SEO Marketing: Why SEO Should Form Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

Although SEO marketing should not by any means be your entire marketing strategy, you should view SEO as a part of your marketing strategy and a very inexpensive and profitable part at that.

Search engines can drive dramatic quantities of focused traffic to your website and visibility in search engines creates the implication of endorsement by Google.

seo marketing

Lets take a look at the benefits of SEO as a marketing vehicle, before dropping down into detail of exactly what SEO is and how it can form part of your marketing strategy.

The benefits of SEO Marketing

Search engine marketing can be done either organically or by paid advertising . As you’ll probably know, you can instantly buy your way to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) using Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing. One well known example of this is Google Adwords. Simply pay some money to Google, select your price and ‘BOOSH’ your adverts are live. This then begs the question why does a business need to invest in SEO? Surely using Adwords, where you can turn your marketing on and off like a switch when you want more business, is an easier option?

Whilst this is true, people are becoming savvier to this. They realise that the reason that your site is number one in Google is because you paid to put it there. They know this because a little icon with the word Ad appears next to your search listing. They know that anyone can do this and it doesn’t show your brand off in a good light. PPC is like a crash diet where you binge and then pause and binge and pause.

There are short term effects from Google Ads but its not effective for the long term. On the other hand, SEO can be compared to a healthy diet, where you do the right thing all the time and you reap the benefits from it.

Although marketing via search engine optimization does not help fulfill all your marketing objectives, it can fit into your organisation’s overall marketing strategy for the following reasons:

Enhances Branding

Being at the top of the search engines is perceived as a seal of approval. Many people assume that high search rankings are an endorsement of a particular brand. If Google, with all its algorithms that check the validity and popularity of your site, has put you at the top of its natural search results then you must be the best? Right?

Obviously that isn't necessarily always the case but it is the general perception and, as such, marketers can use this fact to help boost their brand's perception. Working towards improving the search engine rankings for your brand, using both onsite and offsite tactics, can pay dividends in the long run.

Actually, it is usually not too difficult to achieve a first page ranking on Google for your brand name using SEO. For example, if your brand name is "Beverley Guide" then you'll probably rank on the first page of Google for this search term. One of the reasons for this is that most of the inbound links to your site will use your brand name as the anchor text and that anchor text probably won't link to many other sites. However, if you're looking to rank for number one for "fidget spinners" then you'll no doubt have a lot more competition for these keywords. If people do see you at the top of the search engine results for this term then they'll probably assume that you are a great resource for fidget spinners.

Increases Website Traffic

By being present on the first page of Google and major search engines for a variety of keywords, you expose your website to many potential visitors. Some of whom would never have come across you or heard of you if you hadn’t been listed here. People search for information, products and services using a wide variety of search queries on Google and other search engines and ensuring your pages are present in the search results for your target keywords will bring in targeted organic traffic to your site.

The job of the SEO specialist is to perform keyword research for your brand to identify what search queries people actually use. For example, if someone is searching for a mouse on Google they may type in “ergonomic mouse”, “left handed mouse” or “mouse for rsi”. Having a good understanding of what people are searching for allows you to optimise your website for many keywords spreading the net far and wide.

High Return on Investment

Generating sales or leads are probably the most important objectives of the majority of marketing strategies. Search Engine Optimisation delivers relevant traffic that has a high chance of converting. The potential customer is searching with intent for what you have. This is highly targeted traffic.

Because of its highly targeted nature, SEO marketing can bring in a very high return on investment compared to other marketing campaigns. These high margins are in comparison to other digital and more traditional forms of marketing.

According to Hubspot’s recent marketing statistics, 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. Why not make it yours too?

Unpaid traffic delivered through search engine optimization has no media cost and can provide a substantial ROI – higher than most other channels. By making a long-term commitment to search engine optimization SEO, as well as digital marketing, you're maximizing your return on marketing investment.

Always On Promotion

Search engine optimization is the gift that keeps on giving. Unlike other forms of advertising, such as social media advertising or Google Ads, your content does not disappear after a budget runs out.

Organic traffic has staying power. Once your web pages are ranking for relevant keywords in the search engines they will stay there, all day, every day - taking advantage of the 90,000+ searches that are taking place every second on Google search.

Better Customer Understanding

Going through the process of search engine optimization helps you to understand your customers better. You can look at Google Search Console, Google Analytics or other SEO tools to better understand what your customers are searching for on your site. A keyword tool such as keyword explorer can also be used for keyword research to determine which keywords have the most volume searches for your particular niche, product or service.

This information can then be used to inform your content strategy in a number of ways:

  • Modifying your site's content and architecture to focus on your target keywords.
  • Building quality content around these target keywords to increase conversions.
  • Taking existing content and making it more informative and detailed to satisfy a searcher's needs. (Effectively content optimization).

As search engine algorithms improve, high quality content marketing is becoming an increasingly important part of any good SEO strategy. Google loves great content that fulfils a user's needs and knowing what your customer wants helps both your SEO efforts which in turn brings you more traffic to your own site.

Feeds The Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is the journey your customers take from when they first become aware of your business to ultimately buying from you. It consists of a number of stages, namely:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

SEO can help you attract anyone with intent at a given point in time, no matter what stage of the buying funnel they are in. The more visible you are in the search results , the more opportunities you have for customers to reach you at all points in the marketing funnel.

Increases Domain Authority

The authority of your domain is an indication of how important the search engines perceive your site to be in relation to your competitors. This SEO metric refers to the number of reputable and relevant backlinks your site has.

Although it is not a ranking factor, building the authority of your website is a long-term strategy which ultimately boosts your organic search results and will drive traffic to your web pages.

How does SEO work?

Before we can understand how search engine optimization works, we need to take a step back and understand how search engines work. Search engines discover web pages by either internal links on your own site, external links from other sites or your XML sitemap which site owners can submit to Google search console to notify Google of their webpages. The search engines do not need to index an entire site, they may choose just to index pages that they think are relevant.

When Google web crawlers discovers a web page they make a decision whether to index it or not based on the text and non-text content and the overall visual layout. (Search engine crawlers from other search engines work in the same manner.) When a user types in a given query, Google tries to find the most relevant answer from its index based on many on page factors and off page factors.

The search engine results page displays what the Google algorithmn determines to be the highest quality search results for the user's search intent. These relevant results are also determined by other ranking factors such as the user's location, language, and device.

Many people have tried to reverse engineer the extremely complex Google algorithm over time and some sites such as Search Engine Land provide a running commentary the key factors that help sites rank higher in the SERPs.

There are a number of things that you can do to ensure your page is both indexed and ranked on Google:

Follow the Search Engine Guidelines

Google publishes guidelines that should be followed to ensure SEO best practises and to help ensure Google rankings. Any white hat SEO professional or web site owner will concentrate on good practice and building a great user experience.

On the other hand, black hat SEO works by using churn and burn techniques. A few things that the purveyors of these unhanded techniques have used over the years include stuffing keywords into a given page, manipulating a url string, using hidden text and trying to rank poor content and duplicated content (the same content on a given page) by building more links than anyone else.

Needless to say, white hats win out in the long run as constantly changing algorithms have weeded out these disapproved practices. Search engines understand when they are trying to be tricked with multiple pages of dross. Technical SEO, creating content for potential customers and best practise link building will result in organic search traffic for website owners.

Invest in Technical SEO

As all SEO experts will tell you, an investment in technical SEO is good SEO advice.

Optimizing websites begins with a good site architecture and site structure which makes it easy for search engine crawlers to crawl and index the site.

Optimizing meta tags such as title tags and the meta description is also a big part of on page optimization. Most content management systems allow you to modify elements such as the title tag and meta tag relatively easily using tools such as Yoast for Wordpress, however someone who is an SEO expert may want to edit the html code manually to get greater control over the source code.

As Google has completed its move over to mobile first indexing, its important that mobile users are catered for. Whilst its not so important now to use accelerated mobile pages to serve fast mobile content, ensuring your website works on a mobile device is an imperative aspect of SEO.

Other important aspects of on site optimization include optimization of headings, structured data markup, images and page speed.

Build Great Content

One of the most important aspects of SEO is the creation of relevant content. Once you've undergone research keyword and determined what target keyword you want to rank for, then its time to create relevant content.

This free SEO activity allows you to attract, engage, and delight prospects and customers, bring new visitors to your site, and ultimately, generate revenue for your company. Content creation can be in the form of a blog post or blog article which can also be used to share on social media sites. If the article is good enough you may also benefit from user generated content where site visitors comment on your blog post. If the page's content is image based then it may also get picked up and ranked on Google images.

Develop Your Off Page SEO

Off-Page SEO refers to all of the activities that you and others do away from your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines. This includes both internal linking and external linking.

Internal linking on your own site's pages flags to Google what your important pages are. External linking involves getting an external site to link to you. There are a number of methods that are employed to do this including broken links building and link requests to webmasters on other sites. Importantly, naturally people link to great content which is covered next.

Analyse Your Reporting

An SEO report is an effective way for you to communicate to stakeholders (usually your boss or your client) the impact that your SEO efforts are having upon their business.

As mentioned previously, there are many a free tool available for SEO reporting. These tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console help track monthly searches and click through rate amongst other metrics. Trackers can also be subscribed to which track the progress of your target keywords over time.

SEO Marketing Strategy

Now we've covered the benefits of SEO and what SEO entails, its now time to turn our attention to putting together an SEO strategy to increase search performance. This will encompass all the elements above from a technical SEO audit, competitive analysis, keyword research, a content audit, content creation, link building and reporting on SEO progress.

Other aspects that will be important in this marketing strategy really depend on your specific business.

For example, if you're targetting international markets then international SEO will be important to you. A local business targetting local markets will require local SEO perhaps with Google My Business optimization. (Although in my experience local businesses are usually happy to get customers from anywhere in the SEO world!)

Your SEO marketing plan is a long term solution to drive pre-qualified traffic to your website, improve conversion rates and boost your online revenue. Why not get started with it now?

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This article was written by Gaz Hall, a UK based SEO Consultant on 1st May 2019.

Gaz has 20 years experience working on SEO projects large and small, locally and globally across a range of sectors.

If you need any SEO advice or would like him to look at your next project then get in touch to arrange a free consultation.