Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most powerful marketing strategies for brands today. With an ever-increasing reliance on the internet, smartphones, and all things digital, marketing executives need to figure out how to use their websites effectively to perfect their online inbound marketing strategy.
Whether you’re a brand that’s been established for years or you’re just starting up, you should be spending time on search engine marketing. There are many advantages to a good SEO strategy, and your competitors likely have one, so you can’t afford to fall behind.
Advantages of SEO
Creating a search engine marketing strategy is important for online brands as well as brick-and-mortar stores which have an online presence. Whether drawing customers to your website is the end goal or you’re trying to attract more people to step into your physical location, SEO can help you achieve that goal.
One of the most immediate benefits of a good SEO strategy is the increased traffic to your website. When optimized effectively, your website has the chance to reach the first page of search engine results, with the first three results being the most coveted as they typically take about 60% of all clicks.
This high ranking is essential to achieving the other benefits that SEO has to offer. If your website isn’t ranking on the first page, people may never find you. What’s more, think about the last time you looked beyond the top results or went to the second page. Chances are, it wasn’t recently.
So, good search engine marketing should land you in top positions, which means your links will get more visibility from your target audience.
This is also relevant for executives and SEO managers who seek more foot traffic to their physical stores. If your website ranks high in search results for local searches, such as “marketing contractor in Seattle,” that could turn into a phone call that same day.
When it comes to increasing traffic, your inbound marketing strategy needs to focus on SEO.
Acquire Quality Leads
Lead generation is obviously an important part of an inbound marketing strategy, and if it’s not, it should be. Quality leads result in better conversion rates. Lead generation for the sake of lead generation won’t get you anywhere, so SEO managers must determine how to not only find leads, but quality leads. Easier said than done, but SEO can help.
Let’s say that you’re looking to build a new customer base in your area. To raise awareness for your brand, you stuff mailboxes with fliers informing people of your products or services. As expected with this type of marketing, most recipients will probably toss out your flier after glancing at it for a second or two. Or they won’t bother with it at all. Either way, this is wasted resources, manpower, and opportunity.
However, if you target people who you know are interested in what you have to offer, you’ll see better results. Continuing with our marketing contractor example, stuffing fliers into people’s mailboxes isn’t targeted enough. But if someone searches “marketing contractors near me” and they click the link to your website, you could implement a featured section of the landing page (or a controversial pop-up box) to ask for their email address. You can then use their address to inform them of sales and promotions or offer email-only deals.
Or, you could create a dedicated landing page that offers a download-only special rates brochure, or perhaps a free eBook, in exchange for the visitor filling out a short form and providing their email address.
You already know that this person is interested in these offerings because they initiated a relevant search. Generating leads this way will produce better results than randomly inviting anyone with a mailbox.
Build Brand Authority
A good SEO strategy involves backlinks. Backlinks are links that point to your site from another site, and these could call attention to specific information, a product or service, or simply the business at large. When other sites link to yours, it improves your brand authority.
Other brands may begin to recognize you as a relevant voice in the industry and customers will deem you trustworthy. Google and other search engines recognize these links as votes of confidence and will validate that authority as part of their ranking algorithms.
As a marketing executive, you know that creating brand authority by any means is a valuable initiative for your inbound marketing strategy. When something new or interesting happens in the industry, you want consumers to come to you first to hear your take or try a new product. The trust that you build with consumers will turn into better quality leads and higher conversion rates.
Better Return on Investment
There are lots of ways to increase traffic, leads, and sales on your site. Some require you to spend more money than others but can be significantly more effective and the return on investment makes up for the initial cost.
SEO marketing is a cost-effective option for the results it provides. You’ve already got a website, you’re already creating content (and if not, you should be), so you just need to learn how to market the brand organically in the most effective way possible. Hiring an SEO manager and or an external team (consultants, agency, etc.) to help will cost time and money, but the results are well worth it.
In our earlier example of printing and mailing fliers, there are costs associated with designing, printing, and mailing these fliers. These costs may be lower than hiring a marketing team, but how many of those fliers will be read? And how many will result in a sale or a new customer? The results of a campaign like this are difficult to measure, but you can bet that the return on investment is going to be low.
When you focus on a developing and fine-tuning a search engine marketing strategy, you can:
Track where clicks come from.
See how many leads were generated.
Easily track goals and achievements.
Understand what’s effective and what’s not.
Focus on time and resources that produce the best results.
So, not only will you be able to acquire better leads with a good SEO strategy, but you will also be able to learn what works best in attracting your target audience for a better return on investment.
Hiring an Agency
One way to improve your inbound marketing strategy is to hire an agency with a dedicated SEO manager to help you. A thorough strategy is never complete. You need to constantly revisit your strategy, update your website, and create new content to maintain good standing and keep up with search marketing trends. For these reasons, many brands hire an agency as improving a strategy is no small task.
If your marketing team doesn’t have the time and energy to fully dedicate to spending more time on SEO, consider partnering with a professional that specializes in the field.
The most valuable thing that an agency brings to the table is expertise. There are so many components and tactics to SEO and navigating this world when your team has little experience or relevant skills can be daunting.
Use your time and energy on the things that you do best and hire an SEO manager to handle all the components of organic search marketing. A new or struggling business may look to cut costs, but hiring an agency is a step in the right direction for search success. With the right partner, you may find that they’re boosting your numbers better than you ever could on your own.
SEO is an Ongoing Process
New technology and the ever-changing factors that Google uses to evaluate websites means SEO strategies must change and adapt just as often. What your team is doing today may be totally irrelevant in a month’s time.
Are you aware of the latest SEO trends? This is another advantage of having an SEO manager on board. These people are dedicated to staying abreast of the latest trends and changes so they can keep your inbound marketing strategy fresh.
An SEO professional can continually work to update your website, so you stay relevant and keep up with the competition. They can manage this entire process while you stay focused on your own job duties.
Get Started Today
It’s not enough to just have good products and services. Consumers need to be able to find solutions to their problems online easily, and your team needs to get there before your competitors do.
How often do you think people click to Google’s second page of search results? The First Page is where it’s at. First Page results will get you more traffic, more leads, and more revenue. Invest in your inbound marketing strategy by spending more time on SEO. Make sure it gets done right by hiring a team to help you build and execute your strategy.