An investment in search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the wisest marketing decisions your business can make. Here's why.

People Go Online to Find Local Businesses Nowadays.

Back before the Internet, you had to either use the yellow pages to find a business, rely on word of mouth, or drive around until you found a place that offered what you were looking for. Nowadays though, you need to only fire up your laptop or take out your smartphone.

The overwhelming majority of users (93%) begin their online experience with a search engine. Once they get the results they're looking for, they usually click the first result, or one of the other results on the first page. Studies show that the top ranked result on Google gets about 33% of traffic, while the second and third respectively get about 18% and 11% of the traffic. From there on out, the numbers drop off exponentially.

This means that if you want people to be able to find your business, you need to rank within the top three results on Google.

SEO Can Get You There.

Reaching the top spot in Google's search results is the exact aim of search engine optimization. Search engine marketers use various tactics and strategies, such as streamlined web design, mobile optimization, and blogging, to help sites get there and stay there. While it's technically true that you can do SEO on your own, it's not the best move. Hiring a professional who knows the complicated tactics necessary, and who stays abreast of Google's updates, will help ensure that you get the results you're looking for.

SEO Leads Are Highly Valuable.

Sure, there are a number of other ways to market your business, all of which have proven effective, but inbound marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization, have been proven to be more effective than outbound strategies, such as TV ads or cold calling. First of all, they're more affordable. Inbound leads cost about 61% less than outbound leads. Second of all, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads can only boast a 1.7% close rate.

As you can see, investing in SEO marketing services is one of the most pragmatic things you can do in the hyper-competitive business world. If you have any questions about what SEO services can do for your company, feel free to share in the comments.

By: Andrew Lindsay