Original post from Search Engine Land.
In an online business environment that’s heavily dependent on organic search, the lack of an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is detrimental to your growth and profitability.
In this column, we will look at three SEO facts that business leaders should know to achieve excellent results.
Fact #1: SEO Is Not An Add-On, But A Build-In
Search engines have become an indispensable part of the consumer’s decision-making and buying process, which means that organic search is important for every business. Being visible in Google and other search engines matters because that’s where most searchers go to look for things — and where most traffic to your website will come from. Organic search connects you with buyers.
Factors that affect your ranking on search engines are not limited to your own site, either. Some of the most important ranking factors are external, such as getting links from other authoritative websites in your niche. Google counts them as “votes” in your favor.
For best results, search engine optimization should be integrated with all of your other marketing initiatives from the start. Breaking down silos and working with other departments is mutually beneficial for all parties! Here’s how:
If content marketing is an important element of your traffic generating strategy, then you must first research your ideal prospect’s search behavior to gather insights for planning your content.
Doing this before creating your content will help tailor whatever you create to the existing needs and current behavior of your clients.
Some business leaders consider paid traffic to be completely distinct from search engine optimization, not realizing that an SEO specialist can help you amplify the reach and impact of your paid search campaigns.
It is true that SEO and paid search are different beasts, requiring specialized knowledge. But both address search users, and having SEO and PPC teams work together can be powerful.
SEO specialists tap into multiple data sources and use research and analysis techniques that can make PPC experts more effective at generating sales and boosting profits. And conversely, PPC is a great way to try out new ideas and experiment with conversion-boosting techniques before investing a larger budget into long-term strategies like SEO and content marketing.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Just getting more visitors isn’t enough. You must convert them into paying customers, or get them to do what you want. And SEO can bring you better results once you understand your typical website visitor on a deeper level.
- Why did they come to your website?
- What do they want from you?
- How do they intend to act on your information?
Armed with this data and insight from an SEO expert, you’ll better understand the psychology of website visitors and can use it in your online communication to improve conversions.
Insights gathered from Google can help future-proof your business. By digging into archived, historical data and comparing it against future trends, you can
- analyze markets
- study competitors
- make sales forecasts
- allocate resources
All of this will help you find out what you need to become a market leader, how long it will take to beat your competition, and which activities will get you there in a cost-effective manner.
A good SEO analyst can help you uncover information that will warn you against venturing into markets which are too competitive, or safeguard you from wasteful investments in areas with low profit potential.
Branding & Communication
Once you understand what goes on in your ideal customers’ minds, your brand message and marketing communication will be more consistent and more effective. It costs nothing to access Google’s search data and study it for insights.
Are you speaking in your customer’s language? Have you identified the most frequent questions your customers ask? Do you solve the major problems that they are facing?
Your story becomes more interesting when you talk about what they are already interested in.
Knowing what your prospects care about, you can:
- reach out with a helping hand
- offer valuable resources
- plan effective brand campaigns
- conduct interesting and entertaining interviews
- use data intelligently
- combine it with your other data and information to amplify the impact
Integrating SEO into all that you do, both offline and on, can enhance your results and speed up your growth.
On the other hand, trying to “slap on some SEO” like putting icing on a cake doesn’t work. This mindset is why many businesses don’t experience success with search engine optimization.