By now, most people have heard of SEO regardless of their industry, department or company size. But what is the actual marketing impact of SEO and how can you use it as a tool to promote and grow your business? Let’s take a look at what SEO stands for and how marketers around the world use it to promote their clients.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of driving traffic to your website with the help of all of your organic online content (blogs, articles, social media content etc.). However, be aware that it is not just any content that will increase your website’s traffic; it is crucial that it is optimised specifically for SEO in order to maximise results. SEO entails optimising all of your digital assets, such as your website, your social media, website content, etc. for search engines.
Okay, but do you REALLY need it?
Why can’t I just run paid advertising campaigns to increase conversions? Well, you can choose to split your marketing budget in any way you want and feel free to experiment with different marketing strategies until you find the sweet spot. However, the reason that SEO might be a better choice is that, with SEO, individuals have already shown an interest in a particular product or service. With online advertising campaigns, you are targeting people based on different strategies such as retargeting or lookalike audiences with the goal of persuading them to purchase your product. But you don’t need to do that with SEO because people are already looking for a specific product or service – you just need to make sure that yours comes first on the search engine results.
Becoming increasingly popular by the year, SEO is a very effective way to fulfil your marketing goals, whether that is brand awareness or conversions as it’s been found that most people will never look further than the first page on Google. Imagine you are an organic tea brand in London. What if every time someone typed in “organic tea London” into Google, your brand would pop up first? That would have a dramatic impact on your sales, as well as your brand awareness. Even better, this could help you tremendously with your online advertising campaigns too. You now have an audience that you know have enquired about your product or are likely to recognise your brand in the online environment. It will give you an advantage when it comes to targeting different audiences and increase your chances of generating sales.
Where do you start?
The two main types of SEO that you will be introduced to are On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. When thinking about search engine optimisation, most of us think of link building and complicated keywords strategies. While all of these elements are, of course, crucial to SEO, On-Page SEO serves only as a foundation for everything else that you implement later as part of your optimisation strategy. As most content will be published on your website, it makes a lot of sense to start with the website itself. Your On-Page SEO is a primer of the Off-Page SEO activities and you want to get it right. So, is your website optimised?
Your URL structure is important not only for SEO but also for tracking purposes. Ensuring you have a clearly defined and segmented URL structure will give you a better understanding of what performs well and what is not working so well on your website.
From an SEO standpoint, you want to keep your URLs short and concise for best results and remember to include relevant keywords wherever applicable.
Another important On-Page element that you need to consider when performing On-Page SEO activities is your sitemap. This is (quite literally) a map or a blueprint of your website. Why would this be relevant for SEO? Well, it helps Google or other search engines to find, index or crawl your website’s content. By letting the search engines know which pages of your website are the most important, it will help to optimise your website and prime it for Off-Page activities.
While we’ve learned in recent years that your website content must include keywords and be SEO-friendly, placing these keywords in the titles of your website is probably still one of the most impactful positions.
“The length of a title tag that Google will show will vary (it’s based on pixels, not character counts) but in general 55-60 characters is a good rule of thumb here.” (Demers T., 2020)
Although you might be unsure what a meta description is, I guarantee that you see meta descriptions every time you search the web.
The meta description is, put simply, a 160 character snippet of your website’s content. It’s used by search engines to let viewers know a bit about what they are going to find on a certain link before they actually visit the website. Seeing as many of us read the meta description before we enter a website, this is a crucial element for optimising your website.
It is highly likely that you have images on your website, whether they are in your blog posts, the home page, product or service pages, price lists, etc. Believe it or not, all of the images on your website are relevant for SEO. Since these are recognised as content by search engines, it’s essential to tag these pictures with relevant keywords in order to make it easier for Google or other search engines to find and push your website higher in the search results.
“For example, if you have pictures of a customized Superman water bottle on your article, then save the alt-text for the image as ‘customized superman water bottle’, and then that picture will pop up whenever that keyword is searched for.
60% of consumers are more likely to contact a business or visit a site when a relative image shows up in their search results.” (Patel A., 2020)
HTTP vs HTTPS
“A protocol is that “http” or “https” preceding your domain name. Google recommends that all websites have a secure protocol (the “s” in “https” stands for “secure”). To ensure that your URLs are using the https:// protocol instead of http://, you must obtain an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. SSL certificates are used to encrypt data.” (Muller B., Moz)
Keep in mind that there are other elements that you should always check before starting Off-Page SEO activities, such as page speed, header response, redirects, fixing broken links, and even duplicate content as these are all key factors in your website’s health and they eventually will have an impact on your SEO efforts.
Once your On-Page optimisation is complete, it’s time for you to develop your Off-Page SEO strategy and find out the perfect recipe for your brand in order to get more traffic to your website, rank higher in the search results and ultimately, grow your business. Next time, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about Off-Page SEO so make sure you come back to find out how you can start performing SEO tasks that will help you achieve your business goals.
Are you thinking about investing some of your marketing budgets in SEO but you’re not sure where to start? Luckily for you, this is exactly what we do! As a digital marketing agency, we can help you with that, all you need to do is get in touch with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.