If you aren’t already doing some SEO marketing for your business, you really do need to start doing so right now. Since search engines have existed, SEO marketing has been the primary driver of traffic to websites and the key to online success. Now that more and more people are using the internet to buy products and discover new companies, SEO is helping companies be discovered and increase their customer base by improving the amount of organic traffic and therefore customers that arrive at their websites.
This form of marketing is incredibly useful in this digital day and age. Don’t worry if this is all new to you, though, the basics of SEO marketing isn’t too difficult to get your head around. Read on for a complete guide into SEO marketing and why it’s of the utmost importance that you start to implement as part of your business’s whole marketing strategy.
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What Is SEO Marketing?
First of all, let’s take a look and see just what exactly SEO is.
Put simply, SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. Therefore it is the process of optimising your website to rank for given terms and phrases within search engines. Moreover, SEO is the process of not just getting your website to rank for those terms but as highly as possible for them too.
Google has a set of rules that it follows to rank websites, these rules are called an algorithm. Google (and other search engines) businesses are based on providing the right information to their customers who use their search engines to find information and answer questions on the internet. The more successful that they are at doing this, the more customers use their search engines.
Google is by far the most successful search engine, the reason that it is so successful is because it not only wants to provide the most relevant information or websites in its search engine results pages (SERP's) but it also wants to provide the best websites in terms of customer experience. Put simply, if you are searching on a mobile device not only does it want to give you the most relevant answer to your query but, it also wants to you to have the best experience so it provides the most relevant mobile optimised answer to a users query.
SEO is the process of understanding what it most important to search engines and creating content and websites that are optimised to rank for specific chosen terms. Understanding what is most important to search engines is the key. From having the right content to providing a great experience, being an authority on a given subject to having a fast mobile optimised website are just some of the factors that are important.
Understanding what search engines want and then providing it for them is the basis of good SEO. Creating an SEO marketing strategy is the key. Once you have followed all of the guidelines and set up your site according to each step in the SEO framework, then there is a much better chance of search engines’ algorithms picking up your site and ranking it highly for your chosen terms. If you are successful you are rewarded with ever greater volumes of web traffic. SEO marketing is the process of optimising your website for your customers and search engines, the reward is more traffic and revenue for your business.
Why Is SEO Marketing So Important?
Are you now wondering why this form of marketing is crucial for all businesses these days? As mentioned before, it will help your website move up the rankings in all search engine results. That is by far one of the biggest reasons why so many companies work on and improve their site’s SEO. The closer they get to the top of the search result list, then the more chance there is of web users clicking on their site.
Lots of studies show that the majority of web users will only ever click on the handful of top results. Very few people navigate away from the first page of results to see any of the lower ones. So, if you do manage to end up in the top few results on the first page then you will be able to get a lot more web traffic. The rate at which your website is clicked (clicks) versus the amount of times that it is seen (impressions) is the click through rate (or CTR). A simple sum to explain this is the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions (if you have Google Search Console plugged into your site you'll be able to see this data already calculated for you).
In the chart below you can see how important your position within a search engine results page is. Looking at desktops first you can see that a site in position 1 (on average, all website data) gets 31.19% of the clicks. Compared to a desktop result of position 10 that only gets 1.12% of the clicks. With mobile devices the position 1 advantage is a little less (22.44% for position 1) but it is safe to say that the vast majority of clicks are taken by the websites in the top 5 positions across mobile and desktop devices.
Data provided by Advanced Web tracking.
Organic traffic driven by SEO is also the single greatest source of traffic to your website. In a study by BrightEdge they determined that on average 51% of all traffic (all sectors average) was derived from organic search. SEO directly impacts organic search volumes and visibility, if you are going to spend time trying to impact one of your marketing channels focus on the largest, if you can move the dial by 3, 4 or 5%+ then the impact on your sites traffic will be the greatest if you concentrate on the largest channel.
You can read more about the BrigthEdge study and more by reading our post on the importance of SEO in Digital Marketing.
Of course, that isn’t the only reason why focusing on SEO marketing is so important. Here are a few extra reasons.
Every business needs to try to build plenty of trust with its customers. This then helps them become an authority in their industry, which can in turn increase their customer base. As most of the steps you need to take to improve your SEO will also increase your customers’ trust, it makes sense to actively work on this. Organic results receive a higher click through rate than paid ads, why? Because customers believe that they are supposed to be there, they are more permanent, they are trusted by Google therefore they are more trusted by the customer.
When you are trying to improve your website’s SEO, you will need to make sure that the whole site is optimised for web users. It needs to be very easy to navigate and free from any functional issues or problems. If the navigation menus are confusing or users run into other issues that make it difficult for them to find the information they are looking for, then they will quickly leave the website and navigate elsewhere. This will increase the site’s bounce rate, which could push down the overall SEO rating. To prevent this, you need to make sure that users can access all content easily and are persuaded to stay on the site for as long as possible. Boosting your sites usability and improving the customers experiences is a key element in improving your SEO.
If you have been looking for a new long-term marketing strategy to implement, then you’ve just found it. SEO is a fantastic long-term strategy that can help you increase traffic to your site over the long term. It will also bring in the most traffic. Even though SEO can bring you some great results quite quickly it is a long term strategy. The more that you invest in your SEO the more powerful it becomes. Investment, even a small investment in SEO marketing will be permanent. If you are doing it yourself, start small but do it consistently. Overtime your site will gain in authority and your performance will improve. SEO gains strength over time, start building your strategy now for great pay offs later on.
Once you start appearing at the top of search results more frequently, you will find that a lot of web users and customers start to recognise your brand more. This will be brilliant for your brand visibility as it means that people will start to recognise your company when they just spot your logo or branding. Eventually, you might even become a household name. If you are also utilising paid search having an organic listing as well as a paid ad on the same search engine results page improves the click through rate of both the paid and organic listing. Ranking for multiple, similar queries in organic search also has this effect.
Tips for a great SEO Marketing Strategy
Now that you know a bit more about SEO, you’re probably ready to get started with your own strategy. There are various tips and steps that you can take, and it’s always best to try to do as many as possible. That will ensure that your website’s SEO is given a proper boost. Take time to write down everything that needs to be done to your site in priority order. Start at the top and work down. Remember to assess and monitor your sites performance, if you see one tactic or another working then do more of it. If it isn't working move onto area and see what impact you can have there.
One other thing to remember is that search engines are continually updating and changing their algorithm, so some guidelines might change over time. As long as you are reading up on the subject and keeping up to date with all of the latest trends, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to adjust your strategy accordingly. If you always work in line with Google's guidelines then you will not get yourself into trouble.
Right now, though, here are some of the best tips you can use to create a fantastic SEO marketing strategy.
You will have no doubt already heard people say that content is king. In fact, you might have been hearing this for many years already. Well, the good news is that it still rings true! In order to benefit from good SEO, your site will need to have plenty of relevant and insightful content on it. The best way to achieve this is to set up a blog and post to it on a regular basis. The articles need to be full of useful information so that people keep on returning to them. Not only will this help boost your SEO, but it can also help you become known as a thought leader within your industry.
The main purpose of populating your blog with all of these articles is so that you can pepper as many keyword phrases throughout them as possible. These are what the search engine algorithm will pick up when deciding which sites to place in their list of search results. So, for instance, if you sell sportswear, you might want to put some keywords such as “sports bras” or “running shoes” throughout all of your blog posts and other web content. Then whenever someone searches for these or similar keywords, the algorithms will be more likely to pick out your site. Just make sure that all of the keywords are naturally placed in the text or else it could make the content read strangely to web users.
One other thing that can help your site rank highly for SEO is if you have a lot of other websites linking to your blog posts or pages. These links that bring web users to your pages from other websites are known as back links.
One of the best ways to try to get more back links is to publish links to all of your blog posts on social media. Once you have published a new blog post, for instance, you should tweet to it or post it to your company’s Facebook page. Then more people will read the content and, if it is informative and highly relative, they will be more likely to link to it from their own site or blog. Remember to add your websites link to all of your profiles.
Search for directories that are local to you or relevant to your sector, add your website and make the details that you add to your listings consistent.
Ask others to link to blog posts that are relevant to their businesses. This is sometimes called outreach. The more quality links that you can get to a particular post or page the more chance that it has of ranking.
On quality. It’s important to point out that you should always aim for quality over quantity when it comes to collecting back links. Google rates links from trusted and well-regarded sites, such as news outlets and other industry thought leaders, much higher than websites that don’t have much of a following or web presence.
Once you do start a new SEO campaign, it is really important that you start to track all metrics and data for the various content that you publish. If you use a tool like Google Analytics and connect it to your website and blog, then you will be able to take a look at a lot of data, including number of clicks, volume of web traffic, and the source of all this web traffic. Using all of these metrics, you will be able to see what content is the most successful at attracting web traffic, optimising this will boost your SEO. You can then start to tweak your content so that you are posting about the topics and subjects that have brought you the most traffic.
When you are creating your SEO marketing strategy it is really important to remember that you shouldn’t just focus on on-site SEO features. There’s a lot of things that you can implement away from your own site as well. Back links are on way you can improve your off-page SEO, but there are a few other things you can try as well.
For instance, it’s worth getting your business on Google Maps. That way, there will be more information about your company that the Google algorithm will be able to pick up on. Having an active presence on a few different social media platforms will also really help your off-page SEO as well, as this can drive a lot of traffic to your site.
If you haven’t done so already, you should also make sure that your website is optimised for mobile. This just means that it will be view-able on smartphone and tablet devices. Plus, the menus will still work and it will be just as easy to use the site as if it were being used on a desktop computer. Now that more and more people are viewing the internet on their phones and tablets, it is more important than ever before that companies are making their websites optimised for mobile. If they aren’t, then you could be losing out on a lot of web traffic. Web users could try to navigate onto your site, but find that they are unable to use it. As they will very quickly navigate away, this will push up your bounce rate. Plus, it’s important to remember that Google will mark up any site that is completely mobile optimised. Make sure that your mobile website loads fast.
Google will also be looking to see just how secure your website is. If there is a chance that browsing your site could be putting a web user at risk, then you will certainly get marked down for SEO. Google and the other big search engines do not want to be seen promoting any websites that are unsafe at all.
How can you make your site a lot safer? It’s actually not as hard as you might think. For instance, you should make sure that you are using HTTPS rather than plain old HTTP. If you use an e-commerce platform on your website so that customers can buy from you online, you will need to make sure that you have opted for a secure and reliable one. If there are any security issues with it, then this could have a negative effect on your own site’s SEO ranking and customers are less likely to purchase from you.
You should find that increasing user engagement with your brand can also help you boost your site’s SEO. For instance, one way you can increase user engagement is to place plenty of links to your own pages in your blog posts. People who are reading your blog will then be encouraged to click the link to find out more and will end up on one of your other posts. This keeps the individual on your site for longer, thus reducing your bounce rate.
Good user engagement on other platforms, such as social media, is also key. The more your followers engage with your brand on the likes of Twitter and Facebook, then the further these posts will be shared. This is great for off-page SEO as it will drive more traffic to your site. Make sure that your content is easily shareable.
The Best SEO Marketing Tools
It can be hard setting up a completely new SEO marketing strategy from scratch. But don’t worry, you won’t always be on your own. In fact, there are many great online resources and tools that can help you better your SEO efforts. Here are a few of the best tools that you might want to use to improve your SEO marketing.
If you ever struggle to figure out which are the best keywords to use in your SEO campaign, then Google Keyword Planner should be a big help. This can help you build some strong lists of keywords that should help you boost your site’s rankings for. You can enter in your target audience as well as a few different pieces of information on your company, and then will get your results. You'll need a Google account to do this, but once setup you'll have as much keyword data as you'll ever need.
One of the big benefits of SEMRush is that the tool will instantly show you your rankings related to various keyword searches. It will also show if there have been any changes to the rankings since the last time you checked. Not only this, though, but the handy tool will also give advice and recommendations on how you can improve your site.
Another great keyword-tracking tool is Ubersuggest. Whether you are looking for a new short or long-tail phrase, this is a great website to go to in order to find the best for your site. Plus, it will provide you with excellent tracking data so you will always know how well a keyword is doing.
It’s always worth tracking your competitors as well to see how their SEO campaigns are doing. This will also provide insight into keywords that are effective for them. Woorank can do just that for you. This great tool will also flag any potential issues on your site, such as duplicate content and broken links.
Mozbar is a nifty little tool provided by Moz. Moz have created an algorithm that determines the authority of a given website. The authority, broken down into page authority for an individual page and domain authority for the domain as a whole, provides you with a an estimate of the domain or pages strength. Moz created the 'Authority' metric in order to assess the power of a web page or domain and therefore its ability to rank for a particular term. Google also used to provide this data and it was called Page Rank, however as ever, once it was available to some SEO's it was manipulated so Google removed the ability to measure and assess Page Rank from the general public. Download the MozBar application and add it to your Chrome browser. You'll get great insight a websites strengths and as an added bonus it is currently free.
Advanced tip: You can also get a back link from your Moz profile by adding your websites address to your account.
Where or where would SEO's be without this tool. This is a must have tool for everyone who is serious about marketing their website via SEO. To use Search Console simply add your website to Search Console and then add the tracking code to your site (similar to Google Analytics), once confirmed you start to get a huge amount of different data about your site. From how much organic traffic you are getting, your positions within search engine results pages to the errors that may be inhibiting your sites performance.
Google Search Console is the absolute must have tool for any budding SEO or marketer who is keen to monitor or improve their organic traffic levels. Again, it is free. Remember to add every version of your site to Google Search Console, that is the http and https versions as well as the www. and non www. versions as well. Even if you are not going to be SEO'ing your own site an SEO marketer will need access to your Search Console accounts. So get it installed and start collecting essential SEO marketing data right away.
Why Hire A SEO Marketing Consultant?
There is a lot in SEO that you can do for yourself. However, if you have been reading this thinking that it is too much work for you to take on or you simply haven't got the time. Perhaps even you have implemented the basics and want to take your SEO to the next level, then you might want to hire a SEO marketing consultant to help you with it all.
SEO Marketers or SEO's will actively implement and track all important SEO tasks and activities. You will be able to find someone on a freelance or full-time basis. One of the main benefits of handing over your SEO to a consultant is that you will be passing it onto an expert who knows exactly what they are doing. Not only that, though, but it frees up your time so that you can get on with your usual to-do list.
Hopefully, this post has clarified a few of your burning SEO questions! But if you have any questions regarding marketing or SEO then please feel free to get in touch.
Improve Marketing is an award winning digital and SEO marketing agency. We work with businesses who want to improve their online visibility and be more successful via through SEO. We provide SEO services and consultancy for clients all over the UK. If you are keen to improve your websites online presence and get more traffic then get in touch today. We'll even audit your website for free.
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