Search engine optimization (SEO) has been the talk of the town for quite a while. It is a marketing method that relies on inbound marketing and organic (non-paid) traffic and it can significantly improve your marketing efforts.
What Is SEO?
In its very essence, SEO is about telling search engines that your site is the best of the best for a given query/action. If you are the best of the best, you’ll have much higher rankings in search and more traffic given your chosen keywords/content.
This is where the inbound marketing functionality comes in. Leads will seek you out. You won’t have to rely on other methods to attract them to your site.
When we talk about SEO, it’s important to remember that it is comprised of both technical and creative aspects. Many marketers believe that all it takes to improve their search engine ranking is optimizing meta descriptions.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Benefits of SEO Marketing
What’s the first thing you do when you can’t figure out something?
You turn to a search engine.
As a business owner, SEO is your best way of getting targeted traffic from people who are currently looking for what you’re offering.
They are searching for YOU. If you give them what they are looking for, they will come back. They might even tell other people about your business. More people knowing about you means more potential customers. More customers should mean more business.
There is something that you should keep in mind, though.
Search engines may be smart, but if you really want to profit from a search engine ranking that will direct traffic to your site, you’ll need to learn the basics of SEO marketing.
How to Improve Your SEO
When we talk about SEO, we typically differentiate between two types:
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
On-Page SEO refers both to the technical elements of your web pages, as well as creative elements. This can include:
- Title Tags
- Meta Description
- Url Structure
- ‘H’ tags
- Site Speed
- & other things that affect the ‘quality’ of the page
Keyword research influences your SEO score as much as the quality of your content.
Having content that corresponds to the keywords you want your business to rank for (e.g. t-shirts if you're selling t-shirts) makes it easier on search engines to properly rank your website.
Another significant factor of on-page SEO is user experience.
Search engines differentiate between content that ranks for the same keywords. Let’s say you were selling t-shirts. What kind of descriptions, keywords, and content are you using?
Are you providing visitors with anything unique?
When it comes to SEO marketing, it’s important to remember that Google wants to be reliable and consequently, you’ll need to be reliable if you want it to link to you.
This is where Google and search engines really up-the-ante, and show that they’ve improved to offer their searchers the best possible experiences.
If you want to be taken seriously, and have that reflect in search engine results, your SEO strategy should also consist of:
- Building links
- Content creation
These are the SEO marketing activities that’ll bring you the best rankings in search. Additionally, as they’re a part of standard online marketing activities, you’ll also see numerous benefits in other fields.
Link building consists of endorsements from other sites. They are linking from their site to yours. If the site is of good quality, then that link will make your site look better to search engines. Links show your value to algorithms, as well as your potential customers. You should strive to create content that results in other websites linking to you.
Internal linking is linking that you can do within your website and helps the user navigate your website. It shows algorithms that you have a variety of content and serves to give the search engines a full picture of your website.
Promotion activity (could be on Social) shows Google that your site is popular with searchers. By having your customers and other people engage with you, you’re fulfilling the main goal behind search engine optimization: proving you’re useful and interesting to searchers (which will become your customers).
SEO and Content Marketing
SEO and content marketing go hand in hand. Both are focused on providing value to searchers and customers, and showing authority.
Even though one of the biggest SEO myths is that they’re not one and the same, that’s incorrect. Or, as Neil Patel puts it:
“SEO states the requirements. Content marketing fulfills them.”
SEO works best if you’re producing content, which is exactly why content creation is one of the most important aspects of SEO.
These can be blog posts, infographics, anything that will show your site’s authority for keywords, resulting in higher search engine rankings and more organic traffic for your business.
Most importantly, both rely on using keywords/context. When you're selling t-shirts and writing a blog post on how to best preserve the quality of the same t-shirts, you're providing additional value while also signaling search engine bots that this is your industry and that you're offering searchers a great user experience.
Content marketing is also an excellent way of getting backlinks (which are important for SEO marketing).
Creating an SEO Marketing Strategy
Creating an SEO marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, if you follow these steps and use these tools to help you, you’ll know exactly how to start using SEO for your business’ marketing:
1. Choose a list of topics related to your business
2. Research keywords (short-tail like “cotton t-shirts” and long-tail like “high-quality durable cotton t-shirts”)
3. Build pillar pages for corresponding topics (e.g. Cotton t-shirts, Cleaning cotton t-shirts) while keeping in mind that they have to be contextually relevant and useful to the end users
4. Create a blog, link to the pillar pages and link to each post from the relevant pillar page
5. Make a content schedule
6. Make a link-building strategy (such as guest-posting, sharing links to your social media, asking for backlinks from quality sites – instead of a large number of sites, etc.)
7. Monitor results and track your progress
It’s also our recommendation to stay updated on SEO trends and best practices, as Google and other search engines frequently introduce changes to their algorithms for the search results to be even more useful to visitors.
What SEO Does for Your Marketing
SEO can be a powerful (and indispensable) asset in your marketing strategy arsenal.
After all, with quality content and a technical approach to SEO, you’ll start noticing how the search volume grows.
If you do everything right, the majority of it will be going to your revenue.