As a business owner considering your marketing strategy, you know that SEO is important. But what does it really mean to integrate your marketing and SEO? With ever-changing algorithms and the fast pace of the Internet, your digital marketing plan could be doomed if you don’t take the time to consistently evaluate and update your SEO marketing efforts.
What is SEO?
According to Moz, search engine optimization is “improving the presence of a business and increasing its number of customers via all non-paid forms of search, such as organic, local, universal, and mobile.”
Paid SEO is considered SEM, or search engine marketing, and requires different strategies and tactics. We will only be discussing SEO, i.e. unpaid organic search, in this article.
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SEO Marketing and Your Overall Marketing Strategy
One of the major benefits of SEO is that it’s mostly free to implement, not including time and labor costs. When you consider your marketing plan, your SEO expense will be the time it takes for the team member to research and execute best practices, while constantly staying up on the latest trends and techniques.
However, effective SEO is complex and time-consuming, and results are almost never quick, especially for new sites. A good marketing strategy will consider that SEO is an ongoing and multi-faceted process to improve your rankings in search engine results. It requires smart new content and an eye for revision of existing content.
SEO Marketing and Keyword Research
The foundation of any good SEO approach is strong keyword research, which can support your market research if you do it right. Finding the right balance between search volume and competition isn’t easy but you should take the time to thoroughly explore all your options.
Identifying the right keywords will help you craft the right content, give you a framework for optimizing your website correctly, and allow you to gather insights into the minds’ of your customers. Use SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner, Wordtracker, and SEM Rush to discover and evaluate potential keywords.
SEO Marketing and Content Marketing
Content is king but you need to do it right. 2015 is about storytelling and Google agrees: their most recent algorithm updates emphasize engagement, intent and learning. Google wants users to find the answers to their questions on your pages, plus they want users to be engaged in what they do find.
There’s no better way to do this than through taking the time to write thoughtful, useful, and relevant content. 99% of buyers say content affects their purchase decisions, so make sure you are actually talking to your buyers.
SEO Marketing and Pictures, Videos and Graphics
If your marketing strategy relies heavily on graphics and images (and, for the most part, it should), you need to make sure those assets are optimized for search. While there’s several techniques to optimize images to attract readers and potential customers, don’t forget the biggest draw people initially have to photos: compelling, relevant and great looking original images that draw them further into your content and supplement the story you are trying to tell.
If your social marketing strategy includes visual channels like Youtube, Pinterest, and Instagram, take the time to figure out how to best optimize these assets. Video was huge in 2014 and graphics always perform better on social.
SEO Marketing and Social Media
Social media is becoming increasingly impactful in SEO rankings. The right social networks can act as a megaphone for your content and a chance to build lasting relationships that provide future dividends on content sharing.
In fact, Google and Twitter just announced a deal allowing tweets from the firehouse to be indexed by the search engine. This means tweets will show up in Google results as they are posted on Twitter – a tremendous opportunity to increase brand exposure through social media, particularly by engaging in popular and newsworthy conversations.
SEO Marketing and Outreach/Link Building
When you consider your marketing budget and any PR-related expenses, you need to consider digital outreach. Link building still remains one of the most highly rated SEO factors so you need to get links to your website content on to other websites.
But don’t think you can just mass email or tweet at people– for efficiency (and your reputation), focus on building a personal one-on-one relationship. Foster those connections early and often and you could have an ambassador for life. Remember, you’re ultimately looking for brand and product advocates.