Search engine optimization—or simply, SEO—is arguably the online business’ most multi-use tool in its digital marketing chest. In recent years, the ability to outdo competitors in areas of search results visibility, accessibility, and content relevance—all of which are products of robust SEO—has become a must to master. After all, this marketing strategy stands as the backbone for success in digital; it provides the foundation for other digital marketing strategies such as SEM, PPC, website optimization, and is closely tied to social media and influencer marketing, as well as email and newsletter marketing. In other words, SEO is a non-negotiable and certainly no longer just an option!
For brands in the process of discovering how SEO can work for them or learning about how to improve existing SEO practices, below are snippets of SEO knowledge to guide your next steps.
SEO is a budget-friendly digital marketing strategy.
Despite requiring little to no financial backing to get things started, SEO still delivers big results that are quantifiable and sustainable. Time and energy spent on researching and going through some amount of trial and error in figuring out the most optimal SEO keywords and phrases may be the “expenditure” a brand will have to consider, but SEO’s cost-effectiveness certainly makes it worth it.
Marketing teams can easily respond to search trends.
SEO keywords used in critical locations (e.g.: websites and social media) can easily be adjusted to respond to ongoing search trends. This is so a brand doesn’t miss the opportunity to be noticed by their target market when the demand for a product or service peaks at a certain time. For example, an online business that sells laptops can adjust SEO at the start of a school year when students are likely going online more frequently than other times of the year to search for the best models for them. They can adjust their SEO to include keywords such as “best laptops for students,” “top rated laptops,” “best laptops for college,” etc.
SEO directly affects results page visibility and traffic.
One of the goals of good SEO is being able to put a brand’s webpage at the top of search results pages. The better the choice of keywords and phrases, the more likely search engines will recommend a webpage to those searching for the products and services a certain brand sells. And when a webpage earns a spot on the top of search results, expect traffic to increase; enjoy visibility that translates to more visitors to your website.
Digital marketing backed by SEO improves conversion rate.
Aside from more traffic, you also want to improve your conversion rates. SEO that works means you’re not just reaching more people; it means you’re reaching the right people that have genuine interest in your offerings. And when that happens, it’s more likely that those who end up on your website or social media platforms take steps that you want them to do: sign up for newsletters, buy membership plans, or make a purchase—in other words, converting a website visit to a desirable action.
You also widen customer reach.
There are times in a brand’s life cycle where the goal may be to widen customer reach. Perhaps it’s rebranded or added a new item in its roster of products and services, and therefore, can serve a more varied audience. A well-designed SEO campaign that can communicate that a brand has broadened its products and services or achieve other milestones can help achieve this.
SEO demands that a brand have an SEO-friendly website.
SEO is complemented well by a website that’s relevant, easy to navigate, and accessible. A website that doesn’t deliver these things is not only a disappointment to customers hoping to get the information, find the product or service, or make the query they needed; it makes SEO pointless. Hence, good SEO should lead to an equally good website that serves as the ultimate follow-through.
Earn credibility with strong SEO.
When you’re more visible in the right places (i.e.: the top of search results pages and on big social media platforms), this helps tell customers that you are trusted, legitimate, and a big player in the industry. The opposite is true when you’re almost never recommended by the Internet; being way below in search engine results and having a weak social media presence sends the message that your brand is unpopular, of low quality, or has problems that have repelled customers from making a purchase, first time or otherwise.
An SEO strategy can be one way to out-compete industry contenders in the digital space.
The thing about migrating a business to online is it highlights the challenge to differentiate yourself from competitors. Sometimes, the game isn’t limited to simply having better products or services; it includes making what you have more visible and accessible than your competitors’. Even though what they offer may be similar and more attractive, if they’re not known to customers, SEO can give you an advantage over them.
SEO promotes local businesses.
Local SMEs may have trouble getting ahead or getting noticed without the help of the Internet. Investing in SEO, as cost-effective as it is, can be the most helpful tool for SMEs or startups to promote themselves and contact the right customers in the right areas.
Take advantage of organic search.
SEO and organic search work hand in hand seamlessly; customers place an amount of trust in webpages that crop up on search engines that are not ads or sponsored results. If they find you because you were the right fit for what they were looking for and not just because you paid to promote your brand, that’s a good way to start the sales cycle.
SEO is simple and works in the long run.
SEO’s inexpensiveness, flexibility, and relation to other digital marketing strategies means that if you get it right, it has the potential to keep working for months or even years to come. SEO success is not limited to one marketing campaign; it can transcend across all of them.
It’s free positive PR.
As mentioned earlier, SEO builds credibility. And credibility has an offshoot of being good PR; it’s logical for your customers to conclude that if your brand is highly visible on multiple platforms, it must mean that you’re doing something right. Customers are encouraged to learn more about you, explore your offerings, and seek out reviews that confirm that you are, indeed, credible.
There’s truly a lot to learn when it comes to SEO and fortunately, it’s one of the few digital marketing strategies that allows room for experimentation. But even with space for trial and error and mistakes, brands can get the right support they need from SEO experts. There are marketing specialists that specifically work on SEO strategies and can sit down with you to create a personalized SEO plan that fits your brand’s goals. Regardless of your brand’s status as a new player in the field or a longtime authority in the industry, it’s imperative to make SEO a part of your digital marketing initiatives.