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What Does SEO Mean And Why is It Important for Digital Marketing?

what does seo mean

what does seo meanWhat does SEO mean in the grand scheme of digital marketing? A business could invest marketing budgets to paid advertising campaigns. But, this action is short-sighted — it doesn’t provide sustainability.

SEO digital marketing preps the business for long-term growth. The strategies and techniques applied today create monumental growth for years to come.

Are you new to SEO? Or, have yet to incorporate SEO into your digital strategy?

Read on to learn the subject and what it adds to long-term, marketing goals.

What Does SEO Mean?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is the application of techniques and best practices to improve search rankings. When people talk SEO they mean Google since it accounts for 72%+ of the search market. Though, techniques for Google apply to other search engines like Bing or Ask.

What does it mean “SEO best practices”?

SEO’s mention best practices because it’s impossible to know the true ranking factors. The search algorithms, after all, are a trade secret. Yet, throughout the years we’ve discovered common signals by collecting and monitoring resources.

For example:

  • Good on-page SEO (applying keyword and structure to a site) is positive
  • Bad link building (getting links from shady sites) is a negative

Google’s long-term goal with their search engine is organizing your life. Their mission is delivering relevant content to their users. They do this by quantifying websites and pages using their algorithm. And, now AI and machine learning.

Where is SEO now?

SEO has come a long way since the early days of keyword stuffing and automated link building. Those practices still exist (among Black Hat and amateur SEO’s). But, the industry evolved and adapted from Google’s influence and the SEO community.

Notable changes in search and SEO include:

  • Panda — This punished “content farms” with low-quality content
  • Penguin — This gave a push for unique, quality content
  • Hummingbird — This added preference to fast websites
  • Mobile-first — This placed a preference on mobile sites

There have been too many algorithm updates to count with many unverified. In all, Google helped create Web standardization. And, this reflected with search engine marketing strategies.

How SEO Plays into Web Marketing: Benefits of Search Engines Marketing Strategy

The search engine marketing strategies you deploy work in tandem with web marketing. SEO is integral to web marketing, as web marketing is to SEO. Let’s dive into why this is so.

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Content Marketing

Content marketing is a subset of Internet marketing using content as the driving force for search and social traffic. Therefore, high ranking Web pages have a greater effect on content marketing efforts.

In fact, businesses with blogs attract 4.5x more leads than those without.

How SEO is applied

Search engine optimization shapes three areas of content marketing:

  • Keyword/topic selection
  • Page structure and optimization

SEO research defines the primary and secondary keywords. These are the keywords used throughout the content helping search engines recognize the topic to rank. The keywords also sculpt the content sub-topics.

On-page SEO is applied to content for ranking purposes. This would include a fine-tuned title, description, and URL. But, also include a liberal amount of keyword usage throughout the post.

Link Building

The intent of digital marketing is building brand awareness and sales. What better way to do both than through a link building campaign? This campaign increases page rankings while exposing the brand to a larger audience.

How SEO is applied

Link building is a core element of search engines marketing strategy. Without link building, best efforts in the content creation dissolve. Even the best content pieces go unnoticed if they fail to reach page one in Google.

Digital marketing relies on content. Content relies on link building. Therefore, SEO sets the foundation for your marketing campaigns.

SEO is applied to digital marketing via link building like this:

  • Conducting outreach from referring domains found in an SEO audit
  • Refining third-party platforms providing the best return on investment
  • Creating better link profiles across referring and owned platforms

SEO tools help identify qualified websites and platforms for link building purposes. Backlinks are built on at these third-parties since they’re relevant to the site topic. This backlink strategy creates strong search signals.

The efforts placed into link building create connections with influencers. This relationship is then leveraged to improve social marketing efforts. And, continues rewarding efforts by encouraging referral links from connected parties.

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Market Research

SEO efforts improve market research and digital marketing strategy. The information unearthed from an SEO analysis creates a deep understanding of Web usage. This information is then applied to all other marketing tactics.

How SEO is applied

The information becomes applicable many ways:

  • Identifying preferred platforms of your audience
  • Understanding common search queries used to find offers
  • Discovering competitors and their SEO efforts
  • Reworking landing pages to include sales signals
  • Refinding page layout and experience by device/browser type
  • Using geolocation and translation services to reach global prospects

The SEO becomes as powerful for ranking as it is with competitive analysis and user experience. The efforts also help define the customer avatar. And, the brand’s unique selling point.

For example:

  1. Launch an SEO tool like SEMRush or Screaming Frog
  2. Crawl your site identifying lead-generating keywords & phrases
  3. Crawl competitor sites identifying similar info and ad placements
  4. Rework marketing creative and copy to reflect these search queries
  5. Place marketing materials on referring domains and platforms

In all, this improves both the website and marketing initiatives. The effort homogenizes the user experience across platforms. And, this tightens brand building and growth efforts through consistency.

Action Steps and Wrap Up

Search engine optimization is an on-going effort. This parallels to your digital marketing strategy. Work placed into one benefits the other and vice versa.

Overwhelmed by the information in this post? Don’t be, use these action steps:

  1. Invest in SEO/keyword research tools to audit your site and competitors
  2. Use new keywords to build longer, stronger content pieces on your site
  3. Share content across social platforms housing your audience and prospects
  4. Find referring domains to competitor sites and reach out to gain links
  5. Refine ad and marketing creative/copy reflecting changes from SEO

This is an effective blueprint for combining SEO and digital marketing. Else, check our digital marketing blog for more tutorials and guides.

What does SEO mean to you? Leave a comment. And, share how you think SEO plays an important role in digital marketing.