Search Engine Optimization (SEO) brings recurring ”free“ visitors to your website. But are these people actually converting into customers? Is it making your business more successful? This is where SEO strategy comes into play. SEO does not stand alone – it is one part of an integrated marketing strategy.
SEO & Paid Search Advertising
You may think that SEO replaces paid search advertising. This is not true. There are keywords that you will never rank well for organically, but that you can reach cost-effectively through paid search ads. In addition, you can use data from paid search advertising to inform your SEO strategies such as learning what keywords are converting into new customers. SEO fits best in addition to paid advertising.
SEO & Brand
When strategizing and implementing SEO improvements, it is essential that these support the brand. For example, a website change that improves the speed of your website is good for SEO and is good for the visitor’s experience. On the contrary, stuffing keywords in titles and writing unnecessarily long content may benefit your organic search rankings, but it negatively impacts the brand. This is unacceptable. We always prioritize for our customers – not for Google.
SEO & Business Strategy
One of the benefits of digital marketing is being able to use data to make better decisions. Don’t worry about total organic traffic. Instead, establish metrics that correspond to your business goals – such as the number of leads or orders. Next, focus on SEO work that improves these metrics. It’s not about more website visitors. It’s about building a successful business.
The term Search Engine Optimization is so broadly used (and misused) that we need more context in order to “do SEO.” Let’s look at a few specific tactics.
Local SEO — For retail or service area businesses
By “Local SEO” I am referring to Google Business Profiles (GBP), directory listings, and website content focused on a local market. These help your website rank for local searches. Local SEO is most important for businesses with a physical retail location, though it is also essential for service area businesses (those that performs work at a customer's house). Search engines give priority to the most relevant businesses, so if your business listings are descriptive of your product/service, serve a specific area, and have great reviews/ratings, you rank higher. The best part about local SEO is all the things that make your business relevant to Google are the same things that bring the highest quality leads.
Topical SEO — Going deep into a niche topic
Once again, SEO is about relevancy. Being the authority on a topic. By narrowing down to a specific niche, you not only make your content more meaningful, but you also decrease competition. This may mean that you need to write content focused on a very small subset of your customers. That’s OK. Be the expert in this area. Remember, the goal is for people to find the content directly from search engines. What does it take? Content, content, content, as well as partnerships and collaborations with others related to this topic. This is not a quick win, but it can have a huge long-term return on investment.
Technical SEO — A “must have” for every website
If search engines cannot understand your website, or if they think that it does not offer a good experience for visitors (fast, mobile-friendly), then they will actively avoid sending people to it. It is essential to build the website and organize the content in the right way. Not only that, but take into account that Google updates it’s algorithm thousands of times per year. Ongoing updates and maintenance are a key part of technical SEO. A website built and maintained the right way will improve your organic rankings.
From content creation to retargeting ads, website performance to brand positioning, all of these pieces work together (and boost each other). You don’t need them all perfect. But you definitely cannot do only one. It’s all part of an integrated marketing strategy.