As any SEO marketing agency will tell you, search engine optimisation (SEO) is your gateway to increasing website traffic, gaining brand awareness, trust and understanding consumer behaviour.
It plays a pivotal role in a digital marketing strategy. Here are some interesting stats:
- Search engines account for 93% of all initial online experiences (Forbes)
- Organic searches account for 53% of all website traffic (BrightEdge)
- Over 1000% more traffic is driven by SEO than organic Social Media (BrightEdge)
- Google is now using 200 ranking factors to determine a company’s suitability to be atop the search engine results page for a search term (Backlinkto)
So what does this mean to an entrepreneur
First, you have little choice if you want to successfully market your business regardless of what country, sector or niche you plan to be in without SEO.
Where the crossroads come into play is the old saying, ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’.
There are many marketing derivatives that can also increase brand awareness that can be deployed (regardless of the damning statistics above). Digital marketing is octopus-like; it can spread its tentacles and utilise changing trends and behavioural patterns that have evolved through the pandemic to get you in front of new audiences that may not have been here in 2019.
Understanding the pressure of ever-evolving digital marketing trends should make entrepreneurs realise that bottle-necking your profit targets through a single marketing component is not an intelligent way to evolve. Regardless of statistics, lines can get blurred.
So, we get to where there is a difference between the two.
The Difference Between SEO and Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the umbrella under which SEO is the strategy that is working continually to bring organic traffic and brand awareness to you.
When you break SEO best practices down, they are the vehicles that optimise web pages and build links with other relevant sites within your niche/industry to gain search engine awareness.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, can act as a direct conduit through paid marketing and social media.
Planning an SEO Campaign
SEO campaigns are not a quick fix, regardless of what else you may read or be told.
Analytics plays a vital starting role alongside keyword research and building, creating, and engaging content that utilises keyword research.
Part of the foundation includes:
- A website audit
- What pages are hot or cold with traffic
- Keyword research – behavioural patterns
- Keyword-rich content curation and implementation
- Finding authoritative websites and looking to link build
- Analytics – CTRs, bounce rates, heatmap analysis ++
Planning a Digital Marketing Campaign
Getting the basics right will eventually lead to the benefits of multifaceted online and offline strategies.
- Determine your buyer’s persona
- Creating short and long-term objectives
- Evaluating the budget for paid advertising and other strategies
- Organising calendar targets
- Implementing systems or apps for tracking and performance
Strategies of SEO
Typically there are three common SEO strategies that, in conjunction, get organic traffic flowing to your website.
The on-page strategy focuses on optimising your website content.
Target the primary and general keywords and phrases you have identified as relevant to your business. Using this strategically while keeping the content engaging will help Google identify your authority in these areas and rank you higher.
Your keywords will be placed in headers, meta descriptions, URLs and content body, all for Google to clarify what each web page represents.
Also, linking up with other high-authority websites and pages helps with this part of your strategy. Also, internal links should be cleverly placed to help guide the user to your end goal, your contact-us page and become a lead.
Your off-page strategy is gaining notoriety with Google using external websites.
This involves link building. Building external links help increase your authority which is vital in your search rankings.
E-A-T is a term that you will encounter when working with an SEO marketing agency – it stands for:
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
All three of these are the benchmark that Google evaluates where you fit in on their search results.
User Experience (UX) is another term you regularly encounter on your journey. This refers to the experience a user has when they visit your website.
This is something Google values highly and must be on point for your rankings to succeed. Also, this is where many small to medium-sized businesses turn to an SEO marketing agency for help.
Things such as
- Load-up Speed
- Mobile Friendliness
- Accurate Images and Video Sizes
- Plus, many more factors have to be on point.
Factors such as how long a user stays on your site and how many pages they click through are now ranking factors for Google. So your website must be visually stimulating, and your content, images and videos must be engaging to keep them on the site and ultimately lead them down your sales funnel.
Strategies of Digital Marketing
Common Digital Marketing Strategies are
- PPC – Pay-per-click. This form of advertising is still relevant for many businesses and can be effective. It’s paid to advertise. At the top of every Google search, you will notice a small box saying ‘AD’. Facebook ads also work in the same way.
- Mobile Marketing – This is where you use a combination of social media, SMS and other mobile apps to send messages.
- Social Media Marketing – We are all familiar with the explosion of social media in recent times. Set up on various platforms and grow your audience with engaging videos and blogs.
- Influencer Marketing – This is relatively new to the marketing scene. Still, influencers on social media platforms, especially Instagram, can quickly gain significant exposure for you through their users. Look to them for a collaboration.
- Offline Marketing – This can be effective by utilising paid offline channels. TV, magazines, radio and podcasts can help generate and convert offline users into customers.
SEO and digital marketing go hand-in-hand, but as you have just read, some differences may not be apparent when entering the online world. However, for businesses big and small, it will play a more pivotal role in your future success every year. Working closely with an SEO agency will help define a digital marketing and SEO strategy to ensure your marketing budget is effective. Good luck with 2023!