Most business owners and organizations have, at the minimum, a vague notion of the existence of SEO, or search engine optimization.
However, for the more advanced, SEO is a crucial piece of any digital marketing strategy, alongside PPC (pay per click) ads and social media marketing.
What sets SEO aside from the other arms of a multifaceted digital marketing strategy, however, is the end results. A well-executed SEO strategy requires an active initial investment, just like the other branches, but has a massive pay-off. That is, once it is done, for the most part, it stays done.
A PPC campaign requires a constant source of funds to maintain, and social media marketing requires active maintenance. A good SEO job, however, has passive staying power once established, negating any effects of an algorithm change. Notice the caveat, though. It has to be well-executed.
The Staying Power of a Strong Backlink
The two main categories of SEO are on-site and off-site SEO. While great on-site SEO is crucial, it is heavily supported and held up by off-site infrastructure. Backlinking is a sub-discipline of SEO, one that explores the connections between other websites and your own, and how Google views these relationships.
The gold-standard for a backlink is a do-follow link, and Google reads this type of link as an endorsement for this site. It is one site vouching for another.
Where you get these do-follow backlinks from is what really matters, however. It doesn’t help your campaign much if your site is being endorsed by a site that Google doesn’t deem to be trustworthy.
The absolute best backlinks are from .edu and .gov subdomains, as they are typically very highly rated and trustworthy. A backlink from a site with these subdomains creates a strong and lasting infrastructure to your site and can raise the baseline of your site’s rankings, giving you a sort of safety net. This is where the rea; staying power of SEO can come from.
A website for a government or educational organization is not likely to ever fall in rankings in the Google search results, so if they are linking to you, you can assume that your site can maintain a hold on it’s ranking.
PPC is fantastic for exposure and impressions, however, the click-through rate is lower than organic search results. People tend to ignore ads. They want to know what Google says is the best result, not what it is being paid to show. It creates a better sense of trust in the validity of the result.
SEO, while an inherently in-organic process, creates organic results. Simply optimizing your site and infrastructure via keyword research and implementation and backlinks from topically relevant verticals to best tell Google who and what you are is a key to a more organic sales funnel. A paid ad is a great way to get eyes on your site, but an organic result has better CTR, even if it does win out slightly in conversion. However, SEO and PPC should be complementary and should be used together to ensure the best results.
Local SEO Is Fairly Easy and Extremely Potent
Assuming that your target market is those who live within your immediate area, local SEO and “near me” search optimization has huge potential for increasing business and conversion. Traditional local marketing such as mailers and coupons are still a viable strategy, but less and less so every year.
Instead, the market is utilizing local searches for this. Local searches open you up to a market of ready and active buyers, as they already know they need your product or service (and are actively searching it out). If you’re not in the local Google My Business results, you’re missing out on actual free business. It has an incredible conversion too, with 88% of users calling or visiting the business that they chose within 24 hours.
PPC Marketing Is Great, and so Is Social Media, But…
No marketing is whole without a solid SEO or SEM strategy. Organic search engine results can outperform many paid campaigns, and even when they aren’t too-well executed and fall short, they fill the gaps, creating a more robust and multifaceted sales funnel. It can take a lot of work, but surely some of your competitors aren’t even doing the basics, so if you’re not utilizing SEO, you really should.
Author Byline: Brady McCall
Author Bio: Brady McCall is an SEO Specialist who specializes in Local SEO. Find out more about his work at https://www.seolocalchicago.com/