Your website may be the coolest on the block, but what if it’s invisible to users?
They won’t know you exist until the site appears on top search engine results pages. The use of SEO in digital marketing hence is a must if you want others to discover your website on search engines like Google.
To elaborate, search engine optimization (or SEO) is a blanket term for tools and techniques that help create high-quality website content for increased traffic.
Your website can be about anything- selling products or services, or a blog about hobbies. Whatever the case is SEO is the best online marketing strategy for gaining organic traffic for your website.
How you be wondering. Read on as we answer the same!
Types of SEO in digital marketing
Before we begin it is crucial that we first understand the different types of SEO. To list the same, they are:
1. On-page SEO
This type of SEO digital marketing strategy focuses on elements and content on the website. You optimize every web page of the site to land a top holding in search engine ranking.
2. Off-page SEO
These SEO efforts are outside the website boundary and affect your search engine result on Google and other engines.
3. Technical SEO
Technical SEO includes the actions that impact your website’s crawling and search engine indexing. This includes site speed, structured data, site structures, etc.
Now, you must understand that your website ranks higher on search results and gets more clicks with different SEO strategies. This implies more users looking at the site which in turn means higher chances of them finding what they seek from your web pages.
While this is true that SEO strategy helps with lead conversions and increases ROI. But there’s more to the use of SEO in digital marketing than that.
As such, our agenda here is to walk you through the nuances of the Why and What of SEO digital marketing. To do so, we will begin with a basic understanding of how SEO makes your website stand out in search results and employ proper SEO tactics.
Why use SEO strategy in online marketing?
The use of SEO in digital marketing isn’t just focused on numbers but is value-centric. It helps create your unique voice in the crowd and form a brand people recognize.
However, this doesn’t happen overnight, and SEO takes a layered approach to get you a good search engine ranking.
Now circling back to our main question- what’s the use of SEO in digital marketing campaigns?
To answer the same, they are:
1. Getting noticed on search engines
Humans are visual creatures and are also quite thin on patience, wanting instant answers to everything. Hence, it is not surprising that a whopping 75% of Google users never look past the first results page. What’s even more interesting is that only about 28% click on top results.
So, traffic will likely be stunted if your website isn’t cushioned anywhere between the top rankings.
Since, this is not ideal for anybody, SEO efforts are a must as they help allow websites to be visible to potential customers on search engine results.
Additionally, with on-page SEO measures like content optimization and keyword placement, SEO ensures and runs the loop of leveraged traffic, clicks, and high position on the search engine result page (SERP).
2. Drive organic traffic your way
Search marketing and SEO are interlinked.
One of SEO’s main goals is to boost web traffic for higher clicks. This is done through various SEO techniques such as using long-tail keywords, building backlinks, location-specific keywords, etc.
Additionally, traffic is vital data for mapping your business growth too. The better your SEO, the higher your website footfalls. You may see high conversions, but there are many data points to observe via the traffic.
This is where Google Analytics comes in!
To elaborate, Google Analytics is a dashboard that gives you insights that help identify areas of improvement and the plans that are doing well. With it you can:
- review the current online marketing campaign to check its performance
- get to know your site visitors closely, and if they are your target audience
- improve your SEO strategies to cater to the target market and get quality traffic
3. Build a brand and establish authority
When your website begins receiving steady traffic from search engines it means that your SEO marketing campaign is one that is working.
This can be because you’ve built a strong foundation with a creative logo and name, fluid web design, and quality site content. These branding elements instill trust among potential customers and project your credibility in the respective area.
Additionally, Google also values this quality and has specially built the EAT concept in its algorithm- Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
In its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, it mentions its focus on assessing the true purpose of a web page for a Page Quality Rating.
Hence, it would help if you reflected expertise in the area of your website, but it’s not strictly professional.
Think of discussion forums and threads, fashion blog pages, and other websites that rank on top. There are detailed reviews and experiences from real people, making them ‘experts’ in the said context.
This is what you need to do too.
4. Long term strategy, not tactic
Hence, it’s important you understand that SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. This means that while you may see instant results if the website was not optimized at all, it would also need rework and tweaks every now and then to keep the outcomes you seek.
Hence, in short, adapting to search updates with constant keyword research and consistent content creation keeps your website competent for the long run.
5. Create a high user experience
Search engine optimization isn’t just about keyword research and building links. They sure are key elements, but there’s a higher purpose.
Google’s emphasis on what users want is well known. It’s been pushing aggressive algorithm updates to bring visitors high-quality, relevant and reliable content.
So, the use of SEO in digital marketing is primarily to elevate user experience. Now it’s difficult to keep up with every single Google update, but major ones are hard to miss.
In 2015, Google dropped a meteor that it’s implementing machine learning and artificial intelligence to make search results and rankings more relevant. Websites thereafter needed to outpace AI to beat the competition.
This update was called RankBrain. It made Google results better and the fight for top spots fiercer with the end goal being that users get the best experience in the least time.
It is all about behavior metrics such as your site’s bounce rate, CTR, and the time users spend surfing through your web pages.
Additionally, exact match keywords are great, but AI goes beyond this and pushes you to analyze buying and search intent and how users make a query. Once you know that, SEO helps you work on your web pages’ load speed, architecture, and responsiveness.
Crucial elements of SEO digital marketing
Here’s a list of some key elements that go into the use of SEO in digital marketing:
1. Keyword research
Placing the right keywords on web pages is a classic and tested on-page tactic to land yourself in SERPs. If not the only SEO technique out there, keywords definitely are essential on-page SEO technique.
These can be seed words or long-tail phrases that users are searching to the max on search engines. But, remember that it’s important to identify those with high search rates and relatively lower competition.
Moreover, adding relevant keywords to your title tags, headings, website URL, and meta tags to help Google display your website along with clear names for users to know what it contains.
As website owners or marketers, your attention must hence be at what the audience is searching for. So, instead of solely relying on relevant keywords, try to gauge the search intent of the target audience.
Lastly, with the changing times, your SEO strategies should include voice optimizations as well.
2. Content marketing
Just like word-of-mouth is powerful in traditional marketing, sharing web pages is an important SEO step of content marketing.
In this, you create top quality content and chart out opportunities to direct them to your audience across social platforms and other websites.
A popular example is blog posts where you share expertise and information about products or services. The same is also posted on social handles and on any newsletters. In fact, you can even go past past conventional blogging and add videos, quizzes, and podcasts on relevant topics to bring in more web traffic.
For instance, picture this: you search for a buy a professional camera online and get results that lead to a store. But there’s also a few info-guides on the best professional cameras of 2022. It’s possible you’ll skim through the site and later proceed to buy one.
With above example, you’re leading users to answers they didn’t directly ask. The more you present the users and Google with quality content, your rankings will shoot up as users constantly click on the site.
3. Off page SEO strategy
All the SEO plans that execute outside of your website, channel quite some traffic. A popular technique is backlink building. When external links direct to your website, search engines know the content and pages are of quality and worth ranking.
Apart from that, using highly shareable blogs and infographics along with influencer marketing can also fetch those much-needed visitors.
This strategy for the use of SEO in digital marketing takes care of qualitative marketing. This means you carve a place as a trusted and credible brand when other websites vouch for it (via backlinks). Such positive perceptions establish brand authority and reflect in high SERP ranks.
Additionally, you must keep in mind that an average user spends about 2 hours on social media. So, naturally social media marketing today is the real deal.
You’ll find all big or small brands promoting their products and content on social media platforms in full swing. Tools like video reels and bite-sized stories help reach audiences across the world and fuel recognition.
Hence, Search Engine Marketing is another popular tactic where you pay to appear as ads on top SERPs. However, SEM is a whole different segment of online marketing that’s strictly to drive results via paid ads. Moreover, the duration of such campaigns depend on the marketing budget and the set goals.
4. Local SEO
If you’re a business, Google’s My Business account has to be in your SEO toolkit as it helps optimize the business listing and SEO content as per local search results.
This is important because, when a user feeds in location-specific queries, search engines use their IP address and geolocation to show relevant results. So, if you search for a salon or carwash service, Google brings out local business around your area that offer them.
Additionally, a typical local result has ads, the Local Pack followed by organic results on it first page.
As such, it crucial that you head to the the Google My Business page to set up an account for your local business and feed in details like:
- The business’ name
- Its physical location- full address
- Mark the location on maps
- Select the relevant category
- Add links to your contact details and website (if any)
5. Mobile SEO
Most online searches are from mobiles. If your website isn’t adjusted and optimized for mobile visitors, it’s high time you rectified this. Large images and page sizes with slow navigation can lag load times on smaller devices and affect user experience.
The first task when redesigning your site (or launching a new one) is to ensure good performance not only on PCs but mobiles and tablets too.
So, decide on the content you wish to include across designs. Accordingly, you can choose between a responsive or adaptive web design option. Either way, mobile SEO is a must today to outrank your competitors on SERPs.
Furthermore, some tweaks for a smooth mobile navigation would be improving its speed by:
- optimizing images
- minifying codes allowing the browser to load lesser files
- reducing page redirects
- avoid pop-ups on websites
Thereafter, test your mobile-friendly features on the Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test by inserting the website URL.
SEO tricks for digital marketers and website owners
Check out a few SEO quick tips here to ace your website content for that first page ranking.
1. Identify your USP
Ask yourself “why should customers pick me?” and “what is my competition better at?” Be thorough on consumer research and the gaps you address.
Here a SWOT analysis may come in handy. Such introspections will create a solid frame of who you are as a business (and brand) and areas of improvement.
Additionally, keywords are a big part of optimizing your on-page content. Hence, it’s imperative you find and optimize niche words and phrases.
Lastly, instead of listing an exhaustive benefits list, recognize and highlight the most vital component of your brand.
2. Improve your UX
Users may remember a good experience, but they surely never forget a bad experience. In fact, 88% of users never return post an unfavorable experience. Now that’s a stat that can hurt your business.
So, invest and build on your UX aspect and test often.
This process includes an efficient and fluid user interface. So, have structured data in mind as it makes your content more legible to search engines. Google, as always, makes lives easier by a structured data tool to get a better understanding of the concept and begin using structured data on your website and landing pages.
3. Launch a blog
Most info articles online are a part of blog spaces. Bill Gate said that Content is King, and rightly so. The benefits of populating your website with relevant blog content are plenty-
- Increased visibility– people are always asking questions online; from how to bake a chocolate cake to how to create effective blogs.
- Easier target for specific keywords– using targeted keywords in title and headings
- Easier to acquire external backlinks– more expert articles and guides that silently declare you as an authority.
4. Get on those socials
Needless to say, the world is on social media and so should you.
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook help you get closer to customers and throw light on your brand image. So, defining brand colors, vision, and values online helps customers identify your brand in a different light.
Moreover, video is a powerful tool you can leverage from social media for lasting impressions. So, make sure your social media optimization is on point with relevant keywords and hashtags to grab more eyeballs.
5. Steer clear of black hat SEO
Black hat techniques may give you an initial uptick, but this isn’t sustainable. Google is a stern watchdog for spam content and keyword stuffing.
Hence you must focus on creating good content and avoid cloaking. Tricking search engines will only take you so far and more importantly, although it’s not illegal, its certainly not encouraged. You’ll attract penalties, slip in ranking on Google or any other search engine, or might even be removed from the rankings altogether.
The use of SEO in digital marketing is your top choice to be heard and seen online. We all know the importance of SEO in online marketing, but the rubrics keep evolving.
All the above elements and tips hint SEO is indeed a task that needs money, expertise, and patience. But, with the right knowledge and tools, your SEO marketing strategy will surely succeed in creating a lasting online presence.