Search engine optimization (SEO) is a relative newcomer to the marketing game, yet its practice dates to the early days of online search engines such as Google. Considering the impact of an effective online presence on the success of any business, it should come as no surprise that modern marketing strategies integrate traditional principles and SEO. Utilizing SEO to fulfill your marketing goals should be recognized as a necessity nowadays, and it’s important to understand that along with your other marketing efforts, SEO is a long-term strategy. So what does SEO mean for your marketing plan?
First and foremost, it’s crucial to develop a sound SEO strategy in order to maintain a robust online presence. A well-designed website that functions seamlessly and meets the needs of your target client is simply the first step in establishing your online business. Effective SEO relies on a variety of factors such as optimized page titles, unique content on your site’s pages, valuable content for your visitors, high-quality internal and external links, and pages that load quickly (to name just a few). As you can see, good SEO requires a well-thought out and integrated approach.
Ultimately, your SEO should reflect an understanding of the desired information, needs, and concerns of your target audience. Your content should answer their questions, but it must also reach them. As such, the most useful SEO campaigns rely on social media and content production and promotion. Indeed, social media may be one of the most effective means of reaching your target audience whereas quality content ensures their return.
Let’s take a closer look at social media first. Social media offers an excellent method for sharing and linking to your blogs, home page, and other aspects of your website. As the message reaches more of the online population, it is shared more, tweeted more, and linked to more often. This will most likely improve your search rankings as you naturally increase the number of links pointing to your site – one of the most important factors evaluated by the Google algorithm for determining the quality of your site.
Still, not only do you need a solid social media presence, but your website must also deliver in the way of excellent content. This content must be well-written, with a focus on your target audience. Google algorithms are increasingly effective at identifying keyword rich content intended to give the impression of quality content without actually delivering on that promise. Gone are the days when a webmaster could keyword stuff content on a page to improve search rankings.
Ideally, your SEO strategy needs to be a fully-integrated component of your overall marketing strategy. Your online activity should be incorporated into your marketing budget, especially considering the fact that many new customers are more likely to find you online today than through any other medium.