Before SEO, online businesses focused their marketing efforts mainly on social media platforms. After all, those were the places where their customers spent most of their time. Their marketing plans would be filled with the number and quality of posts, post designs, engagement rates, and the number of likes. 

It’s true that the social media game has greatly developed since the internet was first introduced into the scene, but the most significant game-changer has been SEO. Today, the leading businesses invest the majority of their marketing budget and plan in optimizing their websites for search engines. 

Here’s how SEO has changed the game of online businesses: 

1. SEO Gets You Customers

The most important benefit of SEO comes from its effectiveness. Optimizing your website will get you the customers you want, there’s no doubt about it. After its efficacy was proven, businesses of all sizes and industries have joined the game, all wanting to be part of the marathon and reap the benefits of SEO. 

2. It Refines Your Traffic

There are many reasons behind the effectiveness of SEO, the most important of which lies in its ability to refine your traffic. Before SEO, the main metrics for measuring the performance of marketing campaigns were the reach and engagement of the audience. But this strategy proved to be full of flaws, as getting traffic doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right traffic. What would you do if you’re targeting pregnant women, only to find a businessman at your doorstep? SEO changed the game by reaching the audience that’s relevant to your business, making your marketing efforts more focused and fruitful. 

3. It Forces You to Enhance User Experience

In order to keep ahead of the curve, all online businesses have started paying meticulous attention to the ever-changing search engine algorithms. They have to do that if they want to stay on top, which means they’re constantly upgrading their game. Since search engine algorithms have one focus only, which is to enhance the user experience, the efforts are now all channeled in that direction.

4. Local SEO Changed the Local Game

Businesses operating on a local level used to rely on different forms of marketing, but their success mainly depended on word-of-mouth. They started with their families and friends and depended on them to spread the word. With the introduction of SEO—specifically, with the prioritization of local SEO by the search engines—local businesses found a much better way to enhance their local positioning.

Today, local customers would search the engines for recommendations, taking their word for it as it was a personal experience. But here’s the trick: an online local business won’t show up among those recommendations unless it is fully completed and optimized for local search. For starters, it needs to have a Google My Business listing to appear on the search engine result pages and the maps. Only the top three optimized businesses are featured in the listings. 

5. It Improves Your Credibility and Trust

Customers trust search engines’ recommendations, but whether or not they’ll go for the result depends on the reviews written by other users. For them, there’s nothing more trustworthy than the experience of a fellow customer. If you have a good rating and positive reviews, it’s a golden ticket to get customers lined up at your doorstep. The opposite holds true if you get bad reviews, in which case, your ranking will be affected. 

6. It Affects Your Sales

SEO has changed the sales game as well—the most important aspect of any profitable business. By refining your traffic and reaching the right kind of audience, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. First, the quality of your leads increases, which, in turn, increases your conversion rates. On the other hand, you’re getting the most out of your investment in SEO. It’s the most cost-effective marketing solution that eventually pays off for itself. 

7. It Takes Your Business to the Next Level 

Finally, SEO gives marketers and business owners invaluable insights. It gives them a front-row seat to customer behavior, market trends, and competition. Those who look closely at the data they get and analyze it are able to optimize their business as a whole, way beyond the boundaries of marketing. 

SEO has walked in to change the game of online marketing forever. But marketing isn’t the only thing that’s been affected by SEO; businesses have started optimizing every aspect of their operations based on their findings. As a result, they get more customers, provide better user experience, position their businesses locally, achieve better credibility, and enhance their sales strategies.