Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) marketing is often overlooked by business owners and marketers. The sole reason for this neglect stems from being costly & time-consuming.
It does baffle me!
Simply because the power of SEO marketing can generate tangible organic traffic from an audience. This audience are more than likely to be warm leads.
When search engine users input a search query they are looking for answers or solutions to their problems.
Therefore, you need to ensure that you are appearing #1 in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
It is simple - people are actively search for your:
... thus meaning you'd have to be a fool not wanting to get your website indexed and appearing as high as you can on SERPs.
Neil Patel - a digital marketing genius
A huge digital marketing influencer, Neil Patel endorses the importance of SEO marketing.
In my opinion, Neil Patel is one the SEO's G.O.A.T (Greatest of All-time).
“SEO is the process of optimising your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.”
- Neil Patel
I have worked with clients in the past that have either started SEO on their own and it wasn't working or they hadn't even contemplated about curating SEO strategies.
So let me ask you this question before we move on...
Do you have a website that gets little to no organic traffic?
Please let me know in the comments below!
What is SEO marketing?
In essence, SEO is the terminology given to the activity of enhancing the quality & quantity of organic traffic to a brand's website.
Through implementing many strategies that adhere to Google's algorithm guidelines.
How does SEO marketing work?
SEO is all about making changes to your webpages that enable it to become more attractive to search engines. Thus, search engines will reward you by making it appear at the top of SERPs.
On the other hand, SEO marketing can soon become a complex operation.
This is down to all the contrasting aspects that are involved to make your website appealing to search engines.
Although search engines have different ranking factors embedded within their algorithms.
The main thing they are looking for is user experience (UX).
As such, you should start implementing UX strategies on top of on-page & off-page SEO strategies.
Seach engines have an army of spiders that crawl through your website.
However, do not be alarmed and scared they are there to help you!
Ultimately, they are bots that search engines utilise to scan your webpages in order to aid the search engine to index websites.
Search engines do this to comprehend what your website entails and to provide searchers with relevant results.
Ranking factors that impact SEO
As aforementioned, search engines use algorithms to determine who should be ranking #1.
The way to appeal to these algorithms is through optimising off-page and on-page SEO marketing techniques.
Nevertheless, UX is more imperative.
I mean, you can utilise the fundamentals of SEO correctly. But, if you not tailoring it to the user and their experiences, then you are not going to rank #1.
It is as simple as this...
Put the user first!
Want to know if you are providing the complete user experience?
Log in to Google Analytics and assess your bounce rate.
If your bounce rate is considerably high then chances are, you are not providing the user with a great experience.
To put this into context, the general rule of thumb for bounce rates should be within the 26-40% range.
Anything higher, then you are telling Google not to rank you high as you are not providing a great UX.
Thus meaning, Google do not give a damn about your website.
Marcus' top tip: Start getting into the ideology that you should place UX with greater importance than off-page and on-page SEO marketing.
Seeing as you should now have a basic understanding on what is SEO marketing and how it works. Let's discuss search engine algorithms and how to appease them.
Google and other major search engines will not put their exact algorithm into the public domain.
However, Google has confessed that their are over 200 ranking factors. As digital marketers, we do have a glimpse into what works and what doesn't work.
Content marketing and SEO copywriting are effective concepts that aids SEO techniques and strategies.
Content marketing should not be all about writing for SEO purposes. It should be solely focused to your target audience.
Curating content should all be about storytelling that is going to convert the most dubious of customer into a loyal one.
However, there is no harm in throwing in some relevant keywords and LSI keywords to optimise your SEO prospects.
Content marketing can become SEO's best friend seeing as when you create content it should be relevant and be of quality.
This is what search engines are really looking for.
As such, they will notice your unique and quality content and deem it relevant to searchers and show them your content.
You can curate content through various mediums that are equally appreciated by website visitors and search engines.
Below you can see some great ways you can provide quality content, although the list isn't exhaustive, you can start to make a great start..
- Blog posts and articles
- Social media content
- How-To Guides and Tutorials
- Video marketing
- Engaging visuals
The content marketing process is one that you should take seriously when embarking on the journey to increase your organic traffic.
Keep your content fresh
Search engines prefer websites that regularly publishes new content. Therefore, your content strategy plan should ensure that you publish content frequently.
You can keep a freshness to your root domain by updating content in oppose to writing new content.
By doing this, you can ensure they are effective, current and relevant.
I appreciate that curating content is time-consuming. I write many posts and articles across the web so I truly understand this.
However, trust me when I say this... IT WILL PAY OFF!
Quality content satisifies the consumer decision making process.
You can add value to their information search.
Recommended further reading on content marketing:
These are factors that can be altered directly on your website. This is crucial for SEO marketing.
You have complete control over these factors meaning if these do not work then you only have yourself to blame.
On-page SEO goes deeper than curating content and starts to tap into your website's HTML coding
Here are just a few of the on-page SEO factors that I feel will aid your SERP position:
- Title Tag – This informs the search engines what your page consists of. This should be around 60 characters long, which should include your focus keyword and your business name.
- Meta Description – The meta description gives search engines enhanced comprehension on your webpage is all about. Also, the meta description is accessible by your website's users to give them a better understanding into what the page is about and if it’s relevant to their search query. You should ensure that your focus keyword is present and also provide and abstract into what the user can expect from your content.
- Sub-headings – Subheaders are great to enhance UX as it adds to the flow of your webpage. It can additionally aid your SEO efforts. H1, H2, H3 and H4 heading tags can be utilised to help search engines better understand what you are trying to entail.
- Internal Links – Internally link building is crucial for SEO. For one, it can help spiders when they crawl your website but also adds to the UX. You can present the user with more valuable resources that are published within your website.
- Image Name and ALT Tags – You should be using images througout your website and webpages. To provide more engaging value to the user. You should be including your focus keyword amongst the ALT tag. As such, this will aid search engines to decioher what image you are showing as the algorithms do not recognise images. So ALT tags help seach engines in this respect.
Keyword density used to be over-optimised and not penalised but in today's world search engines frown down on this.
Therefore you should ensure that you are strategically placing your long-tail, short-tail & LSI keywords.
One aspect of on-page SEO that is often forgetten about is mobile optimisation.
As we delve further into the 21st century, consumers are taking to their mobile devices to satisfy their consumption needs.
With this being said, you should ensure that your website to optimised and mobile friendly so users can view, read and navigate your website.
It goes back to when I mentioned about placing UX in the upmost importance.
“Consumers are actively searching for your brand online.
Are you making yourself visible to be found?”
Following on from on-page SEO, please welcome the off-page SEO concept.
I noted previously, that you have complete control over on-page SEO however with off-page SEO this is not the case. BUT you can implement ways for this to benefit your root domain!
- Trust – Trust is swiftly becoming a major contributor to SEO ranking. This is because it tells search engines that they are providing the ultimate UX. Although not often recognised as a ranking factor but reviews do boost SEO rankings for brands. This is how search engines determines whether your website is legitimate, and what better way to understand this than looking at previous custoemrs' reviews.
- Links – Backlinks or inbound links are a great way to build your off-page SEO. However, you do need to becareful as spam links will decrease your SEO prospects. Therefore, develop a link building strategy that aims to build relationships with influencers.
Just like in the business environment, you do wield the control of macro-environmental factors. You can certainly take steps for your off-page SEO strategies to benefit you.
Want to read more about on-page and off-page SEO? I curating the ultimate SEO playbook that will get you ranked in 90 days... Read it here!
In response to this blog's title... Yes SEO marketing is still effective for SMEs in 2019.
However, you do have to look further than off-page and on-page SEO.
Focus more on user experience.
If you do this, then your website will be deemed as relevant and of quality content by search engines.
SEO can be a beautiful little thing for your brand if you conduct it correctly. If not then things can get ugly.
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Do you have a website that gets little to no organic traffic? Let me know in the comments below!
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Want to learn more about SEO? Then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to give you FREE advice and aid your brand!