By Michelle Cheyne
It’s true. The world has moved online. Whether you are trying to sell a product, a service or maybe you want to expand your audience and create traffic to your website, SEO is how you create organic traffic. So then how do you use SEO in marketing?
Your website is the only online platform that belongs to you. I often hear people say that their website is of no use or that they grow their audience and sell their products on social media. You’ll also often hear affiliate marketers say they don’t need a website as they build landing pages. Others profess that paid ads are the way to go. Surely you don’t want to be paying for ads for the rest of your life? You want organic traffic. To tell you the truth, I don’t even look at the ads on my Google searches as I know that information is not there because of their value, but because someone paid for it.
I just find it becomes clearer every day why your website is your most important asset when it comes to marketing. With censorship alive and well the benefits must be apparent. Facebook might soon enforce even more rigorous censorship. Perhaps Facebook decides tomorrow that your group or page is no longer allowed (whether you did anything wrong or not). YouTube is already deleting content and banning users. What if Instagrams and Facebook follow.
If your audience only connects with you on social media, you will be in trouble.
I think your website is your most important marketing tool. Not only is it the only platform that actually belongs to you, but you can drive traffic to it organically. Meaning, by using the right keywords and optimising your content, you can, in fact, get traffic effortlessly. This is where SEO comes in.
What is SEO in marketing
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In laymen’s terms, it’s making sure your Google (or other search engines) can find you and show your site/content to people looking for it.
This is probably the biggest challenge most website owners face. How do I get the right people to see my website? You want your site to pop up on the first page when people type in the keywords that relate to your site. Using SEO in marketing ensures that when someone types in what you offer, they can find you online.
Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a one-off fix, but rather a manner of operating your site. There are various facets to this and can become quite technical. Just looking at Google’s most recent update.
On May 4th 2020 (and you might need the Force for this one) Google rolled out it’s latest core update. This was completed on 18 May 2020 and is now active. Every time there is an update, things change a little. With over 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, this can be a bit tricky.
The reason for this is that Google favours content-rich sites. You cannot rank on Google without providing information that benefits people. This is then also why we all ‘trust’ Google for answers to our everyday questions. Therefore it is important to stay up to date.
Google focuses on providing a good user experience!
Three Cornerstones of SEO in Marketing
Making sure Google recognises and appreciates your content is the goal here.
This doesn’t mean you have to be a coder or a web designer to manage your own site. The crawlers (Google’s main one is called Googlebot) see your site as a string of code. Therefore you need to make sure that the roads are accessible and that there are no broken links.
You want people to spend as much time as possible on your site. Therefore you want your site to load quickly (anything above 3 seconds is not good), you want to provide a lot of information (pages) and therefore get them to spend longer on your site.
Make sure your content is
- good and valuable
- not duplicated
- no thin or missing titles
- meta descriptions are present on each page and post
To get Google to recognise your content, it needs to be up to date and informative. Not only does this ensure people choose your content, but it keeps them on your page. Remember, Google focuses on a good user experience.
Find out what your audience is looking for on these platforms:
- Google Trends
- Answer the Public
- Social Media platforms where your audience spends their time
Once you’ve created your content, make sure you have a relevant meta description and that you’ve added alt tags to your pictures. Alt tags are little descriptions you add to your image. Include your keywords in both of these.
These are a great way to boost your traffic and grow your authority score. Backlinks are other sites that refer to yours. You can create these by writing guest blogs that link back to your site.
These are like recommendations by other sites. Make sure that these backlinks are relevant and from good quality sites. The value of these links is huge. It shows Google that other people/sites value your content making Google value your site even more.
There are various ways you can achieve this. To name only a few:
- Guest Blogs
- Broken links method
- Blog Commenting
- Influencer outreach
Optimise your SEO for greater reach
Working on SEO is not a quick task. It can be time-consuming and at times frustrating. However, the rewards are invaluable.
There are various tools that can help you track your traffic, identify your most popular content and much more. It is imperative that you connect your site to both Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Other great tools to help track traffic and audit your site are:
- Yoast is great for on-page SEO
SEO is a great way to let your site work for you. Once you get into it, you might just love it. As Neil Patel (an SEO guru of note) jokes – ‘The best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google – no one ever goes there”
You can rank your site by making sure you choose the right keywords and have covered the 3 cornerstones of SEO. Use SEO in marketing and you’ll reap the benefits.
Michelle is a bit of a lifelong student. She has a BA (Psychology), BA Hon (Psychology) and a PGCE.
After moving her family from South Africa to England in 2015 she realised that the job market did not provide her with the freedom she needed to be there for her children. Having practised as a Psychometrist (Independent Practice), working in this field without the family support in a new country was not going to work. She needed more flexibility than ever before.
Therefore she started her own business, Instinctive Living, providing virtual assistance to other businesses. This was the start of another learning curve. Although she focused on businesses within Psychology and Education at first, websites and SEO soon became a topic of great interest.