Although SEO should not be by any means be your entire marketing strategy, you should view SEO as part of your marketing strategy and a very inexpensive and profitable part at that. Search engines can drive dramatic quantities of focused traffic to your website and visibility in search engines creates the implication of endorsement by Google.
As you’ll probably know, you can instantly buy your way to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) using Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing. One well known example of this is Google Adwords. Simply pay some money to Google, select your price and ‘BOOSH’ your adverts are live. This then begs the question why does a business need to invest in SEO? Surely using Adwords, where you can turn your marketing on and off like a switch when you want more business, is an easier option?
Whilst this is true, people are becoming savvier to this. They realise that the reason that your site is number one in Google is because you paid to put it there. They know this because a little icon with the word Ad appears next to your search listing. They know that anyone can do this and it doesn’t show your brand off in a good light. PPC is like a crash diet where you binge and then pause and binge and pause. There are short term effects but its not effective for the long term. On the other hand, SEO can be compared to a healthy diet, where you do the right thing all the time and you reap the benefits from it.
Although SEO does not help fulfill all your marketing objectives, it can fit into your organisation’s overall marketing strategy for three main reasons:
BrandingBeing at the top of the search engines is perceived as a seal of approval. Many people assume that high search rankings are an endorsement of a particular brand. If Google, with all its algorithms that check the validity and popularity of your site, has put you at the top of its natural search results then you must be the best? Right?
Obviously that isn't necessarily always the case but it is the general perception and, as such, marketers can use this fact to help boost their brand's perception. Working towards improving the search engine rankings for your brand, using both onsite and offsite tactics, can pay dividends in the long run.
Actually, it is usually not too difficult to achieve a first page ranking on Google for your brand name using SEO. For example, if your brand name is "Beverley Guide" then you'll probably rank on the first page of Google for this search term. One of the reasons for this is that most of the inbound links to your site will use your brand name as the anchor text and that anchor text probably won't link to many other sites. However, if you're looking to rank for number one for "fidget spinners" then you'll no doubt have a lot more competition for these keywords. If people do see you at the top of the search engine results for this term then they'll probably assume that you are a great resource for fidget spinners.
Website TrafficBy being present on the first page of Google for a variety of keywords, you expose your website to many potential visitors. Some of whom would never have come across you or heard of you if you hadn’t been listed here. People search for information, products and services using a wide variety of search queries.
The job of the SEO specialist is to perform keyword research for your brand to identify what search queries people actually use. For example, if someone is searching for a mouse on Google they may type in “ergonomic mouse”, “left handed mouse” or “mouse for rsi”. Having a good understanding of what people are searching for allows you to optimise your website for many keywords spreading the net far and wide.
High Return on InvestmentGenerating sales or leads are probably the most important objectives of the majority of marketing strategies. Search Engine Optimisation delivers relevant traffic that has a high chance of converting. The potential customer is searching with intent for what you have. This is highly targeted traffic.
Because of its highly targeted nature, SEO can bring in a very high return on investment compared to other marketing campaigns. These high margins are in comparison to other digital and more traditional forms of marketing.
According to Hubspot’s recent marketing statistics, 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. Why not make it yours too?