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SEO for the marketing specialist

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Search engine optimization is undoubtedly one of the most effective disciplines of online marketing. For most agencies the goal is to rank as high as possible in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). If we would define SEO it would be something like this: “All activities combined that take place to achieve maximum results for specific keywords in the SERP.”

Why is SEO so special and why is it being used so intensively? Here are four reasons:

  1. Psychologically, in our minds it works as follows: Whenever a visitor finds something on his own, it’s automatically worth more than when forced upon by ads for example. I mean take a look at how this works in sales: “Nobody wants to be sold to, but everybody wants to buy!”
  2. The positions and visitors are value-proof. Once you’re up there, it is much easier to increase the conversion rates of those visitors on-page than to gain a little more visitors by increasing your ranking just a bit further.
  3. SEO is still basically free. It often seems like a first step towards online success.
  4. The trustworthiness of your site is associated with its ranking, therefore higher positions mean higher brand value.

“Nobody wants to be sold to, but everybody wants to buy!”

In this article i will give insights based on three objectives how SEO can be used by marketing specialists.

Goal 1: more inbounds, more sales, increasing revenue

Omnichannel approach

With SEO there is still a lot which can be accomplished within the marketingmix. For example, many marketing specialists haven’t noticed how mobile usage and mobile search has taken flight over time. Google research shows (Our Mobile Planet in The Netherlands)  that more than 40% of smartphone users perform at least one or more search querys on a daily basis.

This intense use of search engines will only increase over the coming years by optimized user-friendliness of websites, investments in infrastructural improvements and device speed.

Another critical issue is that many marketing specialists do not take into account the technique of websites and their speed. With a faster website and optimal use of technical SEO, the effect of on-page optimization can be increased a lot.

Integrating a PPC campaign into your SEO campaign can give you another 40% more visitors and 44% more conversions.

This of course also applies to the use of multiple channels. So try to make sure that the different channels are connected in the most logical way possible. When posting something on a social channel start by using the same keywords that return in your ppc campaign and refer to a webpage with the same keywords in the title and description. Always take the visitors intention into account. Do you want to be spot-on? Then make sure you gain qualitative reviews that will show in the SERP using rich snippets.

Of course, we haven’t spoken yet about linkbuilding and how to optimize domain value or gain link juice. Many marketing specialists misinterpret analytics or do not make use of rich tools like Rank Watch

Goal 2: Reduce costs

Although it is never wise to choose between SEO, SEA or social media, it often appears to be the only option for small businesses when they start participating in online marketing. Getting indexed costs nothing after all. The startup costs of a website and its content are high when starting from scratch because of the need for professional help or the efforts to do it yourself. After this initial investment most of the time visitors will discover your website naturally due to question steered demand and of course search engines.

Small businesses on average spend four times more money on SEA than on SEO. This is mostly due to inadequate campaign management or the lack of knowledge with the entrepreneurs. However, if you need to position your website with high competitive keywords amongst the rest of the world wide web or even locally, costs for SEA stay variable with time passing whereas SEO will keep you in place with fewer efforts. So if you’re on a budget start writing valuable content which answers the questions of your potential vistor. Try to get into their minds by analyzing the customer journey when they’re in search of solutions that your company can offer. Make sure you’ll have adequate CTA’s (call-to-actions) and track the hits by creating an appealing landing page after a form is filled-out.

“Small businesses on average spend four times more money on SEA than on SEO.”

Goal 3: Branding

Even though investing in traditional media is way more expensive than internet marketing and less measurable. In the Netherlands expenses in internet marketing are exceeding traditional advertising spendings in TV commercials. This is due to its effectiveness. The outlook is that this will increase even more over time.

“When it comes to traditional visibility and TV must compete with measurable internet marketing it also seems to lose.”

In other words; every impression in media has its value. So if you’re looking for display? Then check your SEO efforts in search console and see how they develop in comparison to your investments in SEO. When you’re a marketing specialist and looking for views? SEA display advertising is a hugely effective tool for more targeted exposure. Like i’ve said before, people expect popular brands to be on top in the SERP.

So when it comes to traditional visibility and TV must compete with measurable internet marketing it also seems to lose. Not even to mention the growth that YouTube and YouTube advertising has gone through the last years.

Overall if you’re looking for cheaper and more effective routes to increase brand value, SEO and PPC are the way to go. My advise is to first check al your measuring tools and start by creating a baseline and go from there. Use tools like Search Console and Google Analytics to see how much brand juice you gain from SEO alone. What are your positions right now and how many impressions do you have on those critical words?

Conclusion

SEO should unmistakenly be on the radar of every marketing specialist because whether you want more online revenue or position your brand better; SEO is by far the obvious choice. Start by getting your Google free tools installed like Search Console and Google Analytics or take it even further by implementing a professional analytics tool. Then determine your starting point and budget and go from there.

Take into account that the customer buying journey is psychological and follow’s three simple stages: Know, Like, Trust,.

If you want people to get to know you, you need to be found by your buyer persona. Therefore SEO is a crucial part of every business. If you are able to influence the technical state of your website or webshop you will find that most of the quick wins are found in this area. Use tools like Rank Watch for example to verify your domainvalue and backlink status. Now you’ll have a baseline. The next up is to check if you know who can be your buyer persona. Plan a meeting with your company’s management team and ask them who they want to reach out to by determining your company’s buyer persona. This will generate long-tail and short-tail keywords which you can use to build your content around.

Now you’ll have all the ingredients for improving your SEO.

Ellert Boeke on LinkedinEllert Boeke on Twitter
Ellert Boeke
In my role as a board member and consultant at Online Marketing Pro I'm considered an innovative out-of-the-box thinker who values intellectual challenge and competition.
This is why I approach challenges strategically, assessing situations from all angles.
+energetic +creative +original +motivated +abstract-thinker +dot-connector helping businesses gaining higher goals online
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