If you have any experience with digital marketing, you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization. This digital marketing strategy, commonly referred to as SEO, is critical for success. In the competitive world of eCommerce, every business engages in a never-ended battle to rank as high as possible on search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Since most users never scroll past the first page of search results, this is truly invaluable real estate in the digital world.
For businesses, the fastest way to improve their search engine ranking is by working with an experienced team of SEO experts. An SEO firm can help your page rank better and improve the overall quality of your website. Through bot on-page and off-page strategies, SEO can improve user experience, decrease bounce rates, and in the end, lead to more sales.
Here, we’re taking a closer look at SEO and its role in digital marketing. We review some of the most important SEO components, such as backlinks and user search intent, and discuss why your business should consider including SEO in your next digital marketing campaign.
WHAT IS SEO?
Search engine optimization refers to a set of practices aimed at increasing your website’s ranking on Google and other search engines. In the vast, digital world of the internet, visibility is tantamount to success. Even if you offer the best product or services, your website won’t see much traffic, and thus sales, if no one is able to find it.
For many, SEO can seem convoluted because it isn’t simply just one thing. A comprehensive SEO campaign includes several components, including content development, backlinks, web design, keywords, and more. While some SEO strategies only include some pieces of the puzzle, the most successful are those that focus on a comprehensive, wide scale approach that will lead to long-term improvements of the overall website.
ON-PAGE AND OFF-PAGE SEO
Generally, digital marketing experts divide SEO into two main categories: on-page and off-page SEO. The names of these two categories are relatively self-explanatory. On-page SEO refers to changes you can make to your actual site to improve SEO (think content, targeted keywords, page speed optimization, and ensuring images and videos load).
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, makes up larger scale strategies, such as link building, social media campaigns, and email marketing. A quality SEO campaign will incorporate strategies from both categories to improve your site.
Search engines are constantly evolving in their quest to match users with the most relevant and highest quality content. To keep up with the never-ending flow of new web content, Google and other search engines consistently update and make changes to their ranking algorithms. In fact, Google reportedly updates their algorithm roughly 500 to 600 times a year. For SEO experts, keeping up with these changes is often half the battle.
However, despite these changes, one rule has remained true in the world of SEO: content is king. Google and other search engines most value the ability of a website to provide high-quality, consistent, and trustworthy content to web users, which includes text, images, and videos. Of course, what makes this challenging is that developing high-quality content is much more complex and time consuming than simply paying for an AdWords campaign or even focused keyword research. Google knows this takes time and work, and thus, has always made content a critical factor in their algorithm.
Another fundamental core of SEO, backlinks can help boost the authority and credibility of your website. Essentially, a backlink functions as a “badge of approval” from one website to another. When a website provides a link to another, a backlink is formed. If the link is coming from a respected, trusted, and reputable site, this can boost the SEO ranking of the other website—essentially, this is success by association.
When it comes to backlinks, both quality and quantity matter. A high number of backlinks can help show that your website is trusted, but even just a few backlinks from highly respected websites can be even more valuable. Think of backlinks as recommendations since they mean so much more when they’re coming from someone (or some website) already in a trusted and authoritative position.
USER SEARCH INTENT
Effective SEO, like all marketing, comes down to understanding your potential customers. When someone sits down and types something into a search engine, what are they thinking? What do they want? And how do they express this need? This is what those in the SEO game call user search intent.
Over recent years, user search intent has become an increasingly important factor in Google’s algorithm. This, of course, makes perfect sense because search engines are designed to answer questions and provide accurate, relevant information to users. This shift in the algorithm has led SEO experts to focus on fulfilling user queries.
What does this look like? An emphasis on high-quality content that comes from a trusted, authoritative source. It’s also important to consider the type of search your users are performing. Experts have classified four primary types of search intents (informational, transactional, navigational, and commercial) which can help you better understand how your user is searching to provide them with what they need.
WHY DOES SEO MATTER?
Without a doubt, SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. Since 75 percent of users never scroll beyond the first page of Google, a high ranking can be invaluable as it drives more organic traffic (and thus, potential customers) to your website. For many online users, websites that rank higher on search engines also appear more trustworthy and authoritative since users tend to trust Google. A high ranking can also help develop brand awareness and make your business more recognizable.
CONCLUSION – HOW TO USE SEO IN DIGITAL MARKETING
Is there any part of our lives that the internet hasn’t revolutionized? Digital technologies have reshaped how we communicate, how we learn, and how we buy and sell everything we could possibly need. Each year, eCommerce accounts for a larger slice of the pie of overall retail sales and it shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re looking to attract more customers, your positioning online matters, checking out an SEO company is ideal.
This is why SEO is such a critical component of digital marketing. Even the best companies can get buried by search engine results, which is why you should consider strategies and practices for boosting your site up the Google ladder. Good business is founded on connecting the right companies and services with the right customers. SEO is all about making that connection.