Search Engine Optimization
Learn how your business can benefit from the power of search engine optimization
What is SEO and How is it Used in Digital Marketing?
As a business owner, you’re probably familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) and may even be implementing it very loosely. Unfortunately, effective SEO can be overwhelming. It’s constantly in flux. Whether there’s a new technique, algorithm, or tool, it can be difficult to keep up.
But SEO is valuable and necessary for businesses of all sizes. And the good news is: if you stick to the basics, anybody can learn how to do it.
SEO is a set of practices and tactics that, if implemented effectively, will improve the position of your web pages in search results.
Searchers type in a phrase, string of words, or question into a search engine and get a list of results, including ads and pages relevant to their search.
SEO makes your website more attractive and visible to search engines and helps you show up more frequently in results. Searchers will find exactly what they’re looking for (information that solves their problem) and you’ll get what you’ve been looking for (more high-quality visitors to your site).
The Role of SEO in Digital Marketing
The primary role of SEO in digital marketing is to increase your visibility on search engine results pages, and as a result, boost web traffic and conversion rates. Effective SEO will get you on page 1, either through your own SEO efforts or paid ad placement.
An essential part of a digital marketing strategy, SEO:
- Increases traffic to your website
- Enhances website visitor experience
- Boosts brand awareness
- Produces higher-quality leads
- Improves site authority
The Pros of SEO
SEO is a powerful tool in your digital marketing strategy. Here are some of its advantages:
Organic SEO doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You can do much of the research and implementation on your own. Plugins on your website builder, site auditing tools, and keyword tools are either free or low-cost, and make SEO relatively easy to do and manage. Even if you need to pay for a freelancer or higher-quality SEO tools, you will still save money in the long run versus paid ads.
Both organic and paid SEO have the potential to bring in a lot of traffic and leads to your website. And the best part is, SEO allows you to target people at different stages in their customer journey. You can create content that solves specific problems for each stage (more on this in the Content Marketing module) and use targeted keywords to reach leads, prospects, and customers.
Delivers higher-quality leads
Not only will you get more traffic, you’ll get higher-quality leads. Because their search query and your keywords and content are identical, or closely related, the visitors who come to your site are legitimately interested in the information, resources, products, or services you’ve optimized for.
Builds domain authority
Specific SEO tactics (e.g., backlinking) will help you build domain authority, a ranking given by search engines that determines the strength of your website. The higher your authority, the more searches will be directed to your pages, making it easier for potential clients, customers, and information-seekers to find you. Your efforts to increase your domain authority will help your website for years to come. Check your site’s domain authority on Moz’s Free Domain SEO Analysis Tool.
The Cons of SEO
SEO is essential for successful digital marketing, but it does come with some negatives. The goal is to streamline, work within your capabilities, and watch out for these potential pitfalls:
Routine maintenance required
Organic SEO is not a ‘one and done’ project. It requires upkeep. You must constantly optimize your site to continue showing up in search results. You also need to keep on top of your website’s page speed, links, new content, tags, and more.
SEO algorithms frequently change
Keeping up with Google’s algorithms can be challenging, as they change almost daily. This can make crafting a long-term SEO strategy difficult, because what makes pages perform well today, may not work in the future.
Organic SEO takes time
Organic SEO requires patience. While paid ads can start generating desired results right away, organic SEO can take several months to deliver – especially if you’re aiming for page 1. This has nothing to do with skill or talent, it’s just the nature of organic SEO. Professional SEO agencies have to play the long game too.
Paid SEO can be expensive
Paid ads will cost you money up front. If your industry, products, or services are highly competitive, your keywords can be costly. Search engine ad builders allow you to set a budget and it’s critical that you do so. But, if you’re a small business with an even smaller advertising budget, you can eat through an entire campaign in a matter of days or hours.
Is SEO Right for You?
Even if some SEO tactics require you to stretch your time and budget a little, it could be worth the effort, depending on the results it yields for your business. The question is, knowing the pros and cons of SEO, how much time will you dedicate to it? What percentage of your digital marketing strategy will go towards it?
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