SEO for marketing is important for every serious business that wants to grow its online brand presence. After all, every business seeks free marketing. SEO does just that; you get lots of visitors to your website who you can then convert into customers.
Let us start with the basics. Every business that is not marketing is doomed to fail. Marketing enables your potential customers to know of your existence. It also allows you to tell them why they should choose you over your competitors.
No matter how innovative your product is, it will fail if it is not backed by strong targeted marketing campaigns. This is why serious business managers have marketing policies. Most of them spend a certain percentage of their profits on marketing.
A great product with poor marketing will be outperformed by an average product with great marketing.
That statement right there should guide your business decisions. It is the basis of business success.
Every business needs a business website. After all, more than 4.5 billion people are active on the internet. How can you miss such a huge opportunity to convert 4.5 billion people into customers?
To be successful in digital marketing, you need strong inbound marketing campaigns. Inbound marketing is where you attract customers by offering value to them for free. After attracting them, you can then convert them into customers.
Inbound marketing is the opposite of interruption marketing. This is where you push your marketing messages out there without first adding any value in the lives of potential customers.
The best form of inbound marketing is content marketing. This is where a blog comes in. You need to give your prospects valuable content for them to consume. This generates brand loyalty.
When you give people value, they tend to reciprocate the favor by buying from you. They become lifetime customers. This lifetime value of customers is what every business needs.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimizing a website to rank in the SERP (Search Engine Ranking Pages).
Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo have algorithms that use many factors to determine how they rank different pages on SERP.
This is why you need to understand how to do SEO. Understanding the factors that help you rank and then incorporating them into your business website will help you rank.
Why is ranking important?
Let us be realistic. When you search on Google, which results do you click on? The answer is as good as mine; results that appear high on the first page. Period!
Statistics show that 92% of searchers do not go past the first page of Google. Thus, only 8% of searchers click on other pages.
This shows that if you are not on the first page, you are missing out on possible traffic to your site. Still, 38% of people tend to click on the first result. Therefore, few sites that rank higher on the first page of Google get almost all the traffic. This makes SEO for marketing extremely important.
Search engines use many factors to rank different pages. It is said that Google uses more than 200 factors to rank pages. Other than that, Google continues to update its search engine to provide the best results to users. Therefore, minor algorithm changes are made every day.
All these factors are important but some are important than others. These factors can be divided into 3 broad categories:
- Rank brain
Let us look at each:
Your content is the most important factor that will determine whether you rank or not. Many other ranking factors are dependent on the quality and quantity of content on your page and site. Some of these important ranking factors are:
- Time on site
- Page per session
- Bounce rates
- Content length
When writing content for your site, you need to have the user in mind.
How many minutes do people spend on your page and site? The higher, the better for SEO. More time on site means that your website offers visitors value. This is what search engines want.
Pages per session mean that visitors are enjoying being on your site. This is why they read more articles by loading more pages. This is also affected by your navigation.
Bounce rates mean that a visitor clicks on your site and bounces back to Google without visiting any other page. This is not a very good signal. It means that your site is not that informational. The higher the bounce rates, the worse it is for SEO.
Content length is also an important ranking factor. Research has shown that longer content ranks better than short content. Other than content length being a ranking factor, it also affects the time on page (which is a strong ranking factor).
Do not expect to rank with 300-700 words articles. Research shows that most articles that appear on the first page are mostly 1800 words and above. However, over 1200 word articles are considered good for SEO.
Content that ranks
In as much as the content length is important, the content has to be relevant and of high quality to the user. It has to satisfy user intent.
All SEO starts with keyword research. This includes SEO for marketing. You have to look for topics that people are already searching for.
If people are already searching for what you want to offer, that means that the demand is already there. You now have to differentiate your offering to get the demand flowing to you rather than your competitors.
There are many tools out there for keyword research including Google Keyword Tool and WordTracker. Use them to look for keywords that have high traffic and low competition.
The easiest keywords to rank for are long-tail keywords. These are 2-5 words phrases that people search on Google. For example: How to succeed in life. This is a long-tail keyword.
Focusing on a one-word keyword might not be as beneficial. This is because such terms have very high competition. It only makes sense to use them after your site has gotten a lot of authority on the web.
People search for different reasons. The intent might be:
This means that you have to understand what the user’s intent is before writing.
If a person searches the phrase ‘Dry cleaners’ on Google, they may be seeking to know how to use a dry cleaner or they want to buy one.
If you miss the user intent, you reduce the click-through rate and increase your bounce rates.
To know the user intent of a certain keyword, do a search of that keyword on Google, and look at what ranks. Google ranks what people are looking for. They observe the trends and serve what people want.
Therefore, if you want to write about how to use dry cleaners and what appears on the first page are product pages of dry cleaners, you need to look for another keyword.
Make sure you write what the user wants. This will satisfy the user and Google will reward you by ranking your site higher on the SERP. It is all about the user.
SEO for marketing: keywords
SEO for marketing is different from normal SEO. This is because you want the user to know about your product, its benefits, and make purchases.
For this reason, it is always important to write on what relates to your product or service offering. You cannot be selling cars and you are writing on real estate. Although you may rank on SERP, you will have almost zero conversions.
Your keywords have to be targeted. Focus on people who are already looking for what you are offering.
If you sell cars, a keyword like ‘Best Toyota Car’ might be good for you. People who do such a search are mostly looking for a car to buy.
The best way to write the content is to write general unbiased reviews of different Toyota cars and then offer to sell them one. If the content is too promotional, people tend to leave the site. This is because they are looking for information about the Best Toyota car to purchase.
Therefore, SEO for marketing is a bit tricky. You have to handle it well. This is because it involves people’s money. Transactional intents are more critical than informational.
Key website ranking factors
For a site to rank on SERP, it has to have these three major components:
Let us discuss each.
Your site has to offer expert advice to rank. This is more critical if your site deals with people’s lives and money. Google calls this ‘Your Life Your Money’. Sites that deal with such have to show expertise.
To show expertise, you have to include the bios of authors in articles. Their qualifications have to make them experts in the field they are writing about.
Authority is boosted by the number of backlinks you have and the social shares. A site with more quality backlinks means that the site is of high authority. Such a site will rank higher in most cases.
Your site has to be trusted. This is especially if you are selling something. In most cases, SEO for marketing is done by sites that sell things.
In case you sell goods online, have a proper return policy. This will make you more trustworthy.
Let your physical location and contact details be accessible to all. Provide an email or a phone number. Similarly, link to your social pages and timelines. This will make the prospect trust you.
Backlinks are strong ranking factors. They are a sign of recommendation by other sites. You have to get more backlinks and from high-quality sites.
To get backlinks, you can use the following strategies:
- Guest posting for other sites in exchange for a link back to your site.
- Direct outreach. You can tell other site owners about site content and ask them to link back to you.
- Directory listing.
- Broken links. Identify a broken link in another site using the broken links checker tool and offer your article as a replacement.
In whatever you do, you have to get links to boost your domain authority.
3. Rank brain
Google’s search engine can differentiate between words and group them accordingly. For example, help and helping are related words and Google knows that.
Similarly, it can understand synonyms. This is why it is important to use them in your content.
The best way to do this is to look for a related keyword when doing keyword research and include them in your content. These are words that people may be using to look for your content.
Other important factors
There are other important factors when it comes to SEO for marketing.
Site navigation is of extreme importance. Make it easy for users to find what they want on your site.
The best ways to do this is to:
- Have several categories and subcategories on the main menu.
- Have related posts in between or after an article.
- Use a breadcrumb.
- Have a search bar that is functional and accessible.
- Differentiate the links from the content.
- Have a logo that is clickable to home.
All these help your users to access more information easily. With these, they tend to spend more time on your site. This will help you rank higher on SERP.
Make sure your site loads faster. People can only wait so long for your site to load. If it loads slowly, they will leave. This increases your bounce rates and reduces the number of visitors to your site. This will hurt your SEO and conversion.
To improve your site speed:
- Optimize your images.
- Page and browser caching.
- Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
- Embed videos instead of uploading them on the site.
- Update your themes and plugins.
- Use better hosting.
- Remove unused plugins, themes, media, etc.
- Avoid having so many ads on the page.
Even improving your load speed by one second will have a great impact on your SEO and conversion.
Bonus tips on SEO for marketing
- Optimize the title-tag.
- Use appealing title tags.
- Optimize the Meta description.
- Have a video on the page.
- Always have your keyword on the first 100 words of the page.
- Have your keyword on the H2 to H6 tags.
- Use a proper internal linking structure.
- Have your keyword on the Alt-text of images on the page.
- Share your content on social media.
- Have social sharing buttons.
- Use Google analytics.
- Use Google Search Console.
When you combine all these factors with the main factors, you will surely see positive results.
Final thoughts on SEO for marketing
Marketing is more useful than ever in this competitive business ecosystem. SEO for marketing is even more needed because it is free. It can bring millions of potential clients right to your doorstep.
Whatever kind of business you are doing, you need to do SEO for marketing. It will certainly pay off. No effort is wasted when it comes to SEO.
Founder/ C.E.O- Wealthy Wolves Consulting & Giimark Ltd/ Best-selling Author/ Speaker.