When you’re looking at digital marketing methods, it’s highly likely that, at some point, you’re going to come across the concept of reaching more customers through search engines like Google, Bing, and the like (though primarily Google.) Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are usually preferred as one of the most cost-effective ways to build up an online presence for your business, but rather than being a single discipline, it’s a combination of different tactics that all help to drive people to your website and there are specific keys to a successful search marketing strategy.
Mixing paid and free strategies
As with every online marketing effort, it’s easy for your budget to keep growing and growing unless you have a plan for how to manage it. In this case, it’s best to know which kinds of search engine marketing are free and which you have to pay for. This is usually considered the difference between SEO and SEM. SEM tends to involve ads that target customers through search networks like Google, whereas SEO usually revolves around things that can be done at no cost, like content marketing and improving your site meta-data. However, you can also pay agencies for help with free strategies, as well. Be clear on your budget, as well as what you can expect to make from that budget.
Content is king
It’s a common saying and it’s entirely true. Content marketing has become the backbone of a lot of different parts fo a digital strategy, and SEO is no different from that. Your goal is to drive more people to your website in the hopes of converting them to become customers and content plays a huge role in that. By writing content that answers the questions that your audience is asking and delivering the value that gets them to read and then further explore your website, you’re making it more likely that they will find that content by searching for the keywords related to ti. Which brings us to the next big factor.
Keywords are key
If you’ve looked into SEO at all, you will see that keywords are often considered to be the backbone of any SEO strategy. What this involves is essentially finding out which keywords and phrases your audience is using to look for services and content like yours, and then making sure you’re using those words and phrases in your content to better match their search queries. Smart use of keywords, such as building content pages around them with the right context, is essential. Old tactics like simply overusing keywords in your content as much as possible are shown to not work anymore. However, keyword finding tools can still be useful in helping you research which of them to build content around.
Follow the data
Measuring the effectiveness of search engine optimization and marketing has always been tricky. It’s easy to get caught in looking only at things like where your page ranks, rather than how those rankings affect your site’s performance. For that reason, it’s important to learn the SEO metrics that show you how much of an impact your efforts are actually having. For instance, metrics can show you how many more clicks you’re getting for the site but, perhaps more importantly, how many of those clicks are leading to conversions. There are a lot of strategies that will help you improve site visibility, but you need to align which metrics you measure to the actual goals fo your SEO efforts.
Optimizing how the site works is key
SEO isn’t just about making sure that your website matches the kind of content your customers are looking for. Search engines judge websites based on a range of criteria. One of those criteria is how well the site works. This includes things like page load time and whether or not all links lead to the correct pages. As such, it pays to optimize site content such as images and videos for smaller file sizes as much as possible. Furthermore, you can also perform crawls to make sure that all of your links are in working order. It may even be worth paying for a different host if that can lead to improved site load speed.
Make use of smart ad targeting
As mentioned, aside from increasing organic traffic through search engine optimization, you should also look at the advertising side of search engines. With a little spending, your webpages, products, and services can shoot up to the top of the search engine results pages. However, to make sure you do this within your budget, you need to optimize your ads. One way to do this is to target ads so you make sure that you’re not spending when people are less likely to convert on your site, or to people who aren’t likely to be your customers. Look at the search engine ad targeting features available to sharpen your focus on those who are most likely to return on your investment.
Get an audit to see what’s wrong with your site
We’ve already looked at some of the ways you can improve your website and why they are important to your search engine marketing efforts. However, you don’t have to simply feel your way around it, you can get detailed reports on precisely what’s stopping your site from performing as it should on social media, as well as actionable tips on how to fix it. Look at some of the SEO auditing tools available on the web. They will run through the site for a range of usability, navigation, and content issues that could be hurting your score on search engines, such as Google, and how to fix them.
SEO and SEM are undoubtedly big parts of most modern digital marketing strategies. If you want to get involved, you have to be willing to commit the time and effort into learning the different disciplines above, and the above tips are just a primer of keys to a successful search marketing strategy. Otherwise, be sure to work with SEO professionals who can help you learn the ropes.
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