What is SEO marketing? You’ve probably heard of this digital marketing term before. SEO is basically an acronym for “search engine optimization”. SEO is defined by the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic from search engines to your website.
At the same time, SEO marketing aims to bring greater brand exposure through organic search engine results. For the layman, SEO marketing entails having a good understanding of what people are searching for online.
When you offer people these answers using their search queries, the search engine connects your content to these audiences. Ultimately, SEO marketing works to optimize your online content in a way that the search engine will favour, and let your content appear as high as possible in the search engine results page (SERP).
Importance of SEO marketing
You might be wondering, how does this matter to me (or my business)? Well, the truth is, we search for things everyday. The first place that you would start searching for answers is likely to be Google (or any other search engine, for that matter).
Website traffic is what SEO marketing can bring to the table. When your prospective audience is searching for answers directly or indirectly related to your business, you would definitely want your web pages to be the ones that they would click into.
These represent an abundance of opportunities for your business to connect with potential consumers, give them their answers, and become a reliable resource that they will turn to.
Over time, an effective SEO marketing strategy can help you drive more website traffic, generate leads or increase revenue.
How does SEO work?
Yes, we’ll get there! First things first, it’s crucial to remember that Google is the key player in the search engine market, so you will probably want to channel your best efforts into this.
Before we start, note that regardless of the search engine that you and your audience are using, the algorithm is always changing. This means that search engine results change too! What’s relevant today might not be the case tomorrow, so it’s important to understand how Google ranks websites and review your strategy constantly.
So how do search engines like Google determine which websites show up at the top of the results page? The algorithm is difficult to crack, we must say, but here are some key points that you can note!
For SEO marketing, search engines like Google are looking for pages that offer high-quality and relevant content that can answer the user’s question. They do so by determining how relevant your page is, with their crawler.
Basically, your website content will be crawled by the algorithm and subsequently, your web page will be ranked on the SERP according to how high-quality and relevant it is.
What are the ranking factors for SEO?
How your web page is optimized can have a huge impact on its ability to rank. Some of the biggest ranking factors that affect a web page’s search result position are:
Content of Page
It is important to provide valuable, high-quality and unique pieces of content for users. One way to improve the quality of your content is to enhance the readability of your text by segmenting long paragraphs. Another recommendation is to include images or videos to provide greater visual engagement.
Adding your primary keyword to your meta tags is key in optimizing your SEO. It is highly recommended to insert your page’s target keyword phrase in the front of your title tag, and include it in the meta description and slug as well.
Having a fast page speed and device responsive web pages improve your on-page SEO and user experience.
Optimizing your Technical SEO
Enabling HTTPS, adding schema markup to your web pages, and checking and optimizing your robots.txt file are a few ways to optimize your technical SEO.
User, usage and traffic data
These include offline usage of your brand name or any mentions of your brand name in reputable sources. They tell Google that your brand is a trustworthy source that people have been talking about.
Domain-level keyword usage
These refer to data regarding usage signals from the web browsers, toolbars, clickstreams etc.
Page-level link features
These refer to the number of likes, comments and shares that your brand’s content are receiving on its social media channels.
This refers to whether your domain name is an exact match of your primary keywords or partially contains your primary keywords.
This refers to link building – the quantity and quality of backlinks to your domain.
Domain-level link authority
These include your page rank, trust rank, the quantity of links, anchor text distribution, quality of link sources etc.
White and Black Hat SEO marketing
White hat SEO refers to SEO techniques that follow the rules of the search engines to improve SERP rankings. This is used when your brand wants to offer more genuine value to your users.
On the contrary, black hat SEO entails practices that try to deceive the search engines to get higher SERP rankings. While this may work, it violates search engine guidelines, increases the risk of having your website penalized and removed from the search engines.
Understanding the user intent
It is crucial to understand and fulfil your users’ intent. Hence, doing keyword research is a fundamental step in developing an effective SEO strategy.
When people search for things, they want to receive what they are looking for. The searchers’ queries are undoubtedly related to their search intent. The better you are at answering and understanding what people tend to look for in relation to your business, the better you’ll be able to tailor your SEO marketing strategy.
The 3 main types of search queries are informational, navigational and transactional.
Informational query is a search query entered when users search for information – typically to find an answer to their question or learn how to do something.
Navigational query is a search query entered with the intent of finding a specific website or web page. For instance, “Facebook” and “YouTube” are the top two searches on Google, and they are both navigational queries.
Transactional query indicates an intent to make a purchase. Transactional queries may include exact brand and product names (like “apple iPhone 12”) or be generic (like “vacuum cleaner”) or actually include terms like “buy,” “purchase,” or “order.”
In addition, assessing the keywords your competitors are ranking for also helps in your keyword research process. There are a bunch of keyword research tools out there that can help you in generating keyword ideas.
Set goals you want to achieve for your website
By doing so, you can help your brand to determine the specific aspects of SEO marketing that you really want to focus on, how to track the performance of your website, what kind of benchmarks you should be setting, so on and so forth.
In this stage, you should also be looking to set some KPIs for your SEO efforts. How are you going to measure the success and effectiveness of your SEO strategy? Several common indicators include the number of conversions – be it sales, email subscriptions, lead form submissions, anything could be a conversion.
DIY SEO VS Hiring Marketing Professionals
This really depends on your bandwidth. If you are willing to invest the time and effort to practice this skill and perhaps, master it, then you can try executing this on your own. However, a lot of work goes into understanding the essence of SEO marketing, so it’s not going to be easy, and you might require professional advice and assistance along the way.
Either way, we hope this article has been helpful in sharing some information about SEO marketing. In a nutshell, SEO marketing is just as much about understanding your users as much as how search engines work.
Without a doubt, incorporating an effective SEO strategy, together with social media marketing and email marketing, is integral in developing a successful digital marketing strategy.
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