Traditional marketing has lost its edge; the COVID-19 pandemic has only made this statement more evident. Shelter-in-place protocols and store closures prompted consumers to adapt by making their purchases online. Therefore, surviving and thriving in the new normal requires marketing methods designed to work online, which most traditional marketing schemes don’t have.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is no longer just a buzzword; it’s now amore powerful tool than traditional marketing in keeping your business afloat during a crisis. So, how does it work?
What is SEO?
SEO is a digital marketing strategy that improves your visibility in online searches. What SEO does is prime a website and all its components to make it easy for search engines like Google to understand what the website is all about. In successfully doing so, search engines will then recommend your website to users whenever a relevant search query is made.
Relevant search queries are queries that have a direct connection to your site. For example, if you own a pizza place in London, then the relevant query for your website can be 'pizza delivery or takeaway' or 'best pizza in London'. If a user types these words, then your website should pop-up on top of search results with proper application of SEO.
The more discoverable your web pages are in search results, the higher the chances for your business to attract your target market online.
How does SEO work?
Search engines, like Google, use algorithmic bots to crawl web pages, gathering information that allows them to index these pages. Once they’re on a page, they analyse the page’s relevance to search queries. The results of this analysis determine the page’s rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The entire process happens fast and simultaneously, with bots crawling thousands of pages at a time. Any change on any page triggers new web page-query relevance connections so ranking could go up and down all the time.
Search algorithms are programmed to prioritise web pages that are relevant to users’ queries, authoritative in a topic or piece of information, and has high-quality content. Optimising your pages with these factors in mind helps you improve their ranking in SERPs.
How does SEO enhance digital marketing?
Search engines have changed the way consumers behave. According to recent data, 86.36 per cent of UK users utilise Google for their research. These enquiries on products and services make up most of the digital traffic businesses get. A portion of that traffic will convert into paying customers. Better discoverability and higher ranking on SERPs can significantly raise your bottom line.
When you utilise a solid SEO marketing strategy, you achieve the following:
- generate high-value leads
- convert leads into customers
- retain customers as brand ambassadors
But having a solid SEO strategy for marketing may be challenging to accomplish if you are unfamiliar with the digital landscape.
How to use SEO in digital marketing?
Familiarity with digital techniques, however, is not a guarantee of marketing success online. Search engines update their algorithms to improve user experience. Your business’s failure to keep up with these changes could lead to an inefficient and ineffective SEO strategy.
Here are the main factors that you need to know before using SEO in your digital marketing campaign:
Find out what your market is looking for online.
Your website should be designed with your target audience in mind. You can’t optimise your pages when you don’t know what your clients are looking for. Figure this out by putting yourself in their shoes.
Based on your products and services, list down phrases and queries you would use to search for your business online. Once you have identified these words, you can use a keyword research tool to learn how many people use those terms to search for a product, service, or information online, and how difficult it will be to compete with other websites using those keywords.
There are many keyword research tools, but one of the most common is the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. Many organisations analyse their ranking in SERPs by using Ahrefs for the following:
- Use the tool to determine the keywords’ search volume and difficulty.
- Identify similar phrases and queries consumers use to look up your keywords.
- Determine which high-value keywords are the most relevant to your business.
- Use these keywords to find potential topics for your content.
After identifying the keywords for your business, it’s time to incorporate them in your web pages. It's important to develop a solid content marketing strategy as it will boost and strengthen your SEO efforts.
Create content that is aligned with your audience’s ‘search intent.’
When people search, they either use keywords to look for a specific brand, website or location (navigational), find information about a topic (informational) or get information with the intent to perform an action (transactional). Each category has a purpose that offers different levels of value to your business. By writing content for each intent using the right keywords in the corresponding category, you usher in high-value traffic to your website.
Use descriptive URLs for your web pages.
Search engine bots index your URLs. By including keywords in your URLs, you make it easier for them to index your pages. Keywords in URLs also improve how you organise your web pages for your developers and audience.
Write captivating meta titles and descriptions.
When consumers browse SERPs, they look at the meta titles and descriptions to decide if the link is worth clicking. Write a compelling headline that will attract your market and honestly conveys your message. Then, use the meta description to give visitors an overview of the page.Embedding your keywords on your metadata establishes your content’s relevance to those search terms.
Optimise your website for both users and search engines.
Your website serves two primary customers—your target audience and search engines. The latter’s experience dictates your discoverability and ranking, while your audience experience will have an impact on your bottom line. Make the necessary changes to make your website user-friendly.
- Improve your website’s loading speed to prevent visitors from exiting.
- Programme your website to adapt to the different devices, specifically mobile.
- Install an SSL certificate to improve your website’s security.
- Create a sitemap to make your website more understandable for search engines.
- Use strategic internal links to encourage visitors to browse your web pages.
Build backlinks to improve your reach.
Link building is the process of acquiring links from authoritative, non-competitor sites. These links act as guides that help consumers navigate online. Search engines use these links to determine how well a page ranks in SERPs. The higher the quality of the websites that link back to you, the better you will rank in searches. Here are more advantages of link building.
Monitor and measure your progress online.
The final step to leveraging SEO for your business is to track your progress. Like other business strategies, you will experience hiccups along the way. But your response to these will determine how well you can use SEO in improving your online presence.
- Measure your website’s organic traffic to learn more about your audience.
- Track your web pages’ rankings to identify how to enhance pages further.
SEO is highly competitive, but it is still one of the most effective ways to achieve success online. The efforts you put into learning about this digital marketing strategy add up over time, giving you insights into how to make your campaign more sustainable.
If you are interested in SEO and digital marketing techniques, Axadra is always open for consultation. We create solutions that will gear you up for online success. Get in touch with us to find out more about what your business can do with out services.