Many business owners know what SEO is and that it’s important for a website. While many simply accept this at face value, it’s important to understand why SEO is essential for businesses in the modern age. In fact, SEO has grown so important that it’s value extends beyond the search engine and even to businesses without a website. Here are four reasons every business owner should care about SEO.

1. Search Rankings Are Extremely Important

Let’s start with the obvious. Search Engine Optimization is important because being that the top of search rankings has a huge value for website owners. It’s estimated that three out of four clicks from internet searches go to the top five positions on Google. And with nine out of ten (91%) clicks from Google Search going to the results on the first page, the value of SEO is clear. There are millions of pages on the web that can match a potential keyword. Any site that hopes to rank high for a particular word or phrase are going to have to make sure their site’s SEO gives them the best possible chance.

Mobile devices have also increased the importance of SEO. With smartphones and tablets, there are more searches being performed than ever before. And with search engines deploying specific algorithms for mobile and local search, there are new opportunities for websites to reach the top of the results.

2. SEO Connects Online Content Creators With Their Target Audience

Having lived in the information age for so long, it’s easy to forget how magical it is that the internet works as well and as quickly as it does. Though there are trillions of indexed pages of content out there, search engines can find the one that answers a particular question within a few seconds. (If you don’t think this is amazing, go to a library and use the old, physical card catalog system for a reminder of how it was just 25 years ago.) Being able to find information any question within seconds has changed the access to knowledge in society.

SEO allows the same magic to work in reverse. Though there are billions of users on the internet and trillions of searches happening at any second, by using SEO, a website owner can make sure their content finds its intended target. Anyone that owns a website or is creating content needs to use SEO in their video descriptions, blog post titles, and image names if they want their work to be seen by the people most likely to be searching for it online.

3. SEO Even Helps Businesses That Don’t Have Websites

Most people think of SEO as a thing for websites, but it goes beyond that. Search engines pull up information beyond websites and businesses benefit anytime they show up in search. Many mobile users search for businesses to get directions of phone numbers. Just by having a Google My Business or similar profile listed somewhere online, a business can benefit from search without even having a website.

In fact, Google My Business and Google Maps make this all the easier. A business with a Google My Business account can add phone numbers, images, descriptions and more than can show up in a mobile search by consumers near the business. Also, Google will be able to show reviews from customers and directions with data they have in their network. By using keywords in descriptions for the Google My Business account, a business can be found by even more consumers who are looking for a specific service.

4. Good SEO Works on Any Searchable Platform

To be fair, SEO isn’t just a Google thing, or even just a search engine thing. The ability to search through content is necessary for any site with a lot of pages, such as shopping platforms or social networks. Using good SEO is the best way to make sure a particular piece of user-generated content gets seen on a very large network. Good SEO can even make e-commerce sites more effective by helping consumers find the products they truly want.

Just as getting top placement on Google matters, it’s valuable for sellers to be at the top of the list for Amazon and eBay searches. Similarly, business owners that want consumers to find their pages and content on social media should use good SEO in their page or profile descriptions and in post content. The internal search on platforms usually isn’t as robust as Google or Bing, but they are good enough for catching the right keywords to determine the best page or content for a searcher. In time, these searches will grow more advances. Facebook recently announced several updates to its search capabilities, including searches for public post conversations (so watch your privacy settings on your personal account).

As you can see, SEO is really important for business owners. Whether the business is online or not, their target consumers are and using SEO can help them find one another. For tips business owners can use to improve their SEO, read this article with some easy-to-implement strategies.