My Mom, Dad, Step Dad, and Step Mom have smart phones and they are all well over 50 years old. This is just a tiny sample size of an older generation that is now using the internet to find businesses online. The internet is where everyone is going, and it’s not just under 40 year olds using it. If you still think that people use the yellowpages please, please, please tell me the last time you saw someone even attempt to look something up in them because I cannot even remember anyone using them in the last 5 years.

If you are a new business owner, and think that SEO does not matter or is something you should do but do not have to do you are dead wrong. SEO is no longer a should do tactic, but a must do for any business that wants to get past the point of scraping by check to check or barely affording their employees. Yes, you may be able to build a solid income off referrals and word of mouth. However, word of mouth is no longer valuable now that a anyone can go online and compare a recommended business to the dozens of other businesses they may find online by looking at their reviews and websites.

A study by Shareaholics of 270 million site visits shows that over 50 percent of traffic comes from Google, Bing, and Yahoo, whereas only barely 19% of traffic is direct. Additionally, most other traffic is from social media and other SEO related components, which means that focusing on SEO would help these other traffic sources.

As more and more people become aware of the paid ads versus the organic ads, you will start to realize that SEO is even more important than it is today. I would estimate that younger generations that are more aware of paid ads on Google, Bing, and Yahoo are even less likely to click on them.

Additionally, most of the direct traffic is going to come from recurring customers who will most likely use your business anyways. The new traffic is coming from people searching organically, which is why it has never been more important than it is today to start investing in SEO.

Traffic from social media or other sources are most likely from people that may have stumbled onto your website, but the traffic from search engines are from people specifically searching keywords that may be related to your business. This means organic search traffic is what I call warm traffic or someone with intent of buying your services, versus cold traffic or someone that just stumbled onto your website that was surfing on the web.

As a business owner, you are most likely not capable of affording television or radio ads, and your brand is most likely not big enough to benefit from such a widespread medium that is not ideal for targeting specific demographics. This means the internet is by far your best way to effectively advertise with your limited marketing budget since the death of the yellow pages. If most of the warm traffic is coming from search engines, and most search traffic is organic, then it should be a no brainer that SEO is imperative to your businesses success. Thus, as the title of this article states, SEO IS A MUST DO TACTIC AND NOT A SHOULD DO MARKETING TACTIC.

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