Where do you go when you need to find information on a certain topic? Where do you start when searching for the best hotel deals for your next holiday? What about when you are looking for a certain product?
If you are like most internet users, the answer to all these questions is a search engine, most probably Google.
Search engine optimization is becoming ever more important for modern businesses. This is thanks to the increasingly large role search engines are playing in internet use. They have transitioned from being used to search for bits of information to searching for almost anything online. You can use Google to search for everything from product reviews to travel directions.
For your business to be found online, it is no longer an option to invest in good SEO, it is a survival requirement. Search optimisation remains one of the most effective online marketing techniques and will become even more crucial in the future.
If you want your business’s online marketing to thrive, it is time you created a comprehensive strategy to get your online properties found. In this article, we are going to focus on how SEO plays into your long-term marketing strategy. We also look at some of the ways you can create an effective online strategy that not only works for now but also in the long term.
The Role of SEO in your Long Term Marketing Strategy
Table Of Contents
“Long-term marketing strategy’’ is a bunch of words meaning one thing;
There is one problem with how most businesses are doing their marketing. Marketing managers and executives tend to think of marketing in the form of a series of campaigns. We do a Facebook campaign, then do a Twitter campaign then try out some PPC. This is the entire marketing strategy of many businesses; jumping from one campaign to another without a thought as to how they all string together.
The problem with this approach is that all these campaigns lack a common message that defines your brand. You fail to build a lasting imprint of your brand on your customers’ minds. Instead, you take them from one marketing campaign to the next; with the positive effects of each lasting only a short time before fizzing away like you never even existed.
A good marketing strategy begins with the big picture, the image you want to send out. From that, you then build well-connected campaigns that reinforce this brand image while also advertising your products. This is how brands like Coca Cola, Google and Apple have cemented a permanent place in their respective markets. They place a lot of focus on the long-term strategy.
So what role does SEO play in this “BIG PICTURE’’ approach?
1. It keeps you in people’s minds
The out of sight out of mind adage rings very true when it comes to marketing. Without a constant presence online, people are going to quickly forget about your business. Trying to keep up a constant presence through methods like PPC (pay per click) will be very expensive especially for a small business with limited resources.
Optimisation your online properties such as the company website is an easy and affordable way to maintain a strong presence online. A good SEO strategy will keep your website highly-ranked and easily visible to your target audience. Think of it from a customer’s perspective. If you buy clothes online frequently, you are going to be performing quite a lot of Google searches. If you find that a certain online retailer keeps popping up near the top of search results every time you search, you are finally going to click on the link to check out what they have. The perception will be that they are a popular retailer whom you can trust.
This is how sites like WebMD and MayoClinic.com have developed their brands. Whenever you search for any health information, they never fail to appear in the top results.
Not only do you need to have an ongoing SEO strategy, you need a strategy that is good enough to give your site a top ranking.
2. It delivers content to your audience
Content in marketing is a topic that requires an entire article, or even book, of its own. But to touch on it lightly, content is very crucial in your marketing strategy. The content itself – be it articles, images or video – plays a big role in defining your brand. Good content contributes a lot to your SEO efforts. In fact, Google has been paying increasing attention to the quality of site content in determining site ranking. Keyword stuffing or excessive linking no longer earns you a good spot on search results pages and can even get you penalised.
If you have quality and relevant content on your website, as yourself is it better than the best results in the search results ?. The next step is figuring out how you are going to deliver this awesome brand-defining content to your audience. If it gets no traffic, it is no good and that means you cannot execute your long-term marketing strategy.
SEO is one of the most effective tools for putting your content in front of your audience’s eyes. It gathers all your great content from your website, blog, social media and other properties and places them high in search engine results pages (SERPS). Of course, the content has to be optimised towards your target group to rank well for any given term.
By keeping your content constantly in sight of your target customers, it also keeps your brand in their minds.
3. It provides exposure
Branding (long-term marketing) relies a lot on exposure. The goal of any branding effort is to get noticed by as many people as possible. This is what SEO does for your brand. Through high ranking on Google and other search engines, it provides much-needed exposure. Considering the millions that use Google, you can get a huge amount of exposure with an effective online strategy.
Creating a Long-Term SEO Strategy
The one secret to building a successful long-term SEO strategy, one that is even recommended by Google, is focusing on users. SEO techniques come and go. For example, keyword stuffing is no longer considered a bastion of SEO. But through all these changes, one goal remains the same for search engine algorithms; providing the best user experience possible.
For an SEO strategy that will work for years – not days or weeks or months – get obsessed with providing the best to your users. This will always keep search engines happy with your website and you will be rewarded with an ever-high ranking.
Here are a few more tips for building a lasting SEO mechanism.
1. Create a good website
The user experience on your website matters a lot when Google is ranking you. With a poorly designed website that is almost impossible to navigate, your ranking is going to take a hit. Some of the web design issues that influence SEO include mobile friendliness (super important!), web load time and navigation (high bounce rates will lower your ranking).
In addition to improving your SEO, a good web design also keeps your visitors happy. They will visit for the first time and keep coming back because of the great user experience.
So before you even move to keywords and content, get a good website. It is best to use an experienced web design professional for the best results. Focus on creating the best for your visitors; in most cases that is also what’s best for search engines.
2. Create great content
In addition to a good website design, web content is one of the most important aspects of SEO. We have already mentioned this fact a few paragraphs above.
The most important thing when it comes to web content is to ensure that it delivers value to your visitors. This means that it should be relevant to their needs and they should gain something valuable from it.
In addition to your landing pages, add helpful content for your users. It could be how-to articles, video tutorials or guides. You can add the content on your website or an attached blog. Share this content on social media and email to attract more traffic that boosts potential sales enquiries, build yourself as an authority in your field of expertise, help people get to know you, like you and trust you, help them make choosing you and easy decision.
3. Create quality links
Backlinking and link exchanges have been quite vilified as bad SEO strategies. But the main problem is their abuse by marketers. If you do it the right way, links can really shore up your long term SEO efforts and are in fact still one of the major ways that Google can determine who it should be paying attention to.
The secret to quality links is point number 2; quality content. Create content that others will want to link to, especially other high-quality websites. These links tend to be an indicator of trust and authority as they are earned rather than created, leading search engines to rank you higher.
The more quality and relevant inbound and outbound citation links, the stronger your SEO.
4. Have a strong social media presence
Sites with stronger social signals (likes, favourites, followers, comments etc) can reap more SEO benefits, a correctly complete and consistent social profile not only helps people find you but also brings positive benefits to the status of your website. See our article on Better SEO Through Online Branding
A strong social media presence is also a good way to get exposure for your brand, especially over the long term. Get on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks and engage your followers and raise your profile.
5. Stay on it
A successful long-term strategy requires repeated actions to sustain it. You need to keep doing the right things to keep the SEO fire burning. Keep your website design up to date and easy to use. As for content, it is extremely important that you keep creating fresh content; that one thing Google’s algorithms look for. Keep engaging your followers on social media.
Most importantly, do not be tempted by quick and dirty tricks that promise a number 1 spot. They hurt more than they help. SEO is like exercise; it takes a lot of sustained hard work and the results can be slow to set in.
Why You Should Use an SEO Agency
As a business owner, finding the time to craft a proper long term SEO strategy let alone implementing it could be challenging. Do not think that you are saving money when you multitask on different roles. You are just hurting your business and stifling its potential.
When it comes to implementing the bits of advice given above, we strongly recommend that you seek the services of an SEO agency UK. An experienced London SEO expert will help you navigate the complexities of SEO, helping you understand the best path to take for top ranking.
Hiring an SEO agency comes with a number of benefits;
You will have the best people to help you. It is not automatic that every entrepreneur is good at SEO. Trying to create and execute an SEO strategy using basic knowledge will not end well. Why not get the best people on the job? Experts from a reputable SEO agency who can demonstrate ranking from difficult keywords will ensure everything is done right.
More resources will be available. An SEO agency will have access to resources that you do not have; resources that will yield better results.
A dedication and focus on a long-term strategy. Busy with other business matters, it is unlikely that a business owner will be able to follow through on a long-term SEO strategy.
Experts from an agency will have the latest news and developments in regards to changes in the search engines. This is especially crucial considering that Google keeps changing its search algorithms. Having an expert keep an ear out for you ensures that you are always on the leading edge.
A good SEO agency will work with you to achieve your set objectives. This includes constant communication regarding progress being made and expected results. Keep in mind that ranking a property online be that a video or a website takes time and patience, especially if it is done with longevity in mind. So do not be hasty in demanding to see your website on the first page.
The past was SEO and the future is SEO. As long as we continue to use the internet and as long as the main means of finding the products and services we need is by using search engines, then SEO will continue to be a crucial tool for business marketing. There is no time like now to up your online game, especially in creating an effective long-term strategy.