Here at Australian Internet Advertising, we talk a lot about digital marketing and how it’s a highly effective way of attracting and engaging consumers. However, we still get a lot of questions about how the components of digital marketing work together to create a comprehensive strategy. So, we decided to tackle this problem and explore the role of SEO in a digital marketing plan and list the most important SEO methods a marketer applies.
Why SEO and not other marketing efforts?
That’s a really good question.
As you probably know by now, digital marketing encompasses a wide array of tactics, from social media and email marketing to search engine optimisation. Out of all of them, SEO is perhaps one of the most crucial ones. Just think about it: what’s the first thing people do when they have a problem or are looking for an answer to a question? They hop on Google and search for a solution.
That’s where SEO comes into play.
SEO in digital marketing is a mix of technical and creative tasks that go further than simply cramming some keywords together and spamming everyone for backlinks.
Let’s find out more!
You might also be interested in WHAT ARE THE 11 DEADLY SEO MISTAKES TO AVOID IN 2020?
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a collection of tactics and tools that can help you improve the rankings of web pages and make them easy to find by search engines. It consists of on-page SEO tactics, such as optimising your content, updating URLs and page titles as well as off-page SEO, such as link building.
Later in the article, we will present the key elements of a successful modern SEO strategy, and give you tons of tips on how to improve your results and get more leads.
But, for now, let’s have a look at how you can integrate SEO into your digital marketing strategy.
How Does SEO Fit in Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
A successful SEO strategy requires a combination of technical knowledge and an eye for engaging copywriting. Moreover, you need a holistic view of SEO and digital marketing to make all the strategies work together and create a strong online presence for your brand.
However, that takes a lot of work, so it’s no wonder that a lot of business owners are wondering if they can build a successful digital marketing strategy without getting into SEO?
The short answer is no. It’s very unlikely that you would get satisfying results by ignoring such an important component of digital marketing.
But, the opposite is also true: you can’t rely only on SEO to make it to the top, as it needs a general direction and a well-marketed brand to work its magic in the long run.
We can safely say that SEO is a must-do for anyone who is using digital marketing strategies, from small businesses that want more local exposure to big companies handling multiple audiences and campaigns.
Main Strategies in Digital Marketing, Besides SEO
To better understand the place SEO has in the world of digital marketing, let’s have a look at the main strategies you can use for advertising online and creating a successful brand.
If you are already familiar with SEO but would like to have more compelling marketing strategies, here is what you should look into:
Pay-per-click is an advertising model that works on an auction system. The advertiser bids on specific keywords they want to target and pays for the clicks generated by the ads (therefore, the expected results). The main difference between SEO and PPC is that SEO is free (not taking into account the time and effort put into it, though).
Although it’s one of the oldest digital marketing tools out there, email marketing is far from being redundant, even in the days of AI, machine learning, and responsive design. Email marketing can help you retain existing customers as well as attract new ones. Personalised communication, determined by detailed targeting, is one of the keys to success when it comes to email marketing.
If there is any part of a digital marketing strategy that is SEO’s best friend, it’s content marketing. It focuses on providing valuable, readable, relatable, and engaging content for both your audience and search engines. You can’t do SEO without optimised content, and you can’t do successful content marketing without knowing SEO.
Social Media Marketing
Facebook and Instagram are the best examples when it comes to social media used for marketing. The two platforms are currently providing an easy to use space for businesses to showcase their products or services, connect with their audience, and generate direct sales. Social media marketing can improve your ranking both directly and indirectly through action buttons (“Learn more”, for example) or by increasing brand exposure.
Video content is one of the most valued and preferred types of content nowadays and for very good reasons. A video requires less effort to consume content and it delivers it in an engaging format.
As you can see, there’s plenty to do besides SEO. So, a lot of business owners choose to focus on other areas of digital marketing thinking that SEO requires too much effort with too little to show for in the end. Some still see it as a controversial practice and are afraid that the tiniest mistake will cost them dearly.
But, SEO today is nothing less than honorable, authentic hard work and expertise.
How to Use SEO for Digital Marketing
The main goal of SEO is to make your brand visible to the right audience. Optimising your website, images, and content for search engines means being the best match for the search queries of your target audience.
When someone introduces a search phrase in a search engine’s query box, the software of the search engine retrieves results that are classified as relevant, trustworthy, and popular. If PPC implies paying for being shown on a search engine result page (SERP), SEO takes you there after crawling and evaluating your website.
What does Google look at when deciding which pages to rank high? Let’s look into the main ranking factors, and determine some SEO best practices you can start implementing for your own business.
When it comes to SEO, content is still king. But, until you get to creating the actual content, you need to perform keyword research to see what your audience is actually looking for. Be aware of the most common questions and complaints your target audience has and proactively address them by publishing valuable content.
Link building is an off-page SEO strategy that involves getting backlinks from other websites. The more authority that the site has, the more valuable the backlink is. You can get good quality links by writing guest posts, expert roundup posts, and so on. Encourage your content to be shared by writing posts that are actually useful for a large part of the audience you are targeting.
Since mobile users have taken over the biggest part of website visitors, making sure your site is mobile-friendly is now mandatory. Try to think beyond simply offering a mobile-friendly website to your users when optimising for mobile devices. To stand out amongst your competition, aim to reach a mobile-first user experience, and really do the technical part properly.
Another ranking factor that directly connects to user experience is page loading speed. Make sure that your website loads quickly by eliminating problems, like uncompressed files or page errors.
Google prefers safe websites with a strong HTTPS encryption, so make sure to prioritise the HTTPS version of your site, in case you are still using both domains.
Using H1 and H2 headings in your text, introducing relevant title tags, and defining them through code can help Google index your content more effectively and, thus, boost your ranking.
Although it’s an easy to overcome detail, the anchor text used either when you get an internal link or a backlink from another website will influence your ranking. Your anchor texts should be introduced naturally in the content and not just inserted there for the sake of a backlink. Not only that your visitors might get annoyed, but Google penalizes this type of behaviour too.
If you are a small business operating locally, then local SEO can make a huge difference. If you do it right, then you can get the chance of ranking amongst the first results in search engine pages. While local SEO is not a ranking factor per se, we had to include it in our list since its impact can be so significant.
When it comes to Local SEO, Google MyBusiness is your best friend. You should also make sure to list your business in specialised directories and always update your contact information. You can also enrich your Google MyBusiness listing by adding content to it.
Once you start including more elements in your SEO strategy, you will start noticing an increase in ranking and organic traffic. The more traffic you get, the higher you will rank, so it’s kind of an exponential growth.
If you don’t have the time or you’re not eager to learn about SEO, you can delegate a professional SEO specialist to handle this part. If you’re a business owner with no interest in learning marketing at all, choose an advertising agency that covers the whole range of services and negotiate a plan that will reach your goals.
You can get involved in SEO as much as you want or can, but learning the basics will give you a better idea of what to prioritise, how ranking works, and why your brand needs such a well-thought strategy.
Sydney-based Australian Internet Advertising is a company that covers the whole range of digital marketing methods, including SEO services. Our specialists communicate and work with each other to boost the efficiency and impact of all the methods used.
SEO is not just a technicality, but a crucial part of your marketing plan, and it should be thought of as an interconnected, moving piece of it. If you want to learn more about SEO for business, contact us, and let’s have a chat.