06 Apr Why SEO is Still the King of Digital Marketing
Customers Looking for Your Product/Service
SMB owners have 3 key digital marketing vehicles to generate new traffic and sales prospects: Social, PPC, or SEO. SEO doesn’t have the ongoing costs like PPC does. Searchers click on the natural search listings and you aren’t charged a penny. SEO has the reputation of zero cost, high revenue, however it does have a cost. It’s an equity investment cost that creates excellent returns over and over.
When you compete in SEO, it necessitates competing in content and conversion strategy. SEO traffic is the truest indicator of customer attitudes and preference. That’s excellent feedback. Optimization isn’t just keyword manipulation then, it’s optimizing the whole process of converting these excellent prospects are actively seeking solutions.
Discover the Top 12 Factors for creating top rankings and big traffic.
ROI is difficult to measure and very often SEO isn’t given credit for the full value it generates. You’ll find your direct traffic increases along with your Google referals. Google doesn’t track referals very well, but we know most direct visits are actually Google visitors. Despite that, a few surveys show marketers do believe SEO underpins their success. When you consider the lifetime value that SEO produces, it is clearly a great part of any sustainable marketing effort.
Kiss Metrics conducted a study and this graphic shows that sales are attributable over a certain time period. Tracking over many years is more difficult because tracking cookies get deleted. A top notch tracking system lets them track revenue back to the keyword phrases typed in by customers.
Why is SEO Considered Most Impactful to Sales?
People search when they’re highly motivated and interested. Google searchers feel they’re being given the best sources for information and products and they’re on track to fulfillment. What Google knows is that search is like selling a bottle of water to a desperate, thirsty man in the desert – at the right time and place to get the best price. SEO is responsible for getting products/services exposed at the specific time customers most want to see them.
Think of how Coca Cola is everywhere to quench our thirst. This post describes how SEO is key to an omnipresence strategy that increases the value of PPC and social media.
Speaking of omnipresence, my national hotel client needed help with Google local rankings and in regular organic search rankings. I lifted their Google traffic from 1.2. million visits per year to 2.5 million visits. And I didn’t ask them to divert funds from their PPC campaign to organic search. I regret not being more assertive when in fact, my plan would have created much more benefit for them. Yet, no need to regret. They received incredible value for what they spent and as well, gave their competitors maximum hardship.
More than Keywords: SEO + Content Supercharges your Digital Marketing
In B2B marketing SEO is by far the most efficient from of promotion. To not do SEO is leaving a lot on the table. And by encouraging interesting and relevant content, SEO actually improves the performance of social media leads and ppc advertising leads. The spirit of SEO is an important driver in healthy digital marketing. PPC has no soul.
Google recently made some changes to Adwords because sales conversion has plummeted. They recently launched their band aid program called “smart goals” to help customers improve their poor conversion rates. The bigger problem is that PPC is a cheapskate’s ad tool. Adwords is all about getting something you didn’t deserve, and all too often the ads aren’t relevant. The top issue now is that advertisers have no money left for high quality engagement and conversion. It’s all down to a single minimalist landing page. Similarly, advertisers avoid social media as well. Now they’re stuck in PPC Hell.
That’s why doing PPC, email, SEO, and Social Media together in an integrated or Omnichannel strategy works best. Each channel supports the others and is able to create a variety of touchpoints with prospects in any industry.
Building more useful, relevant, engaging, and sharable content helps support your outreach and link building efforts. If you rely on one channel (e.g. Adwords) you won’t generate enough natural touchpoints with customers. Especially in B2B where purchase cycles are longer and highly involved, these multiple channels keep your company top of mind. And they give prospects multiple angles on your business. If your UVP message and branding is consistent, omnichannel can really make a strong impression. Omnichannel is where successful companies are headed. If you’re not there, you may be drowned out in all channels.
The Searcher Likes the Organic Search Experience
A search is a quest or an exciting adventure to find satisfaction. Searchers enjoy the control that Google organic search provides which other media don’t provide. SEO can lead to so many sources of satisfaction including a trip into social media. As a business serving customers, you should have very relevant, high quality content since it’s the essence of their search, whether it’s new home floorplans, neighborhood profiles, or maybe a retirement home in Central America and the medical services available there.
Take a look at these Google Adwords PPC per click prices on insurance related keyword phrases. The most expensive keyword phrase is mesothelioma lawyer at nearly $300 per click.
Even if your clicks cost $5 and you convert 1% to a sale, your cost is $500 per customer acquisition. 1% is an excellent conversion rate for most sites with a good value proposition. Yet conversion rates are falling because consumers are shopping around for the solution that matches them best. Your prospects have more options even if those options are a fool’s paradise. Your plan now has to be about getting them back after they’ve been brainwashed and misinformed by 10 other competitors.
SEO is Complex
SEO is a process of creating and shaping content on your website, blog, or social media pages which Google will deem useful to searchers.
It’s also an active process of engaging with other web publishers and encouraging them to share your content. Good Value + Distribution + Persuasion = Viral Success. I have to tell you though that you can go viral without any SEO success.
8 Keys to SEO Success
- Seek deep, thorough customer research – customer pains, UVP, and web analytic insights. An SEO must understand the company’s marketing goals, UVP, branding, target customer, industry dynamics, and how targeted customers can be reached and engaged.
- Do Thorough accurate useful keyword research – discovering relevant keywords and keyphrases to target. This is normally done via Google keyword tool and SEMrush keyword tool and Google analystics. Keywords, related words, and topical themes are woven into content in a sophisticated way (in headings, in links, near links, and in how paragraphs are constructed) and the messaging used determines how other web publishers will provide links and citations about your company. It’s all in the SEO’s hands.
- Create Imaginative, fresh content – this is where plenty of reading, web surfing, social surfing, and brainstorming exercises come in. Your SEO needs freedom to explore, surf and opportunities to connect with influencers. An SEO/content developer needs to be active and a big consumer of content themselves.
- Well Planned Content infrastructure – Googlebot, which is Google’s anxiety causing indexing robot actually experiences your content too. How it navigates and understands your content and its quality is solved with a well planned layout of themed content. Your content is for users, but you need to recognize how a robot interprets what it collects. A subtle but expert optimization gives Google the right picture but also avoids spam filters. Moderation is important but don’t shy away from pushing the envelope. The key is whether Google trusts your site. If trust is good, you can optimize all you like.
- Integrated social media engagement – Although most businesses only utilize two or three social channels, they must coordinate social messages to capture attention, bring engagement to critical mass and then encourage an action. This is where understanding the customer’s emotions and how to appeal to them is important. If social visitors like your content, they will share it, and that creates more valuable inbound links to your site.
- Mobile consumption – B2B and B2C customers are using smartphones and tablets more frequently. Mobile content is delivered differently because of the limited bandwidth and customer attention. No one reads long on their phone, so mobile content must be brief, fast loading and impactful. Being mobile friendly isn’t enough. Google is watching whether your site sucks for mobile users and your rankings will fall if users aren’t engaged with the content or leave fast.
- Aggressive outreach campaigns – Google is dependent on inbound links to determine trustworthiness and keyword relevance. Web publishers and bloggers and tweeters aren’t necessarily motivated to say anything about your product/service/company or link to your web site. A campaign of connecting with them, especially key influencers, and engaging with them can generate big ranking and traffic results. And, they will want valuable, helpful, popular content to share and promote, so your content developers must create fascinating, compelling copy, stories, graphics, videos and comments that impel them to share it online. It is other people who make your business successful and outreach makes you appreciate that fact.
The success of SEO usually comes out of good knowledge of your customer and a desire to create good content experiences for them. Google will recognize when your content is “HOT” and whether you are converting those visits to sales. Heck, they can see everything. Forget about cheap PPC and email tricks and put an honest effort into SEO. I’ts the only approach that’s sustainable.
These 7 essentials of SEO help you understand what really still is the core of omnichannel marketing. SEO is still a dominant channel for any digital marketing strategist. Contact me if you’re a mortgage agent, insurance broker, or lawyer. I can connect you to leads.
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