Search engine optimization, or SEO as it is more commonly known, can be very intimidating. There’s always someone saying its dead or about to die. There’s always someone saying they have a not new way to manipulate Goole and BING into sending you more traffic with their new SEO tactics.
It sounds super technical, almost to the point where you might feel the need to get a background in programming and computer engineering just to get the gist. In reality, there are some very basic marketing concepts behind every SEO tactic, you just have to cut through the tech lingo to find them.
Let’s start with the basics. The first thing you need to do is…
Create Engaging Content
Every marketing campaign throughout time has had a core content strategy that resonates with consumers. Think of Ronald McDonald with McDonald’s, the Gecko for Geico, or any hundred of other ideas out there that start with a concept and the content behind it. People see those figures or recognizable catchphrases and tell their friends, thus creating a sense of “virality” before “going viral” was even a thing.
The same goes with your core strategy. If you craft content that is engaging, people will want to share it. Then you can expect to drive tons of new eyeballs to your website. Whether it’s digital or traditional marketing, quality always trumps quantity.
Content isn’t just your blogs either. It’s video. It’s white papers. It’s case studies and infographics. All of this is part of a content strategy. And that content strategy is the basis for award winning SEO.
Tap into Consumer Needs
In years past, many SEO gurus preached and practiced a form of content known as keyword stuffing, where you simply jammed as many relevant details into a piece of content as possible in order to bump up the rankings on searches. Google has since cracked down on this, rewarding not just relevant content, but quality content as well.
Because of this, solid content will always win out over “black hat” (read: unethical) content every time. Google’s goal with its searches are to connect people with quality content to the people who want to see them. What this means for you is that the more you cater to consumer needs, the more QUALIFIED people will be attracted to your site. And that’s the goal of any SEO tactic…to generate qualified traffic to your site.
SEO keyword research is more than just finding ways to reach the top of Google, they are about finding out what people want, and then crafting your site to match their needs and desires. At its core, that’s what marketing is: understanding your customers’ needs and formulating a plan that meets those needs.
Understand Your Audience
One of the ways you can speed up the acquisition of qualified traffic to your website is by using a different channel – paid advertising. It costs money, but if you can make up the difference with a sale on the backend, then your return on investment will stay in the black. Most importantly, you can use this to learn what keywords really resonate with your audience.
The problem with PPC is that you pay a premium for an audience that is composed of several different groups, including the one you want to target in the first place. But once again, if the return on investment is good enough, it is worth it. Plus, the learnings here help translate into your ongoing SEO strategy.
Keyword research, link building, and other SEO tactics are all about using data around your audience and driving them to your site. Instead of mass-blasting an advertisement everywhere, you zero in on your core audience and appeal to them directly. It’s why bar-b-q grill companies advertise during sporting events: they know the demographics of those viewers are more likely to buy their grill than people who watch C-Span. Any audience insight exercise you may go through (again, a traditional marketing concept) will have great value to ongoing SEO efforts.
Form Quality Relationships
One of the most important SEO tactics out there is building links and developing relationships with brands that are complementary to your own. Brands is a loose term here. Any webmaster, journalist or blogger associated with your industry is worth knowing. If you can be of use to them in some way, you can then leverage their authority to send qualified traffic and potential customers to your own website.
This same idea is seen in traditional marketing. When brands that are complementary and non-competitive join forces, the overall impact is greater due to the blending of audiences. You can reach people that are not normally geared towards your business, and vice versa. Help everyone, and everyone wins.
There is no reason to be worried when you start hearing words like “link building” and “white hat” thrown around as SEO tactics. Many of these, if not direct successors to traditional marketing, are simply the digital extensions of words that you are most likely already familiar with.
If you’re thinking of wading into the world of SEO, outsourcing your digital marketing (or at least the technical portion of it) makes sense. Contact us today to learn more about how content marketing, organic search, and online sales work together.