites online.

How SEO is Crucial to Marketers

Insight of a website analytics
Insight into a website analytics

According to research by Search Engine Journal, 49% of marketers believe organic search offers the highest ROI (Return on investment). This implies that SEO is the most effective and efficient digital marketing strategy today.

As a result, businesses with carefully planned SEO strategies will no longer need to spend much money on less-quality marketing activities.


So, why is SEO vitally important? SEO helps businesses generate high-quality online traffic, making it easy for existing and prospective customers to find specific websites while building trust and outperforming competitors.

SEO can be costly but time-consuming. With the help of seasoned SEO agencies, you can speed up things. These professional SEO companies will help create customized SEO strategies that will attract high-quality visitors/customers and improve the ranking of your website on search engines.

Did you learn something new? Which SEO practices did you find effective? How long did it take for Google to index your site? Which SEO plugin would you recommend? We will expect your thoughts in the comments.

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