What is SEO, and Why Does it Matter to Your Agribusiness?
The success of every business lies in its ability to continually attract new prospects and convert them into paying customers. What if you could attract more qualified leads and prospects and enjoy higher conversion rates without expensive pay-per-click or advertising campaigns?
Free, organic traffic from search engine results is one of the best and most qualified forms of lead generation in existence. Organic traffic produces highly qualified leads that convert faster and easier than leads from other sources.
There is a reason for this.
We’ve all heard that “word of mouth” is one of the most powerful and effective forms of advertising. According to data giant Nielson, 92% of people trust the recommendations of friends and family over any other form of advertising.
Search Engines work in much the same way. Research shows that 95% of all web traffic goes to the websites that show up on the very first results page of all search queries. In other words, people trust the first page of search results more than any other.
Why? User behavior suggests there is an innate trust that the search results on the first page are most closely aligned with the search keywords used and the user’s search intention. In many ways, this is true because search engines rank pages based on content, quality, and relevancy.
Nearly all buying decisions begin with online research, no matter what industry. Use this metric to your advantage by optimizing your content for maximum traffic potential.
Why You Need to Optimize Your Website
SEO is simply “the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines.”
The better visibility a website has (i.e., the higher-ranked it appears on searches), the more likely people will find your company ahead of the competitors.
SEO (search engine optimization) also known as website optimization is a method of improving your website to get your pages ranked high in SERPs (search engine results pages) for the keywords and keyphrases most closely aligned with your business.
Statistics continually point to SEO as a powerful tool for marketing and promotion – it can drive 1,000% more traffic to a website than organic social media alone. In addition, over half of a website’s given traffic will result from organic engine searches.
Being its own distinct niche, agriculture already has an advantage in capitalizing on internet searches. However, the same rules and techniques still apply to stay ahead of the competition and connect with the right audience.
Creating Your Own SEO Strategy
SEO strategy begins with understanding your customer’s motivation for seeking your business, their unique needs, and then creating content and a keyword strategy that aligns with their needs and interests. Content is everything from static webpages to blog posts and videos.
A clear SEO action plan begins with keyword research then progresses to building rich content that incorporates those keywords successfully within relevant pages.
Many software applications and keyword tools are available to help with “keyword research” that can allow you to experiment with what words and phrases will drive the most traffic based on popularity. Once you identify keywords and phrases, you can find the best way to incorporate them into your website to cater to those needs.
SEO improvements focus on the following areas:
- Website Content
- Blog Posting
- Keyword Focus
- Meta Tags
- Page Speed
- User Experience
- Internal Link Building
Not only will optimizing help you to earn higher rankings, but it will also help your website visitors to find your content and engage with your brand. Blog posting is one of the most impactful things you can do to boost your SEO efforts since search engine algorithms are content-focused.
As with research, properly implementing keywords and keyphrases on the website is essential to success.
Multiple plugins are available for website builders to help guide the SEO process to ensure that those words and phrases are used properly and effectively. You can make improvements to your website yourself, or if you are concerned about optimization problems, you can hire an SEO expert to do the work for you.
With search engines being the primary interface for exploring or finding businesses in 2022, joining the race to the top of search engines is essential. If your website is hard to find or nonexistent, your agribusiness is missing the vast pool of potential customers who are searching online.
Going Local with Your Agribusiness Strategy
Many businesses feel that if they are local or regional, they don’t have as much need for a well-ranked website, such as with e-commerce or companies that operate nationally. However, local outreach is more important than ever and far easier thanks to tools like Google My Business.
46% of all Google searches are in the local sector.
Including website content optimization as part of your overall digital marketing efforts will earn your website higher rankings in the search engines and allow potential customers and prospects to find you faster and easier. It also helps you to bypass your competitors by getting there first!
Think of potential online customers as out-of-town guests you have invited to a graduation party. They have never been to your house before, so you tie balloons and a sign to the mailbox so they can find the address easier and get to the party quicker.
At least where organic traffic is concerned, you must show up at the top, or potential customers will not find you. Fortunately, the solution to bridge the gap is simple – search engine optimization or SEO.
Keeping it Consistent
An SEO strategy is ongoing. The internet is a constantly changing landscape.
For example, the Google algorithm that retrieves websites and other data goes through thousands of changes each year. Many of these are minor, but some are influential and can impact search results.
Your SEO goals, keywords, content, and results should be evaluated regularly. (If you don’t have someone on your team to spare to be specialized in this area, consider outsourcing to an experienced professional.) Google Analytics, website plugins, and other specialty software will provide a snapshot at any point in time of what traffic is coming into your website and what is drawing them in.
As your company expands or pivots, so will your SEO strategy. For example, if you have a great new product or essential changes, you’ll want that to be visible in search engines. Likewise, your customer base may change, and you’ll need to think about building your SEO strategy to reflect their needs and interests.
Keeping It Fresh
After building out the framework of your SEO needs and keywords, the next step is to be mindful of keeping your entire website as SEO-friendly as possible. This means considering working in the right words and phrases on your static pages (homepage, about page, etc.) and then leveraging your blog and similar content.
Part of SEO requires posting fresh content to your blog and updating your site regularly. An active website with updated content will help keep it pushed to the top of searches compared to stagnant sites.
Working SEOs (Search Engine Optimization) into fresh content and blog posts need to be creative and thoughtful. A poorly written post can become bogged down by redundant keywords or doesn’t offer helpful or interesting information can be a turn-off. Keep your content concise, not too long, and properly formatted. Website SEO plugins can guide this process to make the product SEO friendly.
Keep in mind that while its market is distinct, agriculture is still a competitive field with a limited customer base and lots of companies vying for their attention. Therefore, harnessing an effective and ongoing SEO strategy is key to staying in the spotlight and helping meet your current and future customers where their need is greatest.
Pay attention to the types of content and keywords their agribusinesses are doing and see how you might be able to incorporate some of that influence into your own.
It’s an ongoing task but certainly a rewarding one.
We can help manage your next agribusiness technology or marketing project.
You may also be interested in: