What Is SEO Marketing – How to Win in 2019
What is SEO marketing? Good question… SEO Marketing refers to using a set of marketing techniques used to optimize the content on the world wide web with the intent to organically rank it higher in search engine results.
SEO marketing has proven to offer numerous benefits. Some of the major ones are:
- Creating More Visibility
- Maximize Conversions
- Create a Strong Online Presence
- Help Brands Build Authority
- Increase Quality and Quantity of Traffic
Keep reading and we will explain the different components that work together to make SEO marketing effective, so that you can use them to begin pushing your brand towards success.
What is SEO Marketing? – 4 Steps to Successful SEO Marketing
To answer your question, “What is SEO marketing?” we first must help you understand the 4 main components that work together to make a successful SEO marketing strategy:
- Understanding Your Target Market
- Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
The next few sections will break down each of these components into steps that you can take to make SEO marketing work for your brand.
What is SEO Marketing? – Understanding Your Target Market
One of the first steps in any type of marketing, is understanding your target market. It is important to be in tune with your potential prospects’ problems and expectations so that once you’ve done your research, you can build the best strategy possible to suit their needs.
Moreover, understanding how your prospective clients think and feel is the most crucial factor involved in being able to effectively communicate with them in the first place.
Building buyer personas, writing down questions your prospects will be asking, and listing problems they may face in everyday life will help you better tune in with their wants and needs as a whole, and individually.
This understanding, in turn, wil help you “position” your offers, web pages, and essentially, your entire content marketing strategy to act as a response to the unsatisfied needs of your future customers.
After you understand the people or businesses you will be targeting with your content, the next step is understanding how search engine optimization works so that you can put your knowledge into practice.
What is SEO Marketing? – Understanding SEO
Before you set out to build content for your potential customers, you first need to understand the basics of search engine optimization. (SEO) Without knowing what search engines look for in your content to rank it among your competitors, positioning your content effectively will be like walking in the dark in a strange place. (a.k.a… Near impossible.)
This next section will outline the different aspects of organic search engine optimization, so that you can get a better understanding of what it entails, and why it’s important to either learn the business, or have a professional SEO marketing team on your side to make sure your marketing efforts produce the highest return possible for your investments.
What is SEO Marketing – SEO Basics
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website’s content, both on page and off page, so that it is discovered easily by search engines, with the intent to have it indexed, and ranked high in search engine results. The way that you do this is by understanding how search engines read the information that is on your website, and what they are looking for in order to rank it amongst all the other choices.
These next two paragraphs will get you up to speed on that…
How Do Search Engines Work?
The way search engines work is simple… Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and other search engines all over the world have a job to do. When a person enters a search term or query into a search engine, the search engines have to go out and find the best results for the term that they are searching. The way they do this is by indexing all of the information is available online, and then using a ranking system with preset algorithms to tell which ones are best.
Once they do this, they are able to easily pull up the information that is most qualifies to answer our search queries when the information is needed.
In order to optimize your content so that it is indexed and ranked high in search engine results, (SERPS) you first need to know what the ranking factors are that search engine are looking for when they rank content. This next section will tell you the main factors that your content is judged on…
What is SEO Marketing? – Page Level Ranking Factors
If you want the short version, Google said it best when they stated, “You should build a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better.” That said, if you were to design all of your content to benefit the user, you most likely would have decent organic optimization just naturally without even trying.
However, because of the way they have everything set up online, and because the search engines have to keep everyone and everything in mind, all of the factors involved in getting your content 100% optimized can get pretty tedious unless you have been working with it for a while. That said, you may want to grab a pen for this next section, and write these steps down to serve as a checklist for you to guide you until you have them all memorized.
Here are the main factors involved with optimizing your content for higher rankings:
Title and Subtitle Optimization
It’s important to have your targeted keyword in the H1 tag of your page, and in at least one other subheading. What this does, is it communicates with web crawlers and tells them what the content is about, and that you’re not changing subjects or just covering the topic briefly.
For image optimization, it’s important to use your keywords in the alt tag, so that the search engine spiders can tell what your picture is about. Search engine crawlers can’t see like and interpret pictures like humans do. They can read sort of like we read the book, but they can’t see visibly. Your alt tag (picture labels or descriptions) should have your main keyword used in them, and a description of what’s in the picture so that:
- Visually impaired people have access to the content
- Search engines can know that the picture is relevant to your topic.
Your keyword should also be used your meta titles and meta descriptions. Meta titles and meta descriptions are the pieces of content that is actually visible in search engine results when you Google something.
Your keyword should be in both the title portion and the description portion so that people searching for your targeted terms can easily understand what your page is about when they read it..
In addition, your titles and descriptions should be well-thought-out and written in a way that will make your page stand out from your competitors, and have a high click-through rate.
Your targeted keyword should be used throughout your content some, but not so much that it looks unnatural. On average, it’s good to keep your keyword density at about 1.5% of your entire content. An easy way to do this is to just explain your topic to your website visitors just like you’re explaining something to a close friend.
Basically, if you do it that way you don’t have to worry about your keywords, or your keyword synonyms because they’re all going to fall in contextually just by honestly explaining the topic to someone.
Your content-length comes into play as a ranking factor because simply put, you can’t learn as much from a 350-word article as you can from a 1200 word article. If your topic has six different subheadings and a final thoughts section and it explains a topic in depth, it’s going to look a lot more valuable to the web crawlers than someone who’s got a 350-word article that has two subheadings and a final thoughts section. Common sense right?
The search engines are programmed so they understand that too, so longer content has a tendency to rank higher than short content.
Readability comes into play because you want to have your content well written and easily accessible to all age groups and all walks of life. Ideally, you want to keep your writing neat and easily understandable, leaving out any jargon and big words that might confuse the average reader.
Formatting and Scannability
Formatting is important because of people that surf the Internet read differently that print readers. They have a tendency to scan down the left-hand side of the page, looking for signs that the content is what they want to read first.
So, your formatting comes into play as a ranking factor because Google and other search engines algorithms read the content and decide if it is easily scannable so that readers don’t have a hard time reading it. The use of bullet points, short paragraphs, white space, and tables or graphs, can make your content easily readable and scannable so that it doesn’t just look like a big wall of text.
Here’s a tip… Keeping short paragraphs with between 1 and 3 lines will look great on desktop and mobile, while longer paragraphs will look horrible on smaller mobile devices. So a good rule of thumb is just to use short paragraphs.
Page Loading Speed
Page loading speed is important before ranking factors even come into play, because they can frustrate your visitors. There have been studies proving that if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you’re losing over 60% of your visitors. With the current amount of competition that is out there in just about every niche, it is easier than ever for internet users to just slide you off the screen when they get frustrated, and go to someone else’s site that is loading faster.
Internal and External Linking
Internal and external linking are both very important page level ranking factors for their own reasons…
Your external linking refers to links going from your content to relevant content on someone else’s website. In other words, if you write an article about babies getting rashes from certain types of laundry detergent, you would want to have an external link going to solid proof of the problem and maybe another one linking out from the solution.
In general, links to org. websites, gov websites, or. edu websites who are focused on topics within your niche are the best ones to link to, because:
- A .org or .edu is generally a government or educational type website
- They are known for having proven, solid facts on their pages.
- They get tons of natural backlinks because of their positioning
- Search engine algorithms recognize them as authoritative sources.
Internal linking is important because your internal links communicate the following information to web crawlers:
- That you care about your visitor and want them to be able to navigate easily on your website
- That you have other pages that are either relevant to the same topic, or that you feel your readers may also be interested in reading
- The order and importance of your internal hierarchy (site structure)
- How Google accesses your site
- Which pages are most important on your website
But that’s a whole different topic, so we’ll get into that on another post…
What is SEO Marketing? Understanding Technical SEO
First, what is technical SEO? Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website to make it useful and crawler friendly. How fast your website loads, how the pages are organized, making your pages optimized to be responsive across all devices are all key factors in optimizing your website from a technical standpoint.
This is a big factor in SEO marketing, not only because over half of your visitors could leave if you have a slow site, but also because optimizing the technical aspects of your website allow search engine crawlers to easily crawl, read, and interpret your website correctly, and make sure that your content isn’t losing value or not getting indexed because it’s hard to get to.
Here are the most important technical SEO factors in search engine optimization:
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Basically, it is the certificate that provides a standard security layer establishing a secure connection between the web server and the browser. If you’ve seen the lock emblem in the address bar of your browser, that that means that the site has that you were on or going to was SSL secured.
If you have got a warning before and seen red in the address bar of your browser, that’s because the website you were on or attempting to go to didn’t have an SSL certificate.
Having a secure connection not only protects your website’s content and server-client communication… It protects your visitors too in the event that their information is entered at some point like at checkout, when signing up for your newsletter, filling out surveys, etc. Besides, Google started back in 2014 that they were giving preference to websites with SSL, and even consumers are getting more and more leary of unprotected sites with the increase of identity theft, hackers, and dangerous malware online.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Mobile users are accounting for 63.4% of all web traffic according to this report on Statistica. In addition, Google is now giving preference to websites with mobile-friendly content. It’s very important to have your content, pictures, and other digital assets optimized to be responsive and easily accessible by mobile devices so that everyone looking for you online can benefit from what you have to offer, and so your rankings do not suffer.
Website speed is an important factor of technical optimization. Concantonizing and minimizing your HTML and CSS files, caching your pages, and optimizing your images are all things that you can do to keep your website loading as fast as possible.
Using Structured Data to Markup Your Content
Structured data is a string of code that is added to your website’s code. It is used to communicate your content more effectively to search engine crawlers while adding aesthetic value to the way your content appears in search engine results.
Add A Sitemap to Your Site
An XML sitemap is a file that you can add to your site that essentially serves as a map for search engine crawlers, guiding them through the content on your website. A sitemap will communicate important facts to search engine crawlers like:
- What Pages Have Priority on Your Site;
- How Frequently you Update your Content
- When you Make Changes or Modifications to Existing Content
Monitor for Errors and Warnings, and Keep up with Site Health
After you have your website optimized, you need to constantly be monitoring its performance to stay on top of issues that may arise and affect the integrity of your website’s performance. 404 errors, AMP page errors, broken images, and links, etc can all happen randomly and without warning.
For that reason, it is important to get your website hooked up in Google analytics and Google search console, so that you can get alerts and address these problems as they happen.
What is SEO Marketing? – Building a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
After you understand SEO and technical SEO, you are ready to start on your content marketing strategy. This process starts with market research. Competitor analysis, keyword research, tons of brainstorming, and then formulating the perfect strategy to design all the best content relevant to your niche.
Content marketing is exactly what websites like Bustle are doing to keep a steady flow of monetized traffic coming to their site and hold their authority within their niche. As you can see in the screenshot above, Bustle gets 100% organic traffic, and with over 120 million visitors a year, they are set to say the least.
How to Build a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Here are the main components of building a successful content marketing strategy:
Publish Consistent Original Content
Once you study your competition, understand your target market, and research keywords for your content strategy, all you have to do is start publishing and optimizing your targeted keywords. Some people use an editorial calendar, some people prefer a more natural approach, and they just write all the time and don’t worry about it. In the end, you will end up going with whatever is more comfortable for you, but the editorial calendar is easier to keep track of and measure.
Implementing all of the optimization factors that we talked about in step #2 above for SEO and technical SEO will ensure that your content is discoverable and indexable by search engines. Making a checklist of all of these factors will help you keep a strong SEO practice in place until the techniques are second nature to you allowing you to achieve the highest rankings possible for your assets…
Consitent Brand Presence and Consumer Interaction
It’s important to get on a personal level with your visitors whenever possible. Having Q and A session, FAQ pages, webinars, podcasts, etc… will help you to keep your visitors in the loop and make sure that they aren’t left hanging when they need something. Put a lot of time into your email marketing strategy, and consider maybe even segmentation if your niche is broad so that you can communicate more on a personal level with your subscribers based on their interests, age groups, etc….
Building a Strong Digital Footprint
Decide what platforms you want to use to communicate your brand’s message, and stay consistent across all of them. Ideally, you want to choose the platforms that will be most beneficial to your niche, and then you want your brand to look like the same strong, proud brand on every platform.
Now that everything is in place, you’ve got the keys to building a successful brand… All you have to do is stick with it. There are other aspects of marketing that we could have gone into, especially in search engine marketing (SEM) but that is a different topic, so we will write about that in a later post.
What is SEO Marketing – Final Thoughts
We hope that this information has answered your question, “What is SEO marketing?” We tried to write it in a way that would be easy for you to understand, so that you can put it into action on your own website or blog, and start enjoying the benefits of being able to place your content. SEO marketing is a proven method of getting consistent results from your efforts, and it has made a ton of brands what they are today.
If you have questions or comments, use our contact page here to contact us, or you can leave a comment on any page and we will generally respond in under 24 hours.