The term “SEO marketing” is a little misleading because all marketing should be aimed at improving your search engine optimization. SEO is not something you should be doing. It’s something you must be doing. Without it, no one will find you. You can rely solely on paying to get noticed. But unless you have a large budget, you’ll want to improve your organic ranking in addition to your ads.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. The strategy involves ways to make your website more appealing to search engines. The benefit of doing so means your site ranks higher in organic listings and brings more traffic to you without you having to pay for it.
The search engines crawl content looking for indications that the site they are on provides worthwhile information. Since search engines are not human and can’t analyze content the way we can read a paragraph and decide it’s good, they rely on other indicators. What each search engine deems as important in deciding a quality site is kept largely secret. SEO marketing looks to uncover those secrets and optimize the site for best organic listing possible.
The Secret of SEO Marketing
Before you go about optimizing your site and its content for the search engines, know that you are always producing content for two audiences — one human, and one bot. You must strike a balance between appealing to a human audience and making sure you get attention from search engines. While that sounds tricky, the two are deeply intertwined. The larger number of people who share your content and interact with it, the more the search engines will interpret that content as having value. That’s why it’s impossible to talk about SEO without talking about your human audience.
How Does SEO Work?
It’s important to understand that thoroughly improving a site’s SEO requires optimizing several factors and elements. SEO isn’t simply about using the right keywords in your content. True, that’s a significant factor for SEO marketers, but you shouldn’t overlook other important factors, such as your site design. A site that’s easy to navigate will typically rank higher than one that’s confusing.
That point highlights how SEO “works”: strong SEO delivers a positive user experience. Search engine algorithms look for signals of such positive experiences when ranking pages and sites.
For example, statistics indicate that mobile browsing is now more common than desktop browsing. Perhaps you accounted for that when developing your content. Along with including the right keywords and providing readers with genuine, valuable information, you may have formatted a page so that it’s easy to scan on a small mobile screen.
Doing so helps you keep guests on the page. They’ll be more likely to read all (or at least most) of the content on a page if it’s formatted for the device they’re using. Additionally, if they read more of the content, they’ll be more likely to share it on social media. More people will visit your page as a result.
This helps your pages rank higher when users perform relevant searches. A search engine algorithm will “notice” that people spend a long time reading your content, indicating the content is valuable and relevant. The additional traffic from social media posts also signals to an algorithm that users find your content strong enough to share.
That’s just one example. The main point to understand is that search engine algorithm developers want their algorithms to provide users with the strongest possible results when they perform searches. Effective SEO essentially tells algorithms when content is valuable.
Here are a few other things you should know:
Quality Trumps Quantity
Years ago, marketers concentrated on getting as many links as possible and stuff as many keywords into their site copy as they could. Search engines have evolved. They’re now looking for quality, not quantity. The number of links doesn’t matter as much as the quality and “trustworthiness” of the site they came from.
Use Words People Search For
Most businesses want to place for the most common words in their industry, but if they don’t convert, this isn’t in your businesses best interest. Common words are difficult to rank for. Often you’ll compete with Fortune 500 companies for the most common ones. Instead, think about how someone would search for your business or the solution you offer. Often it’s questions people search for, not answers. If they had the answers, they wouldn’t need to search for you.
Search engines look for interactions with content in order to gauge value. So good search engine marketing means doing your best to create content your audience will enjoy, on topics that are important to them, and removing the fiction to sharing and interacting with it.
Have you ever heard the SEO joke, “Where’s the best place to hide a body? On Google’s second-page search results.”? There’s an important truth in that joke. People rarely make it past the first few listings on the first page.
Placing high in results means more views for your business and less marketing spend on Adwords. If you want to know how to place higher, contact a digital marketing agency that can get you found.
How Can SEO Help You?
All businesses and organizations should prioritize SEO. Everything from a small startup to major enterprise benefits from doing so.
That’s because SEO helps people find you online. In an age when most people search for businesses via the Internet, that’s essential.
For example, maybe you run a local auto repair shop. Someone looking for an auto repair shop in the area will likely start to do so by doing an online search. If your SEO is strong, your site will be one of the first results they see.
It’s also worth noting that strong SEO helps you optimize your marketing budget. Yes, you may have to invest some money to ensure your online content attracts visitors (and keeps them), but you would likely have to spend more money on other forms of marketing. A blog post costs a lot less than a commercial. It’s also more shareable in many instances.
These are all key reasons you need to focus on SEO marketing. However, keep in mind that SEO best practices are always changing because algorithms are always changing. Research these changes consistently, and you’ll be far more likely to succeed in the long run.