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Today, 93% of online excursions still start with a web search. Whether they’re looking for the latest viral video or a new HVAC contractor, consumers turn to Google when they need to find something — online or offline.

As a result, search engine optimization is absolutely crucial for businesses trying to survive in the 21st century. Yet despite the critical importance of SEO, many business owners still try and take the DIY approach to search engine marketing.

In today’s post, we’re going to explain why that approach is a mistake. Sure, we’re a little biased as an SEO agency, but we truly believe that businesses benefit from professional SEO services.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is a set of best practices that can be applied to any webpage on the internet. When these rules are followed, search engines like Google are more likely to find and index these pages. And when your website shows up on the first page of search results in Google, new customers are more likely to find you. If you ignore SEO best practices, or if you try and figure them out on your own, customers may end up finding your biggest competitor instead.

So why turn to a professional SEO agency for assistance? Staying on top of the latest SEO trends and tools can be a major undertaking for a small business owner. Because Google is constantly updating its search algorithm, SEO is constantly changing as well. New products like Google Maps have also changed the rules for local SEO. To give yourself an edge on the competition, a rusted SEO agency can help you get to the top of Google search results.

The Intersection of SEO and Web Design

SEO doesn’t end with a new customer finding your website. Today, SEO and website design are inseparable. Many people get caught in the trap of designing their site for search engines, when they should be designing it for their visitors. This human-focused approach, or user experience, will also benefit your SEO. Google wants users to have a positive experience, which means stronger websites are rewarded with stronger search rankings. This is incredibly important to remember when getting custom designed websites.

While the goal should be to serve website visitors and customers in the best way possible, you also have to design your website for search engines. With billions of websites online, all clamoring for the world’s attention, you have to work hard for a chance to appear anywhere near the top of Google’s search results.

That means custom designed websites need to be created with SEO in mind. Unfortunately, when you try and handle your website’s search engine optimization by yourself, your SEO ends up being an afterthought. The result is a fantastic custom website design that’s practically invisible to new users. So whether you run an e-commerce website or a brick-and-mortar store, SEO and web design are two sides of the same digital coin.

Understanding the Benefits of SEO

We’ve talked about the importance of SEO, but if you need more convincing, here are some of the top reasons to invest in professional SEO services:

  • Search engine users are far more likely to click a link if it shows up in the top five search results. To capitalize on this, you must optimize your website design and content to Google’s satisfaction.
  • Besides improving your website’s relationship with search engines, good SEO is about creating websites that are easy to use and understand. That can only result in happier customers and more revenue, even if you don’t see any difference in search rankings right away.
  • Search engine users tend to trust the credibility of the search engine they’re using. When they find a website near the top of their search results, a part of that credibility is given to that site. Thus, search engine users tend to trust the sites that search engines like Google “recommend.”
  • Website visitors who found your site using a search engine have been shown to be more likely to share your content on social media. That means improving your search ranking can also improve your social footprint.
  • Every year, Google places more emphasis on paid search results. That means there is less space left for organic search results. With a strong SEO strategy in place, you can protect your website from future changes to the Google search results.

Good SEO will definitely put you ahead of the competition. If two websites are selling the same product, all other things being equal, the site with better SEO wins. When you approach website design and SEO companies about custom designed websites or professional SEO, the above information will help you navigate your options.

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