The idea behind writing this blog of mine is to give you a fair idea of SEO from a business perspective. The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. As a business person, you must know what to expect from SEO in 2020. The idea, here is to nudge you towards implementing SEO for the immense traffic and credibility it brings along.
If your business is already into SEO, great!
But, as you climb up the SEO ladder, you will discover newer insights. So, this blog shall help you discover and understand what these might be. Adding fresh ideas and perspectives helps a business keep moving.
You may be surprised to know that there are still those who dismiss SEO as a fad or a gimmick. That’s so not true. How, can you dismiss something without giving it a chance?
Well, a vast majority of people manage to make a website and then somewhere forget about it. What an opportunity wasted! The argument that the business is doing fine, and they shall do SEO sometime later when they need it is absolutely the wrong one! The paucity of time is often cited as a reason and they keep postponing it indefinitely.
My take is that if you can’t invest your time in a fundamental marketing technique that has the potential to expand your reach globally, boost your brand and generate traffic then whose loss is it anyway?
The fact that the online world has taken over our lives is no exaggeration. People are connecting and communicating like never before. Businesses today have a global reach. They are making the most of it and increasing their profits. Isolation can only harm your business.
So, get out of the comfort zone!
Take advantage of the digital boom!
I sincerely want all of you to give SEO your best shot, otherwise, you won’t know what you are missing!
See, nothing good comes easy. No marketing tool can be implemented without dedicating time to it, and going through its share of hassles and yes, plenty of hard work too. SEO, like any other marketing tool, comes with its own challenges.
I hope that you have created a website for your business.
What next? Customers, right? As a smart businessperson, think of SEO as a wonderful marketing opportunity.
Before we discuss the various facets of SEO vis-à-vis your business, let’s get a quick understanding of the very basics of SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO as a process is an evolving digital science which optimizes your website in order to push traffic to it through un-paid(organic) means.
Now let me explain and elaborate on that. We are living in a digital world, where information is just a search away. With smartphones in their hands and laptops on their desks, people are conducting billions of searches a day. Imagine the traffic that generates!
People don’t make these searches without intent. A search can be done to gather information about a restaurant, a holiday destination or just with the intention of buying. The list is endless!
89% of consumers end up purchasing on account of a web search, as per Business 2 Community.
That is the Power of Search!
Here’s an example to simplify it further.
Suppose I want to buy a phone. I won’t head to the market straightway to do the purchase. I am a smart consumer and I live in the digital era. I’ll do my complete research on Google. I’ll make comparisons of prices, latest models, features and so on. Only then will I take a final decision. As a businessman, wouldn’t you want your business to figure in these searches? This is achieved by SEO.
It’s quite obvious for you to ponder, as to how does all this information reach us?
It’s through search engines.
Let’s Get A Basic Understanding of Search Engines
A Search Engine is a type of software which enables us to find information in the web world. The function of search engines is three-fold:
i) Crawling – Scanning the net to find information.
ii) Indexing – Storing and organizing the information in an index.
iii) Ranking – Providing the most relevant or the best matching information, when a query is made.
You must remember that users trust search engines. Google is their topmost choice because it receives the maximum traffic and has the largest market share.
Bing and Yahoo are other well-known search engines. They have a reasonable following and hence cannot be ignored.
Now that we have some basic knowledge of SEO and the search engines, we can dig further to get an insight into how SEO functions.
SEO is Not Static …..
SEO is not a one- time formula to be applied to get the desired traffic. It is quite complex and is guided by various factors. These factors evolve/change with changes in technology. So, SEO becomes an ever-evolving process to be updated, applied and checked /analyzed until it gives us the desired outcome.
The fact is that one has to experiment with a combination of different factors until results are achieved. In the process, we may have to leave some tactics, adopt others and experiment again and again till one gets it right.
As a businessperson, you can expect a lot from SEO, provided it’s done properly. There are some business people who are not sure about the importance of SEO. They are not sure what to expect from it.
Here are a few points which will make it easy for you to understand SEO from your business point of view.
IMPORTANCE OF SEO
When it comes to online business, everybody wants traffic. This traffic has the potential to get converted into revenue.
The question is how does one ensure a good flow of traffic? The answer is SEO. Getting traffic is the responsibility of SEO.
n fact, it is responsible for getting traffic which is 20x more than PPC (pay per click). 
You can imagine the reach of your product/service if SEO is done the right way.
Remember, it’s this traffic which can eventually lead you to sales.
SEO exposes your brand to the users over a long period of time because it’s done organically. Your brand gets global exposure. Isn’t that great?!
Once people start doing business with you, they can recommend your brand to their friends. They can share information about it on social media as well. They can even leave a nice comment on your website. It becomes a sort of a chain reaction, where one thing leads to another. In this process, your brand gets a terrific boost.
This eventually helps in generating traffic.
3. LONG-TERM BENEFITS
Advertisements run for some duration and then dry up once the campaign is over.
SEO, on the other hand, if done right, keeps giving you dividends for a long time. You will keep showing up in organic searches. These searches can be your potential customers.
Let them have expectations of useful and updated content from your site. Raise the bar of your content for your users’/customers’ sake. This is a good way of having them drawn to your site.
All this can result in making your users’ loyal followers/fans of your brand. You will have a long association with them.
SEO in 2020 has become bigger and better. It has evolved into a wholesome marketing tool.
A lot of successful business houses are already reaping its benefits.
Why should you shy away from it?
You are a forward-thinking businessperson. You must realize the full potential of SEO. In so doing, SEO will become an integral part of your marketing strategy. You will benefit from it like no other marketing tool.
SEO gives you a wonderful platform for marketing.
Here’s a bird’s eye view of what all you can expect from SEO-
- Appear in search engine results.
- Try and get a top ranking in search engine rankings.
- Write blogs on other websites to publicize your brand.
- Write on other blogging platforms where users can find you.
- Email outreach to your audience.
- Offline business activities to be pushed to the online world for boosting your brand.
- Give users the best experience when they visit your site in terms of content, loading speed and so on to get them interested in your product/service.
- Give customer satisfaction your top priority by having tailor-made content answer customer queries.
- Provide appropriate content as part of sales support.
The idea is to get traffic, customers and repeat customers
If you have a little knowledge of SEO under your belt, you can leverage it on your own. Alternatively, you can hire an SEO professional to meet your needs.
As a businessperson, nobody knows your business better than you. So, put on your thinking cap and be totally involved in the SEO process. SEO is not just a few links and keywords here and there, it’s much more than that.
Since your inputs/ideas are extremely important for your business, you should get familiar with the different types of SEO which have been summarized for you below:
Technical SEO- It caters to the crawling and indexing of your website by search engines as mentioned earlier.
On-site SEO- It deals with the structure of your website, title headings, metadata, internal links and other techniques which provide relevant information to search engines so that they know what your page is all about.
Off-site SEO- It’s about ranking your website by search engines. Here the backlinks play an important role.
5. AHEAD OF COMPETITION
SEO must be tweaked all the time to keep pace with the ever-changing algorithms. There is not a single surefire method of perfecting SEO. Things are changing/evolving fast. It makes sense to keep yourself abreast of the latest trends to secure your present and future.
Some points need to be emphasized here so that you take them seriously. I have touched upon a few things so that you are aware of them and include them in your SEO plan as per your need.
i) User Intent
Today, everybody who knows about SEO is talking about it.
See, your business needs customers and these customers make queries/searches. So, these queries are really important to you.
What are these queries? How are they searching? This is exactly what you must work upon.
Search engines are adapting to natural language, so long-tail queries/keywords can be one solution.
Another solution is to reach out organically by talking to your target audience and asking them how they carry out a search. This would give you an insight into the user’s intent.
Accord the power of search your top priority.
Optimize your content for it, by keeping users’ queries in mind. Let your content provide the most accurate answer for these. That way you can capture their attention.
ii) Optimizing for Speed
We are living in a super-connected world. People want everything this instant.
In this scenario, if a user searches for your site and your site fails to load instantly, the user will return to search results.
Oops! That’s bad news for your business.
This is the reason why you have to ensure to optimize for speed. You must make site loading super-quick by removing all the obstacles. Talk to your SEO guy or maybe your developer for this. They will certainly find a solution.
Once your site loads fast, users won’t leave just like that. They will likely spend some time on your site. In this process, they might like your product/service. This can result in conversions.
It’s all about revenue at the end of the day.
So, make sure your site loads fast, maybe in 2 seconds or even less.
If you worry about the fact, as you should that mobile traffic has superseded traditional desktop traffic, you will make your site mobile friendly.
Be a smart business person and join ranks with the forward-thinking SEO tribe. Mobile search is already huge. Get your mobile SEO done to capture this immense traffic.
Let me explain this more…
What is mobile SEO?
Optimizing your website for users on smartphones is mobile SEO.
Now the question on your mind is…
Why do I need mobile SEO?
Google cares for the immense traffic that comes from its users. 58% of all searches on mobile devices are done by Google users. Google cannot ignore this. 
In fact, Google has already announced that mobile-first indexing shall be applied to all websites in the next 6 to 12 months. This means the sites will be crawled by Google from the mobile browser’s point of view for indexing and crawling purposes.
So, in case your website is up and running and it is not mobile-friendly, it’s time for you to move to mobile-first indexing.
Well, if you are one of those whose websites have just come up or are in the construction stage, then get it optimized for mobiles first. It makes sense because then you won’t have issues concerning the loading speed of sites on mobiles, cropping up later.
How to get mobile SEO done?
- Mobile users have their devices in their hands and they want everything in real-time. So, make sure your site gets loaded quickly by getting rid of any impediments.
- Customize your mobile content for your users. The content should be easy (i.e., not small- in -size) to read. Don’t expect users to adjust to your font size because if they find it difficult to read, they won’t spend a second more engaging with it.
- Video content is quite popular amongst mobile users. If your video is working good on the desktop, there is no guarantee that it will run fine on your mobile. Check for this, and take the necessary action if required.
- Since mobile devices are also used outdoors; so be sure that there is a significant amount of contrast between the text and the background. This will ensure a good reading experience.
Be sure about the fact that users will look for your website more on mobiles and less on desktop computers.
In short, optimize your content for your mobile visitor, pay attention to speed and other issues. The idea is to give your users a fantastic experience. So, make your site mobile friendly.
iv) Voice Search
Another thing that is catching on with users is Voice Search.
What is Voice Search?
It is a speech-technology which allows users to search by a voice command.
Why is it gaining popularity?
It’s gaining in popularity because of two simple reasons:
. Convenience: Users are falling for voice search because they find it so convenient and easy. Well, it is easier to speak than type.
. Results: The results of voice-search are faster.
In fact, in the US alone 55% of teens and 41% of adults use Voice search as per Northstar Research.
How to carry out Voice Search SEO?
. First and foremost, ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
According to Google, more than 20% of all mobile searches are voice searches.
. Use natural-language phrases with user intent in mind. Optimizing your content with long-tail keywords around customers questions needs to be done.
Be an early adapter so that you get the chance of tapping into this traffic.
v) User/Customer Satisfaction
Google is evolving its algorithm all the time to give users the best experience. It’s time for you to turn your attention to this.
Shoppers when visiting regular shops or malls, check the product/service, their terms and conditions thoroughly before making the purchase. Customers expect a similar kind of assurance when buying anything online.
Today’s users are well acquainted with the digital world. They expect a few things from your brand before they take a final decision.
. They will go through the reviews/feedback of previous customers.
. They would expect solid content as part of the after-sales support to give them much-needed assurance and confidence. Anyway, keeping them in the loop shall keep them happy.
. Up to date and quick responses from your end.
Ensure providing your customers with amazing experiences. This will translate into nice feedback, social shares and above all trust. That follows an increase in traffic.
vi) Think Big
Being short-sighted doesn’t pay
If your focus is just on making quick bucks or if you are playing for short-term gains and ignoring your customers, then, I am afraid all this can translate into bad customer experiences. The result will be…
They will never give you another chance
They can leave a bad review
That surely is not good news for your brand. Your competitors will definitely love it!
Never put your brand’s reputation at stake for small gains. Remember it takes a lot to build trust in the online world.
Don’t look for short-cuts
Don’t get too cozy, too soon!
The online world is a dynamic one.
Having made some money too soon doesn’t mean you have the magic formula.
– User’s intent, algorithms and technology are not constant. So never be too sure of your techniques or methods.
– Your competitors might have already prepared a better answer or provided a better solution for the user’s problem/query than yours. See, if you are keeping a watch on their ways of business, so are they!
– Always leave room for evolving, learning and understanding. That’s how SEO works. This is the only trick that will make you a long-term player and eventually a big player.
vii) Build Trust
You can do even more by building trust! The more trust you garner online, the better it is for your brand.
As a businessperson, you surely must be attending events like seminars, award functions and so on. Now, make it a point to show that online. This shall increase your visibility and reputation online.
Ultimately, Google and your users want to know you more. Your users want to do business with you. So, build a strong image of yours online to look convincing and earn trust.
- In the SEO world, the URL’s, Titles, Metadata, backlinks etc. are all important. BUT, that’s not all!
- Remember Users/Customers get a top spot.
– Their search
– Their trends
– Their satisfaction
All this is important for Google, so integrate it fully in your SEO plan.
- Keep a good watch on your competition’s style of doing business. You can get inspired to do something better to increase your reach.
- You might have the greatest idea/product/service in the world but what good is it, if it’s not made visible to the people. Implement SEO.
- There are no hard and fast rules here. See and analyze, what works best for your industry, your product, your service. All websites are unique. They have their own challenges, demands and needs. So, make your SEO plan accordingly.
- Attract traffic by doing SEO through various channels.
- If your content is cool, your product/service is good, your site is delivering (no speed issues) you can very well get traffic.
In 2020, all businesses should be SEO-smart to for them to be players who matter.
So, Think Traffic, Think Conversions, Think Business!