Here’s a redundant, yet powerful fact: Your customers search online before making any purchase decisions.
Whether it’s a question, a product comparison, reviews about something specific or to test the market to see what all is available, customers turn to search engines for information and product awareness.
Therefore, as a digital marketer or an entrepreneur, search engine optimization (SEO) becomes key to discoverability and long-term business success. SEO has been around the block for more than a decade, and it makes up a gigantic share of traffic for successful websites.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is a practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of organic traffic to your website. If done well, it can give your business the necessary exposure through nonpaid and relevant search engine results.
While SEO is often implemented keeping the search engine (let’s consider Google) in mind, its true power lies in people. The trick is in understanding what people are searching for, the kind of answers they’re looking for, how they’re searching (the words they use), and the type of content they wish to consume (text, video, or audio). If you can deliver on all these parameters, you’ll be able to connect with your audience.
Google loves websites that its users love. So, get a vote of confidence from them, and you’ll find yourself in the top 10 results of a search query.
Importance of branding
Before we get to the importance of SEO in digital marketing, you must build a strong foundation. This involves your brand, which consists of (but isn’t limited to) your brand name, your logo, your website design and your social media presence.
Branding is crucial to building trust, generating future business, and improving profit margins. A well-designed brand can enhance your business’s value by giving it more leverage in the industry.
Your business logo is one of the foundational blocks of your brand. It’s what makes you and your products stand out. The more recognizable and straightforward your logo, the more it’ll resonate with the audience. Remember Nike’s famous swoosh?
Some businesses opt to redesign their logos every couple of years for a fresh take to their visual branding, but if you build a strong logo from the get-go, that is no longer necessary. Nike’s swoosh has been unchanged since its origin, and its hold on society is just as relevant today.
Humans are visual creatures, and your users are more likely to remember a visually attractive message than plain words. With that in mind, the importance of a business logo in branding is hard to ignore, and today, with the help of some of the best logo makers, designing a logo can take less than an hour.
Importance of SEO in digital marketing
SEO is a critical element of any digital marketing strategy. While it demands time and consistent effort, the results are well worth the wait and offer excellent long-term benefits. Here are a few factors that highlight the importance of SEO in digital marketing.
1. Rankings and visibility
When searching for something online, users are most likely to interact with the top 10 Google results. Proper SEO helps you rank on the first page (top 10 results) for the relevant keywords. This allows you to gain more organic visibility, puts you right in front of potential customers, and enhances the chance of users clicking and exploring your site.
2. Increased web traffic
Getting site visitors through paid ads may be a good strategy, but it’s not feasible in the long run. If potential users can’t find your website, your sales opportunities will decline significantly. SEO, when done right, increases the organic traffic for your website and attracts new and relevant users. The beauty of organic traffic is it brings in users on the merit of your website and content’s quality. This helps you rank on the first page and establishes credibility in your site, which increases your chances of sales and profitability.
3. Credibility and trustworthiness
The better your SEO, the higher you’ll rank on Google’s search results. While that is a sought-after benefit as it offers increased visibility, the other equally strong use of good rankings is the credibility you earn with potential customers. You will have the extra gain of users finding you on their own, plus showing up in the top five results is a sort of recommendation from the search engine. Users today know the effort it takes to rank on the first page— the quality standards a website needs to meet to score that position. All this, in turn, solidifies your credibility and trustworthiness in the user’s mind.
4. Better user experience
A great website answers all the basic questions, such as what product it offers, where it’s based, how a user can buy the product, payment, shipping details (if applicable) and more. When you build a site that caters to the user’s needs, the search engine can extract the correct information and show it to the users when asked. If a user struggles to navigate your website, chances are the search engines will, too. Bottom line: Work toward delivering excellent user experience and SEO will take care of itself.
5. Long-term growth
In the large scheme of digital marketing tactics and strategies, there’s no doubt that SEO is key to business growth. The higher you rank for high volume and relevant keywords, the more quality organic traffic your site will receive. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
A well-optimized website that’s constantly updated and boasts high-quality, valuable content is more likely to gain customers and make more sales. And if your users love their experience with you, they may refer you to their circle of influence through social media, which is the best word-of-mouth advertising.
SEO strategies to help you get started
Listed below are two SEO strategies that will help you optimize your content and website in a user-friendly and search engine-friendly way. If done correctly and consistently, these strategies will bear sweet, high-ranking fruits.
1. On-page SEO strategy
On-page SEO strategy refers to optimizing content that’s alive on the website. This involves adding relevant keywords, adding the proper tags, optimizing your headings with the keywords and more.
Your objective should be to write value-driven content that includes the keywords adequately placed in it. Any images should be optimized with image alt text and more. All these steps are essential for on-page SEO to work and drive traffic.
This strategy applies to every page on the website and not just blog posts. Google, or any other search engine for that matter, will crawl every single page of your site. So, by optimizing it properly, you stand the chance of ranking on the first page of search results for relevant keywords.
2. Off-page SEO strategy
This strategy is the complete opposite of the on-page strategy. Here you’ll build relevant backlinks on other popular and relevant sites for your site and promote your content on platforms and forums where your users are active.
Backlinks are akin to a recommendation wherein other popular websites refer to your website in their content, asking its users to visit you for information. There are a dime a dozen strategies to acquire backlinks, but the key lies in publishing relevant content that other sites want to refer to. In fact, a study from uSERP shows that 40.7% of SEO experts say content marketing provides the strongest passive results for building backlinks.
Other than backlinks, a few other off-page SEO tactics include answering questions on Quora, engaging with the Reddit community, and more. Here, being authentic is critical— you want to come across as helpful and not overly promotional. Quora is a great platform to engage with your users. It’s a place where they ask questions and actively look for answers. If you can provide them with valuable solutions and direct them to your website in a non-promotional way, that can help you build credibility and help with SEO.
SEO is the need of the hour when it comes to gaining organic traffic. In a world where new websites are popping up every day, staying relevant, updated and useful is essential. Users will search for information, and if you can show up at the right time for the appropriate search queries, you have a lot to gain in the long run.
By staying consistent and making the most of on-page and off-page SEO strategies, your website can rank high on search results for the right keywords. The secret is to be helpful to users and stay consistent with it.