The Digital Marketer’s Guide to SEO
Throughout my years working in Digital Marketing, one of the most common enquiry would be “How can I improve my website’s SEO?”. Back then, I have always thought that SEO was an isolated functionality that works on its own.
But over the years, I’ve come to realise that SEO intertwines with many aspects of Digital Marketing.
Google has since made numerous changes to their ranking algorithm to reward Good Web Design/Content Marketing/Social Media practices and conversely penalise underhanded tactics (commonly known as Black Hat SEO) like keyword stuffing, bad links, etc.
In this article, let’s look at how businesses can directly influence and optimise their SEO by improving key aspects of their Digital Marketing efforts.
1: Understand Your Business and its Competitors (Keyword Research)
Understanding your business is key, but you also need to know the competition inside-out. By doing that, you’ll be able to determine the keywords you want to be ranked.
One important factor to note when doing keyword research is the search volume. For example, if the keyword is too competitive, you might want to manage your expectations or if the keywords have very low or zero search volume, working on those keywords might not bring much traffic to your website.
The trick is: Focus on keywords with high search volume and little competition.
To do this, you can utilise tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and SEM RUSH to work on your keyword research. To find success, you will have to refine your keyword list regularly.
2: Built a Website with Great User Experience (On-Page SEO)
Whether or not you are optimising your site for SEO, ensuring a great user experience is imperative for the success of any online-driven business.
Work with your developer to build a website with great user experience by ensuring the following
– Is optimised for various devices, especially for mobile
– Loads fast
– Ease of navigation
– Content that is indexable (in HTML text)
– Proper URL structure
– Uses secure Https
– Good site structure and linkage (no isolated pages)
– Contains the necessary keywords (from point 1) and Header tags-
– Submit your website to the Google Search Console
3: Produce Value-Driven Content, Regularly (Content Marketing)
With content freshness being an important component in search ranking, businesses need to start developing new content that drives value consistently. Since there is only so many updates you can make to the corporate website, the solution would be housing it on a Content Hub.
Google won’t love you until people love you first, so create things that people will love, will read, will watch, will listen to, and will share. Naturally, that just translates well to the search engines.
Regularly producing and sharing exceptional value-driven content not only establishes your brand as a thought-leader in your field but also benefits your clientele and builds trust with your target audience.
In an SEO perspective, it helps to improve searchability when users discover your content while searching on Google.
4: Run Engagement Campaigns on Social Media (Increase Social Signals)
Besides the fact that Google is placing more emphasis on Social Signals as an important ranking criterion.
Social media by itself helps the brand reach out to a targeted audience.
It also increases top-of-mind awareness, making it essential for brands to establish a presence on popular social media platforms.
It is also important to note that Google has started to index social platforms as well, meaning that your social media activities will appear on Google’s search engine results.
5: Run PR/Influencer Marketing Campaigns (Get Quality Backlinks)
Backlinks (Incoming links to your website) remain the most important search ranking factor. Businesses will need to ramp up their PR/Influencer Marketing activities to encourage and build more backlinks.
Some specific PR/Influencer Marketing tactics to obtain quality backlinks,
– Getting coverage on relevant online publications
– Article contributions on partner blogs/online publications
– Long-term featured banner on an influencer/partner blog
Note: If you have an existing agency running your PR/Influencer Marketing efforts, it is important to include backlink acquisitions as one of their KPIs.
6. Invest in paid media (Drive Web Traffic)
If executed well, Social Media and Public Relations efforts drive a considerable amount of traffic to your website. However, these methods might take a lot of time to gain traction, thus the need for paid media. Example: Search Engine Marketing, Display Ad Banners and Social Media Ads.
With paid media, you’ll be able to reach a very targeted audience and swiftly drive traffic to your websites. Increased visibility via paid media will eventually help improve organic searches leading to better search ranking.
7: Measure Your Efforts
Nobody gets it right the first time, but it is important that you learn by measuring your SEO results.
SEO is a long-term process which takes a considerable amount of time and effort to see results.
Instead of being obsessed with search rankings, businesses should focus on building a website with great user experience and share great content regularly. Plus ensuring web traffic is consistently being directed via Owned, Earned and Paid Media.