WHAT IS SEO MARKETING?
Marketing agencies typically assume the people reading their content already know what search engine optimization (SEO) marketing is. What we’ve found is not everyone understands what SEO is and why it is important for their website and business. Because of the growing importance placed on social media marketing, many believe they can do either SEO or social media. That’s simply not the case anymore, SEO goes hand-in-hand with social media for your website strategy. Lets take it back to the basics and discuss.
SEO Marketing Defined.
According to Search Engine Land:
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial”, or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.
LET’S BREAK THAT DOWN.
IT IS THE PROCESS OF GETTING TRAFFIC FROM THE “FREE,” “ORGANIC,” “EDITORIAL” OR “NATURAL” LISTINGS ON SEARCH ENGINES.
When you do a search on Google, you typically either find what you are looking for within the first page, or you go back and change your search query. Let’s look at an example: search “seo marketing appleton wi”.
In the image above, the paid results are the results with the yellow “Ad” picture at the beginning of the link. The unpaid results are what are referred to as “free”, “natural”, “organic” and “editorial” in the definition. When a user clicks one of these links, the website has successfully grasped their attention and is now a potential solution for whatever it is they were searching for.
ALL MAJOR SEARCH ENGINES SUCH AS GOOGLE, YAHOO AND BING HAVE SUCH RESULTS, WHERE WEB PAGES AND OTHER CONTENT SUCH AS VIDEOS OR LOCAL LISTINGS ARE SHOWN AND RANKED BASED ON WHAT THE SEARCH ENGINE CONSIDERS MOST RELEVANT TO USERS.
These results are shown in all search engines, whether it is one of the major ones, Google, Bing, and Yahoo, or less known search engine options. However, search engines don’t just KNOW you have the best product in your area and automatically rank you first. You have to prove it with your online presence.
PAYMENT ISN’T INVOLVED, AS IT IS WITH PAID SEARCH ADS.
As mentioned above, the results above the organic links are paid. That’s a topic for another blog post, just know that you’ll never see an organic result shown above paid search results.
Why is SEO Important for Your Website?
So now that you understand what SEO Marketing is, how is it important for your website? Can SEO even work for you? Why can’t you just promote your site on social media? Great questions.
75% of people click on one of the top five results in Google, and few (roughly 25%) will go to the second page for search results. If that is not reason enough, then also consider these SEO facts:
- 75% of internet transactions start with a search engine
- An inbound lead (someone who finds your website and fills out a “Contact Us” form) costs 61% less than an outbound lead (a sales call)
- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engines
SEO VS. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Some say search is not limited to search engines anymore because you can find businesses in your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook feed. This is true. However, when someone comes across your company on Facebook, for example, they are there just to browse; they aren’t necessarily looking for you or ready to buy. Your potential customers are likely to sit on social media out of curiosity and boredom. When someone is on a search engine, they are searching specifically for something you might be able to provide. It means they are solely there to find something NOW. This alone is reason enough not to ignore SEO in your web marketing strategy.
Becoming a brand leader on social media will show your potential customers you know what you are talking about. Search engines see how much your content is shared, how many people are interacting with you, and how well you manage your brand. This allows your company to gain trust, and therefore could bump up your website’s rankings in search engines. If you only learn one thing about SEO and social media from this article, this is it: You can’t have one without the other if you want to be competitive online.