A quick answer would be SEO performs the following for your business:
- Provides a low-cost avenue for sourcing leads and engagements.
- It grows like an investment with time and effort.
- Allow web crawlers like Google, Bing, and more to index and log your site in their search results.
- Gives granular and high-level insights about your customer basis and marketing strategies.
In the world of digital marketing users mostly come from three base sources:
Organic: This is when a user engages with your brand, site, or any point of contact for your business via non-paid means. Whether it’s through a links share, ranking in the top 10 for a google search, or even just word of mouth.
PPC (Pay Per Click): This is when a user engages with your brand from a paid ad. These can be done with services such as Google Adwords, Boosted Posts on Facebook, and more.
Referral: This is when a user is referred to your site via a brand ambassador, affiliate, or influencer.
SEO is considered an Organic source of engagements and is growing in popularity. It allows businesses with small or no PPC budgets to grow their brand without having to pay for ads or share profits with 3rd party affiliates. SEO has become less of an option in current years and more of a requirement. As most digital markets would agree it is the base ante to play the game.
SEO when done right can be a multi-purpose asset for your business. It can; cut down marketing expenses, build brand awareness and trust, establish domain authority, increase low-cost conversion rates, and help improve paid marketing by data sharing.
When you include SEO as part of your digital marketing plan, it will increase your brand awareness when done right. Ranking high in Google’s search results will look good to potential customers but, this is just the beginning. Using different data formats on your site, you can specialize the information search engine display and how they display it.
For example, you could include a card model that gives a quick glimpse of the page, shows a quick answer to a customer’s question, begins a sales pitch, and even a phone number for them to call on the spot.
Going the extra mile with steps like these will help portray your brand as modern, customer-oriented, and knowledgeable.
As you rank more with SEO, you will build domain authority. Domain authority is the level of relevance you have towards a specific field. For example when googling “how to bake bread”, a site that shows step-by-step baking instructions would have a hirer domain authority than a site that describes what bread is.
Domain authority is used to expand your topic list for your site in the market you are in. Once you gain high domain authority on a topic, it is easier to build it on a similar one.
The best way to improve SEO is to make sure you have all the basics covered. Below is a checklist of basic things you should be doing to improve and maintain SEO:
- Do include metadata for your page title, description, and URI as well as image alt data, etc.
- Do ensure your site is mobile responsive and user-friendly.
- Do keep consistency in your keyword uses.
- Do create a keyword map including primary, secondary, and tertiary keyword lists.
- Do use keywords in your URI.
- Do ensure your page laid time is under 1 second. A good goal is 0.5 seconds.
- Do set up a Google Business page.
- Do use Google Analytics.
- Do extensive research into your keywords. You may find better ones.
- Do write and design content for users first.
- Do use proper HTML / Content structure.
- Do utilize current web technology.
- Respond to positive reviews.
- Do internal linking.
- Don’t keyword stuff your content.
- Don’t use blackhat SEO tactics or try to exploit the search algorithm.
- Don’t ignore users’ search intent.
- Don’t allow low-quality inbound links.
- Don’t copy content on your site from another site.
- Don’t “set and forget” your SEO, it needs to be maintained.
- Don’t ignore negative reviews.
- Don’t ignore the user experience or story.
- Don’t make changes without reviewing the relevant data.
This list could go on forever but these are a good start for improving things. For more of a beginners guide, please check out our Beginners Guide To SEO article.
Below is a list that has been compiled of popular SEO tools used by most web developers.
Google Keyword Planner: This is used to research and explore keywords. It provides monthly search volume, demographic filters, and shows how competitive the keywords are.
Google Analytics: This is a free tool from Google that allows you to track site and traffic metrics.
SpyFu: This is a free tool that gives insight into your business and your competitors. In addition to showing keyword statistics, it allows you to compare your paid and organic digital marketing campaign against your competitors.
Ask The Public: If you ever have writer’s block or are looking for what to write about in your market then ask the public is going to be a refreshing tool. This free tool crows the web to see what people are searching for for a related topic and what keywords are used by people searching.
From experience, the following rules and methodologies have stood true and helped clients grow as companies.
Rule 1: The rules and principles of SEO are rooted firmly in jello. SEO requirements update constantly and SEO itself is a broad topic. What works today may not work next week and what works for you may not work for another person. You have to make educated guesses using data.
Rule 2: Follow the data. SEO is a deep and vast sea of gambling and uncertainty. The only concrete thing you have to hold on to is the data you can find and your past experiences. Use these to help you reach your final goals.
Rule 3: Never stop adapting. SEO Isn’t something you can set and forget or even perform monthly maintenance on. It requires constant upkeep and maintenance to continue its return on investment. But as you perform maintenance on your SEO, things will become easier, faster, and you will see higher impacts on your site.