How Does SEO Fit Into a Good Digital Marketing Strategy?
Once upon a time, marketing was relatively straightforward, you held all the cards. You had some flyers or brochures, probably a simple website and maybe a mailing list. But for today’s more savvy and cynical connected buyers that old style marketing of brochures, mailings and a static website no longer works. Now, with the internet entirely embedded in our everyday lives, a good digital marketing strategy has become essential.
This, obviously, has real significance for businesses when planning marketing strategies and associated budgets.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is an umbrella term for the varying tactics and channels needed to reach the online places where your target market is spending time.
Typically then a good digital marketing strategy will include:
- Content marketing – helpful and informative resources usually hosted within your website. This includes blog posts, e-books, downloadable pdf advice sheets and infographics.
- Social media marketing – creating and sharing content on social media platforms.
- Pay per click (PPC) – using Google Ads or paid advertising on social media.
- E-mail marketing – this includes items such as newsletters.
- Being on geographical based internet platforms – examples include Google My Business and Trip Advisor.
How does SEO fit into a digital marketing strategy?
There are three main ways in which you have to satisfy your target market:
- In a fast-paced world, if they’re looking for information they want it NOW.
- They don’t want sales spiel they want relevant information that informs and assists.
- They’re looking for some form of natural connection with you from humour to location; from company philosophy to a track record in their own sector.
For all of these reasons, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a key part of digital marketing. When it comes to a sustainable SEO strategy, there are three distinct areas:
- On Page SEO refers to the content that exists on the pages of your website;
- Off Page SEO relates to building backlinks to move your website up the search engine results pages (SERPS) and
- Technical SEO refers to the tips and tricks that ensure your website is loading quickly.
However, bear in mind that these SEO practices will only work if you have a basic understanding of how Google Algorithms work.
I know right, you just want to get on with the marketing and NOW you have to start being a techie too. I’m afraid this is now the way of the world. You see, like you, your potential customers just want to find the most relevant and authoritative websites relating to their search…
About Google’s Algorithms
Google makes hundreds of search changes every year, the biggest focus of these algorithms has been on content. Here are the major ones, starting with Panda in 2016.
Panda’s features are broad and varied, but here are some of the main things that it attempts to weed out:
- Duplicate content – content that appears on more than one page (content needs to be unique)
- Automatically generated content
- Affiliate pages that don’t actually say anything substantial
- Scraped (or directly plagiarised) content
- Unauthoritative content – content that does not augment the general knowledge on a given topic
- Content stuffed with keywords
Penguin followed Panda and concentrated on the quality of the links from your site. Pirate penalised sites that have pirated copyrighted content (e.g. films, books, music) and made them freely available to their web visitors.
The subsequent Hummingbird allows Google to interpret more natural – or semantic language. Like “How do I market my business?”
Pigeon was about helping users have an improved experience in terms of more easily finding relevant local businesses within a certain radius.
The May 2015 algorithm (dubbed Mobilegeddon!) concentrated on websites being mobile friendly. This algorithm has been updated annually, targeting features such as large intrusive promotional pop-ups and e-mail collection.
In 2016 Possum further improved local search data by producing results which are the closest to your location (rather than within a certain radius) and by being more intelligent in terms of interpreting the original query.
Fred – launched in 2017 – checks for low quality, low word count pages and will penalise these. Later that year Google’s “Chrome Security Warnings” began to warn visitors if the site they were visiting was not secure and marked all non-HTTPS sites as non-secure from July 2018.
In 2018, Google announced that its search engine page results would favour those websites which were best following Google’s mobile first practices.
Improving the reach and impact of your Digital Marketing
1. Website loading speed
You might be creating great content and sharing this regularly via social media, but you’ll fall at the final hurdle if your website isn’t loading quickly enough. A slow page is considered to be one that takes more than 2.5 seconds to load.
You can evaluate your website for free by using this Google tool, which will also e-mail you a detailed report.
Are you writing topics that your target market actually wants to read about? You should use a keyword search tool to find out what topics and questions your target market is researching. You can then create an editorial calendar around these topics so that you are on track through the year. This will improve your On Page SEO.
3. Google My Business
Have you taken advantage of putting your business profile on the free to use Google My Business? We know doing this helps with the local search algorithms Pigeon and Possum and your Off Page SEO. Sign up here.
In terms of SEO, the more links back to your website you can generate the better. So why not offer to guest post on another website, or see if you can get blogger reviews?
5. Writing blog posts
Don’t underestimate the power of content marketing. It’s not just a signal to search engines, but also has the power to attract a new audience and lead to more social media shares, all of which will get your site noticed. Just be mindful not to fall foul of Panda by producing duplicated content in your blog posts, so use the low-cost plagiarism checker Copyscape. You also need to spend time writing content which is genuinely helpful rather than a thin piece of content which does nothing to add value to your potential clients (See Panda and Fred!) This is why it’s important to vary the length of your blog post. Rather than restricting it to 600-word pieces, include some more in-depth pieces that are over 1000 words in length.
6. Relevant newsletters and e-mail marketing
Again, successful implementation of this strategy relies on finding out what your target market is actually interested in. You can do this by using a keyword research tool. Otherwise, you’re in danger of creating a lot of content that will not be read (or recommended).
7. Local presence
Are you flagging your local presence within your website copy, and blog posts? Remember Google favours local businesses.
8. Include FAQs/Q & As
Because Google is seeking to answer questions posed in semantic language (Hummingbird) you will find FAQ pages on your website and Q & A blog posts work very well.
9. Update security certificate
Is your website now prefixed https? If not your website designer should be able to effect this so that you keep on the right side of Fred.
10. Mobile responsiveness
Your website IS mobile responsive, isn’t it?! That’s now a critical part of SEO.
If you’re looking to incorporate SEO into your digital marketing strategy then please give us a call, we have extensive knowledge of how much or little help you might need. Even if your budget is limited, we can easily recommend the SEO, pay-per-click and paid social media fixes that are right for you.
Latest posts by Jane Buswell (see all)
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