The vast majority of the day-to-day things that we do are transacted online. We read news online, perform banking and other payment functions through customized Internet platforms and several communication channels are now relayed through the virtual world.

The Internet has greatly influenced our way of life and approach towards commerce. Thus, it has created a new battleground for businesses to covet market share.

In order to stay ahead of the competition you must incorporate Search Engine Optimization or SEO in your business development strategy.

Here are seven (7) reasons why you should do SEO in your business. As you will discover, the “why” will answer the question, “How early”.

1) Majority of businesses are online.

As of this writing, there are 982,891,480 websites actively operating in the Internet. There were also 3,180,213,300 Internet users when I wrote this sentence.

Think about that number for the moment. More than 3 Billion of the world’s population of 7.2 Billion people is online every single day.

The Internet presents a vast ocean of opportunities for businesses to expand their markets. It is no surprise that companies have incorporated online strategies to develop their businesses. Companies are now using the Internet to source suppliers, recruit people and of course, promote products and services.

That is why more than 50% of all small businesses have websites. But it is not enough to have one; your website must be found. SEO is the best strategy to enhance your online presence.

2) SEO remains a relevant strategy.

Despite its track record in building online businesses, there remain naysayers on the effectiveness of SEO. This is largely due to the fact they do not view SEO as an evolutionary process.

SEO techniques have evolved over the years because the markets have changed. Keyword analysis is no longer enough to assure high search rankings. Internet users demand great, engaging content not just keywords. So naturally, keyword research strategies had to evolve and integrate elements that complement effective content creation.

The end result of its evolution is more effective and efficient SEO; a process that produces greater and sustainable results. Integrating SEO with content management presents companies with a better value proposition than just a singular strategy. SEO provides the means, content management creates the purpose.

3) SEO builds your brand.

Google’s Quality Ratings Guidelines is proof the search engine giant is moving towards brand-related metrics in awarding search rankings.

And the biggest mistake most businesses make is overlooking the importance of brand building at the very start. They often believe the brand will follow once business gains traction. But without the identity of a brand, where will the traction come from?

SEO professionals conduct detailed research to identify the target audience of your business. This includes determining which keywords are frequently used to search similar products and services plus uncovering behavioral clues on how the markets respond and interact with the competitors in the industry.

These data are used as reference in the website development process, in your social media marketing program and your content marketing campaign.

So what does these all mean?

It means you should include SEO as early as your pre-operating stages! SEO techniques should already be factored in your web development phase.

4) SEO ties in with other online marketing strategies.

SEO is an effective strategy in building your online presence. But in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies, SEO becomes an even more potent weapon in the battle for search rankings.

The mistake some Digital Marketers make is to have a preference on one strategy over another. The most effective social media strategy would be one that encourages synergy between the different tools as the Digital Marketer’s disposal.

In addition to integrating SEO with content management, it can also be utilized with other techniques such as social media marketing and link building.

5) SEO is a cost-effective strategy.

The benefits of effective SEO is sustainable; it will continue to attract thousands even millions to your website because it is specifically designed to target your audience or the end-users of your products and services.

With SEO, the momentum generated by its campaign can be felt for many months, even years without much incremental cost in revising the program.

Plus an SEO campaign is customizable to your business’ needs and of course, your budget. The SEO professional will always conduct research and studies to determine who your business caters to, what their pressing needs and concerns are, how their purchasing or patronage decisions are influenced and their patterns of qualifying vendors or suppliers.

These are key information necessary to design an effective SEO campaign because search engines like Google have numerous ranking factors and it constantly changes the algorithm per year; sometimes up to 600 times.

The best SEO is not necessarily the most expensive proposal. It should be one that best fits your needs.

6) Your competition is using SEO.

As discussed earlier, most businesses are already plying their trade in the Internet. They could be allocating a larger chunk of the digital marketing budget toward SEO in order to give them a decided advantage in the search rankings.

While the evolution of digital technology has made the ways of doing business and life in general, more convenient, it has also increased the competitiveness in every industry.

Your competition will look for every conceivable advantage over everyone else. So while you remain stagnant, unsure of how to go about your SEO campaign, you are progressively losing ground to someone who is. Every lost opportunity is translated as foregone income.

7) The rise of mobile technology.

As of 2013, there were over six billion SIM cards operating in the world. At the time, the PC still accounted for majority of onlin

e traffic. Fast forward to 2014 and
mobile gadgets now account for 60% of online traffic

The rise of mobile technology will continue through the unseen future. Market analysts are projecting that by end-2015 there would be over two billion smart phone users in the entire world.

The increasing popularity of smart phones has opened new avenues for the continued development of SEO processes this time targeted toward local area marketing objectives. Techniques have to evolve and go through tweaks to conform to shifts in website design toward mobile responsiveness.

It is never too late to incorporate SEO techniques in your digital marketing plan. While it would certainly have been better to implement SEO at the start, with its ability to evolve and adapt to changes, you will still be able to reap the rewards and generate substantial ROI with SEO at the later stages.